Death Squad Democracy




View Poll Results :Are death squads ever justifiable?
Yes 8 42.11%
No 11 57.89%
Don't care because it isn't happening in my country. 0 0%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

 
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Boots
 
June 30th, 2005  
bulldogg
 
 

Topic: Death Squad Democracy


Following the comment on the International Military News Forum from MarineGtoACommo I am forced to ask the following question.

Are death squads ever justifiable in any democracy or in any government supported by a democracy?







The following link is to the story that started this unintended line of thought.
http://www.military-quotes.com/forum...ic.php?t=12983
June 30th, 2005  
03USMC
 
 
Depends on how you are going to classify "Death Squads".

If you are going to have the opinion that any Covert Force recruited from the local population and trained in Counter Insurgency Operations by the US is a death squad then I guess that answer would be Yes.

All the old saws were thrown into that article. Salvadoran Death Squads, Terrorizing the Population, Phoenix Program. Ritter as usual is trying to fan the flames of fear. And undermine any program regardless of it's intended purpose upon inception.

The hard fact is that certain elements (of Ritters Ilk) will brand any US trained Foreign Unit/Locally Raised unit as a Death Squad if they are trained in COIN or SpecOps.

From a Military Stand Point these units make a lot of sense and can have a big impact if they are used in the right way.

Because they are raised from the local population they are of value because they.

1. Speak the language
2. Understand the customs
3. Know the Teir Assets
4. Can move about with greater ease than a team of Western Operators.
5. Know and understand the enviroment.

Their intended purpose should be to ferret out the insurgent groups and eliminate them. The above attributes make it easier.
June 30th, 2005  
bulldogg
 
 
Lets forget the old saws and lets focus on the indigenous personnel trained in CoIn. Now if they target and engage enemy combatants and kill them in battle, rock on. However in a democracy one of the key elements is that the rule of law supercedes all else. If these troops take an opposition leader unarmed and kill him, MURDER. If they hold family members and hold them for "ransom", KIDNAPPING. If they take people and they are executed without trial, STATE SPONSORED MURDER. And, if they target not military, but political opposition then you cease to have a democracy but rather a totalitarian regime.
Sucks to play by the rules but that's the way it is if the US is going to continue to lay claim to be a democratic champion of human rights and the rule of law.
So a death squad is the weapon of the state to remove any and all opposition. CoIn troops in theory are not death squads. In practice though time and time again they are used as tools of state sponsored terrorism. And we don't need to go to the old saws to prove it either.
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Boots
June 30th, 2005  
03USMC
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldogg
CoIn troops in theory are not death squads. In practice though time and time again they are used as tools of state sponsored terrorism. And we don't need to go to the old saws to prove it either.
So because of that the US should not provide advisory ODA's or FMTU's to provide COIN training because they might be misused by that Countries Goverment? In the case of Iraq a legally elected goverment.

Friendly Nations should receive an amount of military advisory aid to ensure a professional military capable of defending the legally recognized goverment from internal and external threats. So long as that military is used according to recognized rules of warfare aid should continue.

If the Units are used by the local goverment for other purposes aid should pulled. But once the Advisory teams have trained and turned the Units over to Local Goverment they cannot be held responsible for solely because they provided training that was misused.
June 30th, 2005  
Redneck
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldogg
If these troops take an opposition leader unarmed and kill him, MURDER. If they hold family members and hold them for "ransom", KIDNAPPING. If they take people and they are executed without trial, STATE SPONSORED MURDER. And, if they target not military, but political opposition then you cease to have a democracy but rather a totalitarian regime.
So basically your entire argument against these units is based off of supposition about what they might do, entirely unrelated to any fact, correct?
In fact the entire article which you are drawing your information from is unsupported and fails to show in any way beyond "I think so" that A) these squads are operating under U.S. control/authority, or B) that they are in fact doing anything at all. Given the rhetoric and obvious bias of the author I am more than hesitant to believe anything he claims without verification. All in all, it appears to me to be an extremely irresponsible and personal temper tantrum, rather than an article relating any great amount of truth.
June 30th, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 
This would probably fall under "There is a time and a place for everything." but it greatly depends on what you would define as Death Squads. There can and will be circumstances that will arise which would necessitate "Death Squads", depending on the context.
June 30th, 2005  
Whispering Death
 
 
I think "death squads" are a great terror tactic and they are very likely to be seen in the future of war as media-driven perception has become more key to morale than victory or defeat in battle.

One could argue that the US is very close to your idea of "death squads" at this moment. We have all sorts of teams scouring Iraq and Afghanistan for Bin-Laddin and other enemy leaders. The only reason they arn't killed outright when found is only because we think they are worth more to us alive than dead. If we thought they would be better dead then the headline would read killed while resisting capture.
June 30th, 2005  
ghost457
 
 
whats the matter with bad guys dying? theyr fighting dirty, i dont see why we cant. yes, i am only 15, so i may not understand or be as mature as some of you, but thats what i think. and also, as 03 said, why are we responsible for what they do with units that we trained? its not our fault if they misuse these "Death Squads." also, i belive you are biased just becuase of your use of the term "Death Squad" i see death squads as those Gestapo or SS or SA units that rounded up and killed Jews during the Holocaust, a desth squad has one purpose: to kill people, no matter who they are, where they are, what group they are in, how old they are, etc. i surely hope that no US-trained unit ever does anything of the sort.
June 30th, 2005  
Missileer
 
 
Death squad is too generic to use in this case. I think of groups of soldiers in South America killing street kids during the night when I hear death squad. In a war, a team of SEALS or other Special Ops teams performing an "extraction" by going in harms way to bring back a high ranking officer for interrogation, is fair. The fact that the "extracted" is tortured or killed by the CIA or the Government being supported by our troops does not make the team a death squad. Remember, wars are eventually won through attrition.
July 1st, 2005  
bulldogg
 
 
Right, the team that did the extraction Missileer is NOT a death squad. Nor is killing military targets as long as it abides by the rules of war. No problem there. I am really talking about highly trained teams conducting attacks against political opponents, ethnic groups, kidnapping, torture for ANY reason, etc. The stuff the US State Department villifies other countries for doing, sponsoring and training people to do.

Death squads do not indescriminately kill Ghost, they single out people and it is a calculated instrument of state sponsored terrorism employed by governments to control populations of their country. And the US can't play dirty as long as they continue to tout to the rest of the world that they are a country that abides by the rule of law.

USMC03 I would argue that there is an element of responsibility when you train someone how to do something and then they go out and do it. Whether or not they complied with YOUR intent of how that training is to be used.

Redneck, bear with me as I dig up the sources because I have in the last month come across some first person accounts from US soldiers on the web of American troops (themselves) engaged in kidnapping in Iraq in order to persuade someone suspected of being an insurgent to turn himself in. This is a clear and open, verifiable, instance of American troops under orders violating the Geneva Convention, Iraqi Law, US Law and International Law.

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/12/8/12233/8105
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/printer_061505C.shtml
http://www.peoplejudgebush.org/kidnapping.shtml

Still looking for the one that is an interview with a 101st SSG that clearly states he had been participating in the kidnapping of family members and leaving a note behind for the father saying if they want to have their family released to turn themselves in.