As Veteran's Day approaches, I of course, think back on my own experiences. One member of the Forum spoke on how ridiculous the Hague and Geneva Conventions were concerning the making of war. He has a good point. Your forbidden to use soft point or hollow point 5.56MM rifle ammunition, but it's quite permissable to shoot your enemy in the face with a 40MM grenade. Very true. However, his thought's on treatment of enemy prisoners, wounded or whole don't match up with the American rationale. I think it's simple . How would you wanted to be treated if taken prisoner? An enemy Soldier is an honorable man. He believes he is fighting for Hanoi or Bagdahd, just as you feel your fighting for St. Louis or Hamtramck. He has a right to be treated by a fellow soldier and as a human being. If he's wounded, treat him. If he's hungry feed him. If he's thirsty give him water. This "Torturing to get information" is BULLSHIT. The average Grunt does not know shit that will be helpful to you. You start doing things like abusing prisoners and you will get fewer and fewer prisoners. Who is going to surrender if they know they are going to be tortured if captured? Ask the Marines in WWII. Another thing is you lose control of your men. Brutality causes loss of discipline. On a sweep in 1969, my Platoon Sergeant and I came upon a SP/4 in the process of cutting the ear of a dead NVA. The PS locked the man's heel's, (brought him to attention) and proceeded to tear verbal strips off the man. He sent him forward on the sweep, sat down and motioned for me to take a seat. I'll never forget it. He said "G, You can't let these men get out of control. If you let one thing like that happen you'll lose discipline. And once you lose discipline, you don't have a fighting unit, you have an armed mob. Your a young NCO, and just started in this business, but you have to know something. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, more savage and dangerous than a 19 year old American Soldier. They have been regimented all their lives. Church, School, Family, they follow rules all their lives. Then they get to this shithole, and they figure all rules are off. We can't let that happen. They do one thing that you think is wrong, you jump in their ass with both feet. Now Article 15 that asshole, that's not an order, a reccomendation." I did.
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