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Coalition Prisoners - Gulf War 1991


Dick Splash
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With all of this obsessive media coverage about Abu Ghraib Prison, I thought of the images the world saw of captured Coalition airmen being paraded on Iraqi national television back in 1991. They were suffering great discomfort, pain, stress, and were obviously very frightened. To me, one image stands out from the rest. That of RAF Flight Lieutenant John Peters. It was absolutely heart wrenching to watch and listen to him talk.

The behaviour by US military peronnel at Abu Ghraib should never have happened, but IMHO, what's been far worse is the political harm that's been done since. Throughout history, I have no doubt that prisoners of any war and from any side have been subjected to, not just torture, but humiliation like this. But, from what the media has shown us, that's all it is, humiliation!

Just look at what kind of conflict 'Iraqi Freedom' was and what 'Enduring Freedom' has become. The enemy the Coalition were up against and the culture of the Iraqi people. This was no black and white war fought over the plains of Germany, where everybody would have been in uniform and, for the most part, neither combatant would have been from Germany and its civilan population would have been loyal to the West. Coalition forces were up against not just soldiers, but civilians and terrorists, both Iraqi and foreign.

As long as there a wars in the world, there will be more Abu Ghraibs. It happened, and it's been an embarrasment for the Coalition. Those responsible, foolishly had themselves photographed, but, as far as I'm concerened, it's the soldier that actually leaked those images that should be given a sentence and not the others. If it wasn't for that person, the military probably could have kept a lid on it, and the media would have focused more on the reality of Iraq.

Images from 1991 show torture. Abu Ghraib was a joke!

Flt. Lt. John Peters

57003eb1.jpg

Flt. Lt. John Nichol

4e5921e0.jpg

Because you're meant to give name, rank, number and date of birth. And I remember thinking, "Ah, well, this is the interrogation process!" So I thought, "Right, here it goes, I cannot answer that question, sir" so I said... "I ca..." I didn't even get, "I cannot ..." I got, "I ca..." And smash! And I remember just my head going, I was knocked off the chair!

The US military at Abu Ghraib are given sentences.......the Iraqis responsible for this have never been brought to task!

John Nichol - Back to Iraq

DS

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@dick

I understand what you are saying but if we as the allies dont have the high ground then what do we have?? If we beat and torture the epw we are just as bad as them..

The first day of OIF my company alone took 198 EPWs. We treated them fair. We let them use the woodline (not the woodline but you know what I mean) under armed guard. We didnt eat in front of them. Cuase we didnt have the food to spare.

We treated them the way we wanted to be treated. Its the rules!! The problem is that we are fighting a war were the rules are gray for them.

Before we got here a unit from 82nd airborne here in the gan caught an enemy soldier. He was not in uniform. he was in civilian clothes. They thought he was just a terrorist well when they started to question hiim he pulled out his taliban card that said he was a taliban soldier. At that point he was no longer a PUC(personnel under us control) He was then an EPW.

I know I got off the subject but we have to have the high ground if we dont then we are just the same as them.

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With all of this obsessive media coverage about Abu Ghraib Prison, I thought of the images the world saw of captured Coalition airmen being paraded on Iraqi national television back in 1991. They were suffering great discomfort, pain, stress, and were obviously very frightened. To me, one image stands out from the rest. That of RAF Flight Lieutenant John Peters. It was absolutely heart wrenching to watch and listen to him talk.

The behaviour by US military peronnel at Abu Ghraib should never  have happened, but IMHO, what's been far worse is the political harm that's been done since. Throughout history, I have no doubt that prisoners of any war and from any side have been subjected to, not just torture, but humiliation like this. But, from what the media has shown us, that's all it is, humiliation!

Just look at what kind of conflict 'Iraqi Freedom' was and what 'Enduring Freedom' has become. The enemy the Coalition were up against and the culture of the Iraqi people. This was no black and white war fought over the plains of Germany, where everybody would have been in uniform and, for the most part, neither combatant would have been from Germany and its civilan population would have been loyal to the West. Coalition forces were up against not just soldiers, but civilians and terrorists, both Iraqi and foreign.

