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Bloggingheads 11-29-2008 03:11 PM

Siege on Mumbai
 

Titstorm 11-29-2008 04:26 PM

Re: Siege on Mumbai
 
thanks so much for your insight, Sumit!

DenvilleSteve 11-29-2008 06:17 PM

why so long to kill the attackers?
 
why did it take so many days to kill the attackers? a Drudge headline says all the mayhem was caused by a total of 10. I suspect too few of the Indians, government forces or civilian, were willing to put themselves at risk and fight back.

The Indian fellow gets very annoying at the end when he demands the US take on Pakistan and presumably give up on helping the Afg people establish their government.

I am glad red state america has Sarah Palin and the USMC.

bjkeefe 11-29-2008 07:26 PM

Re: Siege on Mumbai
 
First off: On behalf of just about everyone else in the BH.tv community, I want to apologize for the boorishness of DenvilleSteve's comments. Henry -- please tell Sumit that almost no one else who watches is anything like that. Ask him to think of the F student slumped in the back of his class -- this is just an outlier with nothing to contribute except a desire for attention.

To the diavlog:

Thanks very much to Sumit for sharing some of his knowledge and to Henry for being available at short notice to conduct such a good interview. Thanks also to Bloggingheads for pulling this together so quickly. This diavlog was a real help in getting a sense of the bigger picture compared to reading the newspapers.

I'm glad Sumit enjoyed his first appearance on BH.tv and I echo his wish that he and Henry get a chance to talk again soon. For all of the requests we viewers have made for different people and topics, I realize that we've had almost nothing related to India and the rest of that region. Let's rectify that.

Also, Sumit mentioned that he has friends who are Pakistani scholars. That suggests intriguing possibilities for other diavlogs, in addition to Sumit coming back to talk to Henry.

Thanks again, and again, please come back soon.

Eastwest 11-29-2008 07:28 PM

Re: Siege on Mumbai
 
Fine DV.

Henry Farrell is one of my favorite DV participants, very skillful and sublimely mannerly in extracting the most substance from every opportunity. If I had my way, he'd be a regular, even a once/week regular.

Without passing on Sumit's views, some of which seemed a bit impractical, I found he was just the right person to fill in the blanks on the often confusing ongoing Pakistan-India rift.

Thanks to both.

EW

bjkeefe 11-29-2008 07:33 PM

Re: Siege on Mumbai
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eastwest (Post 98268)
Henry Farrell is one of my favorite DV participants, very skillful and sublimely mannerly in extracting the most substance from every opportunity. If I had my way, he'd be a regular, even a once/week regular.

Second that.

EW, do you read Crooked Timber? It's not a complete replacement for Henry on camera, but it's something, at least. And many of his co-bloggers are pretty damned good, too.

Ocean 11-29-2008 07:42 PM

Re: Siege on Mumbai
 
With all the good comments I can't wait until I have the chance to listen to this a little later! And then I'll tell you what I think...

DenvilleSteve 11-29-2008 10:01 PM

Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
from a Drudge link:

"... But what angered Mr D'Souza almost as much were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. "There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything," he said. "At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, 'Shoot them, they're sitting ducks!' but they just didn't shoot back." ..."

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/ne...le14086308.ece

if Indian police and military are not willing to stand and fight, will India have to resort to nuclear weapons to prevent, say the Kasmir, from being overrun?

Interesting society is India. How has it defended itself in the past? Is it wrong to jump to the conclusion its people are lacking in martial abilities?

-Steve

timba 11-29-2008 10:14 PM

thank you
 
amazing

BeachFrontView 11-29-2008 11:12 PM

Re: Siege on Mumbai
 
pics from India


http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/200...er_attack.html


Obama said in the campaign he would be willing to strike inside the Pakistani borders if they had active intelligence, something the Bush adm. wouldn't do. If they were to strike inside of Pakistan, would they have killed these guys prior to this happening?

banco 11-29-2008 11:18 PM

Re: Siege on Mumbai
 
Great to have an actual expert on India discussing the attacks at length rather then douchebags they have on CNN who are instant experts on India.

Baltimoron 11-30-2008 01:39 AM

Re: Siege on Mumbai
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by banco (Post 98280)
Great to have an actual expert on India discussing the attacks at length rather then douchebags they have on CNN who are instant experts on India.

