The journey from there to here

After reading yet another blog attacking the US "executions" of insurgents, I had to respond.

As a country all too familiar with "cyber" war through first person shooter games, we have the tendency to apply our cyberwar standards to real life combat situations. Thus we feel informed enough to state our opinion on the situation, and to judge our soldiers prematurely for their decisions.

Cyber war, however, is no more real than cyber sex or computer football games. Just as Grand Theft Auto doesn't give you the skills to drive a car, just as Madden 2k5 doesn't give you the skills to coach in the NFL, first person shooter games do NOT give you the information needed to judge the actions of our military personnel.

There are reasons their actions are subject to courts martial rather than civilian trials. For one, they are before people who can judge what WAS done with the rules of engagement that they, too, have been taught, trained and instructed to observe. Civilians, frankly, don't have access to all the information necessary to make a proper decision, and, for that matter, neither does your favorite AP writer.

So, while the rules of your first person shooter game may apply to your cyber universe, they do not necessarily apply to real life combat. And we would be well advised to reserve judgement until those in the know have the ability to make an informed decision.


Comments
on May 08, 2005
So, while the rules of your first person shooter game may apply to your cyber universe, they do not necessarily apply to real life combat. And we would be well advised to reserve judgement until those in the know have the ability to make an informed decision.


You make an interesting point, but it's not just video games. War movies, which have been around for a long time, are particularly guilty of glorifying conflict and playing down the pain and violence involved. If only people could know the horrors of war, and realize that there is nothing good, honorable, fun or "yee-haw cowboyish" about war, there might be peace.
on May 08, 2005
If only people could know the horrors of war, and realize that there is nothing good, honorable, fun or "yee-haw cowboyish" about war, there might be peace.


Kind of brings to mind that head-up-his-ass cowboy, Mr. Bring-It-On Bush.
on May 09, 2005
Kind of brings to mind that head-up-his-ass cowboy, Mr. Bring-It-On Bush.


Totally uncalled for. At least IMHO.
on May 09, 2005
Kind of brings to mind that head-up-his-ass cowboy, Mr. Bring-It-On Bush.


--And you've never been guilty of have your head up your ass, there are plenty on this site that would agree that you have...

--Hell, it seems to be a rampant disease in the world today [ I was driving home {hometown} the other day and someone had his HUHA, and rear ended me {he was going about 20+ mph over the speed limit} on the highway about 16 miles outta my hometown.....geez...the cost of the repairs is gonna hurt, to add to it, the guy was driving uninsured and with a expired license.... ] my insurance is gonna jump a bit... ugh.... :
on May 09, 2005
Great point Gideon. It infuriates me to no end when people have the audacity to judge the combat actions from the comfort of their own homes, without having ANY kind of knowledge on the subject or experience of combat.

We ought to always err on the side of innocence until proven otherwise by competent authorites......wait, it's almost like I've heard that before (Innocent until proven guily?)....hmmmm, very strange that civilians enjoy that presumption, but damn a soldier.
on May 09, 2005
Great point Gideon. It infuriates me to no end when people have the audacity to judge the combat actions from the comfort of their own homes, without having ANY kind of knowledge on the subject or experience of combat.

We ought to always err on the side of innocence until proven otherwise by competent authorites......wait, it's almost like I've heard that before (Innocent until proven guily?)....hmmmm, very strange that civilians enjoy that presumption, but damn a soldier.


Well, there are three courts involved. The first is the mythical court of truth, aka God's court, which is right 100% of the time. The second is the court of law, which is "innocent until proven guilty." The third is the court of public opinion, where anything goes, and often does not coincide with the court of law (ie: OJ Simpson). The court of public opinion is also the fastest court, with verdicts often arriving on little factual discussion or examination, and usually before the court of law passes it's verdict (ie: Michael Jackson). Incompetent people outside the courtroom judge others all the time, in both military and civilian circles. That's why we have courts. And in the court of public opinion, no one has the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. That's why I never comment on individual cases; because I wasn't in the courtroom, therefore I know I don't know the whole story.
on May 09, 2005
Kind of brings to mind that head-up-his-ass cowboy, Mr. Bring-It-On Bush.
--Dabe

Typical comment from a typical thumb-up-your-ass liberal.
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