As long as there a wars in the world, there will be more Abu Ghraibs. It happened, and it's been an embarrasment for the Coalition. Those responsible, foolishly had themselves photographed, but, as far as I'm concerened, it's the soldier that actually leaked those images that should be given a sentence and not the others. If it wasn't for that person, the military probably could have kept a lid on it, and the media would have focused more on the reality of Iraq.

Images from 1991 show torture. Abu Ghraib was a joke!

Flt. Lt. John Peters

57003eb1.jpg

Flt. Lt. John Nichol

4e5921e0.jpg

Because you're meant to give name, rank, number and date of birth. And I remember thinking, "Ah, well, this is the interrogation process!" So I thought, "Right, here it goes, I cannot answer that question, sir" so I said... "I ca..." I didn't even get, "I cannot ..." I got, "I ca..." And smash! And I remember just my head going, I was knocked off the chair!

The US military at Abu Ghraib are given sentences.......the Iraqis responsible for this have never been brought to task!

John Nichol - Back to Iraq

DS

Dont forget Andy McNabb the SAS guy captured

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@dick

I understand what you are saying but if we as the allies dont have the high ground then what do we have??  If we beat and torture the epw we are just as bad as them..

The first day of OIF my company alone took 198 EPWs.  We treated them fair.  We let them use the woodline (not the woodline but you know what I mean) under armed guard.  We didnt eat in front of them. Cuase we didnt have the food to spare. 

We treated them the way we wanted to be treated.  Its the rules!!  The problem is that we are fighting a war were the rules are gray for them. 

Before we got here a unit from 82nd airborne here in the gan caught an enemy soldier.  He was not in uniform.  he was in civilian clothes. They thought he was just a terrorist well when they started to question hiim he pulled out his taliban card that said he was a taliban soldier.  At that point he was no longer a PUC(personnel under us control) He was then an EPW.

I know I got off the subject but we have to have the high ground if we dont then we are just the same as them.

Soup why treat them fair? God knows they'd prolly jump start your balls with a car battery if they captured you.
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Soup why treat them fair? God knows they'd prolly jump start your balls with a car battery if they captured you.

Like Soup stated before, its all about integrity.

Here's a post I made on another forum I belong to, concerning Jack Idema - the ex-SF vigilante who was running around Afghanistan waging a personal war against Al Queda. The previous post had been one defending Idema's tactics in extracting information from his prisoners on the grounds that Al Queada has proven itself to be the greater evil. Here was my response:

Listen buds, you can't have vigilantes like Jack Idema running around the Afghan countryside waging a personal war against Al Queada.

As professional soldiers we're bound by legal obligations that give us the moral highground necessary to win wars. Take a look at Somalia for a fine example of what happens when Canadians question the integrity of Canadian soldiers. Take a look at Abu Gharib and see the kind of crap storm that erupts when US forces are suspected of acting like the regime they are sent to destroy. The Americans found out in Vietnam the importance of support back home, and their veterans are still suffering a high number of cases of PTSD due to the ungratefull public they returned home to. If the public found out that ours or an allied government was allowing torture as a means of intelligence gathering we would lose the support at home we need to get this job done.

Yes, I know Idema claims to be supported by the Pentagon. But he has a criminal record in the US and word is that he was junk when he was in the SF. As well, if he was doing such a good job, he would have never been arrested by US and Afghan forces. Even if he was supported by the US government, that does not justify his violation of international law. A big part of fighting terror in Afghanistan is convincing the locals that is better to support us then it is to support Al Queda. But you can't give them a sense of security if you have a bunch of mercenaries fighting their own war independent of any government.

Whether it be Afghanistan or Iraq, the reasons we treat prisoners in accordance with the Laws Of Armed Conflict (LOAC) are the same. This might be a little off topic, but the philosophy still applies.

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Soup why treat them fair? God knows they'd prolly jump start your balls with a car battery if they captured you.

Before this thread gets locked I huess I'll have to puit in my two cents.

That, my dear Devil Dog is exactly why they should be treated better. Our side can win this thing without torture or terror and part of the job is proving we can do better. We should treat the enemy with respect exactly because he wouldn't treat us with respect.

In order to prevent future recruits from joining the ranks of terrorists we have to show them that the future is brighter under a peaceful democracy and that we're not just going to replace one bunch of torturers with another.

s'all I have to say... :whistle:

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