It's ironic, that FP Passport and Juan Cole would extoll India-based bloggers for their coverage. Yet, all I can get from these blogs is CNN and the same western media links Google throws up. It seems the India-bloggers were very good at consoling each other. The Economist recommended The South Asia Terrorism Portal and the Times of India, both stalwart sources for its own reports in the past. SATP is a bit confusing to read, but one thing that struck me before was, that there doesn't seem to be a day in India without terrorism, or at least really bad months. I hate to sound too cynical, or even bigoted, but just like the 2004 tsunami, is the only reason this is reported, that it involves large numbers of western tourists?

This ToI report is interesting, too.

Quote:

Did some Mumbai locals provide support to the Pakistani terrorists? Azam Amir Kasab, the only Pakistani terrorist nabbed alive, has revealed names and addresses of at least five people from the city who helped the terror operation.

Sources said that help like, providing shelter, taking them around and showing places, passing information on police stations and nakabandhis were given by these locals. Joint commissioner of police (crime) Rakesh Maria said,"We suspect there could be local assistants but it is subject to verification. It will be very premature to comment on this at this stage as our investigations is going on.''

Kasab has told police that they were sent with a specific mission of targeting Israelis to avenge atrocities on Palestinians. This was why they targetted Nariman House, a complex meant for Israelis. Sources said Kasab's colleagues killed in the operation had stayed in Nariman House earlier.
Police also found credit cards on the assailants' bodies.

Farrell and Ganguly failed to mention complicating factors, like Iran's, or PRC's reaction.

Finally, inside India is bad enough, but beyond India, there's a war in Sri Lanka, a low-intensity Muslim insurgency in southern Thailand and tumult in Bangkok, that Thais have blamed on Cambodians, and the Bali bombers were executed a few weeks ago. There are plenty of places to point fingers. Some Indians are even arguing it's not even a Muslim operation, but a Hindu attack.

I hope it's just a pack of homegrown Deccan Mujahideen thugs. All the plausible alternatives are quite nasty.

Finally, I'm glad to see an academic I've read for a class on a bhTV diavlog. Ganguly wrote an article on South Asian nuclear proliferation I read for an Asian IR class. Bring him back for his specialty.

Eastwest 11-30-2008 03:19 AM

Re: Siege on Mumbai
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 98270)
Second that.

EW, do you read Crooked Timber?

Never looked at it (till now).

I've got a thing for Henry's sensibility, voice, and pleasant presentation manner, not entirely duplicable in blog-mode. But it's a decent way to deal with HF withdrawal syndrome till his next DV rolls around.

Thanks for that tip.
EW

Baltimoron 11-30-2008 04:57 AM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve (Post 98276)
Is it wrong to jump to the conclusion its people are lacking in martial abilities?

Obviously, you've never heard of the Sikhs!

sp3akthetruth 11-30-2008 06:03 AM

Re: Siege on Mumbai
 
thanks, brendan. i added it to my feed.

Baltimoron 11-30-2008 07:58 AM

Ganguly on PBS
 
Dr. Sumit Ganguly seems to have held back with Farrell. Maybe we should reprise Ganguly and RAND Corporation's Christine Fair!

http://www.radicalcontrapositions.co...its-perimeter/

DenvilleSteve 11-30-2008 09:17 AM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baltimoron (Post 98286)
Obviously, you've never heard of the Sikhs!

I heard Ron Kuby on the radio commenting once about the irony of an incident where Sikhs in NYC were accused of being Muslim terrorists because of their appearance.

I am aware enough of history to know that the Hindus have successfully repulsed and reversed Muslim invasion and expansionism. I am sure there is much to be learned from how the sub continent resisted Islam. But the police cowering while gunmen openly kill civilians is obviously not one of the lessons.

-Steve

Kandigol 11-30-2008 09:24 AM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve (Post 98276)
from a Drudge link:

Interesting society is India. How has it defended itself in the past? Is it wrong to jump to the conclusion its people are lacking in martial abilities?

-Steve

Is a Drudge Report really the most reliable source of information? You could do better watching the BBC website, or watch BBC World if it is broadcast on your local cable. Unless you live in the UK itself, then you cant watch BBC World, but in that case your questions are very very callous anyway.

Of course the Indians can defend themselves. They can be as martial as the next person, they can out-martial the American army, should they want to. All these military people get the same training and use the same weapons. It's like medicine, ironically, a truly global industry where everyone shares information.

But you would not want the Indian army to go on a rampage in a situation in which an unknown number of hostages is held at gunpoint, in a logistic nightmare that a hotel poses for a full attack. One could argue the opposite, namely that the Indians, in the end, used too much force and not enough cunning.

TwinSwords 11-30-2008 12:15 PM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve (Post 98276)
"... masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. "

Sounds like perfectly normal human behavior, as anyone familiar with military training is well aware. (Note, these were police, not soldiers, and therefore were never given the kind of intensive training necessary for them to overcome their natural human tendencies.)

Reference:

Quote:

Despite our entertainment industry telling us otherwise, it is not easy to kill. In his groundbreaking and highly influential study of World War II firing rates, S.L.A. Marshall, a World War I combatant and chief historian for the European Theater of Operations during World War II, interviewed soldiers fresh from battle and found that only 15 to 20 percent of the combat infantry were willing to fire their weapons, and that was true even when their life or the lives of their comrades were threatened. When Medical Corp psychiatrists studied combat fatigue cases in the European Theater, they found that “fear of killing, rather than fear of being killed, was the most common cause of battle failure in the individual,” Marshall reported. Marshall’s methodology is now in question, but his findings have been replicated in studies of Civil War and World War I battles, even in re-creations of Napoleonic wars. And the effect of his findings on the military has been profound.
In part due to Marshall's study, training methods have changed:

Quote:

By the Korean War, the firing rate had gone up to 55 percent; in the Vietnam war, it was around 90 to 95 percent. How did the military achieve this? As Grossman writes, “Since World War II, a new era has quietly dawned in modern warfare: an era of psychological warfare—psychological warfare conducted not upon the enemy, but upon one’s own troops. . . . The triad of methods used to achieve this remarkable increase in killing are desensitization, conditioning, and denial defense mechanisms.”

Training techniques became more realistic and varied. Soldiers no longer stood and fired at a nonmoving target. They were fully suited up, down in foxholes, and shooting at moving targets, targets that resembled other humans. Simultaneously, the “enemy,” whether North Korean, North Vietnamese, Russian, or Arab, was purposefully dehumanized. Killing people was described graphically, and with relish. As Dyer notes, most recruits realize the bloodthirsty talk of drill sergeants is hyperbole, but it still serves to desensitize them to the suffering of an “enemy.”
Obviously the Indian police have not been subject to the kinds of desensitization training necessary to transform them into killers.

(Source)

TwinSwords 11-30-2008 12:21 PM

Re: Siege on Mumbai
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 98267)
First off: On behalf of just about everyone else in the BH.tv community, I want to apologize for the boorishness of DenvilleSteve's comments. Henry -- please tell Sumit that almost no one else who watches is anything like that. Ask him to think of the F student slumped in the back of his class -- this is just an outlier with nothing to contribute except a desire for attention.

To the diavlog:

Thanks very much to Sumit for sharing some of his knowledge and to Henry for being available at short notice to conduct such a good interview. Thanks also to Bloggingheads for pulling this together so quickly. This diavlog was a real help in getting a sense of the bigger picture compared to reading the newspapers.

I'm glad Sumit enjoyed his first appearance on BH.tv and I echo his wish that he and Henry get a chance to talk again soon. For all of the requests we viewers have made for different people and topics, I realize that we've had almost nothing related to India and the rest of that region. Let's rectify that.

Also, Sumit mentioned that he has friends who are Pakistani scholars. That suggests intriguing possibilities for other diavlogs, in addition to Sumit coming back to talk to Henry.

Thanks again, and again, please come back soon.

I second your whole post, especially the thought that it would be great to have Sumit come back regularly in the future, with Henry or other scholars, to discuss issues related to India -- or anything else.

I actually have a number of colleagues in Mumbai — it's one of the two large Asian cities to which my company has outsourced hundreds of tech jobs in recent years.

TwinSwords 11-30-2008 12:22 PM

Re: Siege on Mumbai
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eastwest (Post 98268)
Henry Farrell is one of my favorite DV participants, very skillful and sublimely mannerly in extracting the most substance from every opportunity. If I had my way, he'd be a regular, even a once/week regular.

Definitely. He's one of the best.

TwinSwords 11-30-2008 12:24 PM

Re: Siege on Mumbai
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sp3akthetruth (Post 98288)
thanks, brendan. i added it to my feed.

You'll have to let us know how they like it.

http://msnbcmedia1.msn.com/j/msnbc/C...vmed_4p.v2.jpg

;-)

DenvilleSteve 11-30-2008 12:46 PM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kandigol (Post 98291)
Is a Drudge Report really the most reliable source of information? You could do better watching the BBC website, or watch BBC World if it is broadcast on your local cable. Unless you live in the UK itself, then you cant watch BBC World, but in that case your questions are very very callous anyway.

Of course the Indians can defend themselves. They can be as martial as the next person, they can out-martial the American army, should they want to. All these military people get the same training and use the same weapons. It's like medicine, ironically, a truly global industry where everyone shares information.

thinking about it, the American military looked pretty inept when the LBJ whiz kids were directing the Vietnam war from far away Washington, when Jimmy Carter mishandled the Iran hostage crisis and underfunded the military, when Bill Clinton did not allow heavy weapons to be available to American forces in Somalia. You cant fight a war with academics and other american democrat party types with their vicim mentality. ( credit Obama for not letting democrats like uncle barney frank near the pentagon )

India just needs to find the Dick Cheneys and Rudy Giulianis in their government and let them handle security matters.

Ray 11-30-2008 02:05 PM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve (Post 98296)

India just needs to find the Dick Cheneys and Rudy Giulianis in their government and let them handle security matters.

Fact!

Giuliani is a brilliant general! A genius of counter-insurgency! Witness 9/11: those terrorists who dared attack Giuliani's Towers were dead instants after they fucked with R.G.

Cheney is similarly well-known for his strategic genius, though there is a good argument that his skill as a leader comes second to his abilities as a soldier. His much-celebrated marksmanship is evidence: his accomplishments in shooting have always exceeded his accomplishments in military planning.

Francoamerican 11-30-2008 02:07 PM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 98292)
Sounds like perfectly normal human behavior, as anyone familiar with military training is well aware. (Note, these were police, not soldiers, and therefore were never given the kind of intensive training necessary for them to overcome their natural human tendencies.)

Obviously the Indian police have not been subject to the kinds of desensitization training necessary to transform them into killers.

Exactly. I just made a similar point in yesterday's Science Saturday forum. I wonder how courageously American soldiers or policeman would act if a similar situation occurred on their own soil. It is very easy to strike a heroic pose, especially sitting in front of your TV or computer screen.

I was unaware of the study you cited. Thanks.

Ray 11-30-2008 02:12 PM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 98292)
Obviously the Indian police have not been subject to the kinds of desensitization training necessary to transform them into killers.

I know Marshall's work has suddenly become hip, but, even as a member of Team Far Left, I don't buy it for a minute. All of the wars investigated included massive numbers of under- or untrained soldiers and massive numbers of drafted or even conscripted troops.

What were sword-swinging rates like during the ascension of the Assyrian empire?

What were machete-swinging rates during the genocide in Rwanda?

No; I don't at all buy the notion that humans need the military to teach them how to kill.

We might need military training now, after we've become accustomed to the good vibrations of modern life, but I have to say that I don't think the U.S. military could have greatly improved arrow-loosing rates at Agincourt.

Eastwest 11-30-2008 02:14 PM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve (Post 98290)
I am aware enough of history to know that the Hindus have successfully repulsed and reversed Muslim invasion and expansionism. I am sure there is much to be learned from how the sub continent resisted Islam. But the police cowering while gunmen openly kill civilians is obviously not one of the lessons.

-Steve

This only goes to show that you are entirely ignorant of the history of India wherein the Islamic invaders swept across the whole continent putting men, women and children to the sword.

In the case of one particular general, he made a practice of stopping and having a celebration "for the glory of Allah" every time yeah many tens of thousands of innocent victims had fallen to his armies. Islamic invaders didn't seem to have that much trouble progressing all the way across India, west-to-east, doing this all the way across to Bihar (in far eastern India), where Buddhist monasteries and libraries were burned to the ground and the "shavelings" (buddhist monks) where slaughtered on the spot.

Suggest you review the appropriate chapters of "The Oxford History of India."

Your ignorance on this matter is amazing. One suspects you're just making things up based on opinion rather than anything remotely resembling knowledge.

EW

DenvilleSteve 11-30-2008 03:13 PM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eastwest (Post 98301)
This only goes to show that you are entirely ignorant of the history of India wherein the Islamic invaders swept across the whole continent putting men, women and children to the sword.

I know they conquered the place. How were they driven out? Was it the food they did not like?

Ray 11-30-2008 05:18 PM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eastwest (Post 98301)
One suspects you're just making things up based on opinion rather than anything remotely resembling knowledge.


Dude, one suspects he's trawling for the lulz.

And getting them!

Eastwest 11-30-2008 09:16 PM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve (Post 98302)
I know they conquered the place. How were they driven out? Was it the food they did not like?

A quote from the Wikipedia "History of India" page:

"Islam arrived on the subcontinent in 712 CE, when the Arab general Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh and Multan in southern Punjab,[3] setting the stage for several successive Islamic invasions between the 10th and 15th centuries CE from Central Asia, leading to the formation of Muslim empires in the Indian subcontinent, including the Ghaznavid, the Ghorid, the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire. Mughal rule came to cover most of the northern parts of the subcontinent. Mughal rulers introduced middle-eastern art and architecture to India.

In addition to the Mughals, several independent Hindu kingdoms, such as the Maratha Empire, the Vijayanagara Empire and various Rajput kingdoms, flourished contemporaneously, in Western and Southern India respectively.

The Mughal Empire suffered a gradual decline in the early eighteenth century, which provided opportunities for the Afghans, Balochis and Sikhs to exercise control over large areas in the northwest of the subcontinent until the British East India Company[4] gained ascendancy over South Asia."

Now, this is a huge oversimplification, but to sum up: It only took India 1000 years to repel the Islamic invasion.

EW

DenvilleSteve 11-30-2008 10:21 PM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eastwest (Post 98305)
A quote from the Wikipedia "History of India" page:

Now, this is a huge oversimplification, but to sum up: It only took India 1000 years to repel the Islamic invasion.

EW

ok, so lets get out of the forest and consider what this history predicts in terms of how India will respond to these latest Islamist attacks. My guess is that India has never had to fight its invaders. It just absorbs them into its huge population. I dont think this works very well in the mass communication age where a peoples pride can be wounded by the exposure of a national failing ( in this case, the unwillingness to risk your life in battle so that others can live ). India may overreact to these attacks. What with India and Pakistan having nukes, that overreaction could have terrible consequences.

Eastwest 12-01-2008 03:42 AM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve (Post 98310)
My guess is that India has never had to fight its invaders.

So long as you're just guessing, you shouldn't be running your mouth off. You're completely wrong again.

End of discussion.

EW

ohcomeon 12-01-2008 10:01 AM

Re: why so long to kill the attackers?
 
The reports from American survivors of the attacks are coming in. It seems the staff remained calm and many gave their lives protecting their guests. They hid people, brought them food and water and organized escapes whenever possible. But don't worry, if something like this happens here I am sure Governor Palin will magically appear in a suit and heels carrying her moose rifle and hurl herself at the attackers. Thus proving that the Red State Americans are braver than any one else in the world and leaving Todd to raise the five children alone..

Francoamerican 12-01-2008 11:31 AM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray (Post 98300)
I know Marshall's work has suddenly become hip, but, even as a member of Team Far Left, I don't buy it for a minute. All of the wars investigated included massive numbers of under- or untrained soldiers and massive numbers of drafted or even conscripted troops.

What were sword-swinging rates like during the ascension of the Assyrian empire?

What were machete-swinging rates during the genocide in Rwanda?

No; I don't at all buy the notion that humans need the military to teach them how to kill.

We might need military training now, after we've become accustomed to the good vibrations of modern life, but I have to say that I don't think the U.S. military could have greatly improved arrow-loosing rates at Agincourt.

Question-begging examples. War has always been part of civilization, that's true enough. It is also a well-known feature of primitive societies. Fighting in self-defense is instinctive behavior, but killing en masse is not. The question is whether human beings are bellicose by nature, or whether they need to be herded into gangs and nations and armies in order to kill without scruple another gang, nation or army designated as the "enemy." The only difference between trained and untrained soldiers is degree of proficiency in killing.

JoeK 12-01-2008 12:55 PM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Francoamerican (Post 98320)
The question is whether human beings are bellicose by nature, or whether they need to be herded into gangs and nations and armies in order to kill without scruple another gang, nation or army designated as the "enemy."

But you claim more than that. You claim that even when "herded into gangs, nations and armies" men are still very reluctant to kill their enemies, but need to go through special drill to acquire some sort of killing reflex.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Francoamerican (Post 98320)
The only difference between trained and untrained soldiers is degree of proficiency in killing.

What about the willingness to put oneself in the line of fire? Just because you don't value courage on a battlefield, it doesn't mean it is not a real thing. Same for cowardice, whether displayed by individual soldiers, armies, or perhaps whole nations in any given historical moment.

rgajria 12-01-2008 07:42 PM

Re: Siege on Mumbai
 
This was an excellent diavlog. Henry asked all the right questions. Sumit Ganguly has written some articles for Foreign Affairs.
Lots of anger right now in India.
2 links for news directly from India -
http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/video_streaming.php

http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv...live.aspx?id=0

In case anyone wishes to get a flavour of things there.

metacodger 12-01-2008 11:04 PM

Re: Siege on Mumbai
 
I know a little south asian history, but I'm defintely not an expert on India, though for some reason feel great affection for its peaceful culture and status as the worlds largest democracy, warts and all. My heart and support goes out to the victims. I have friends in and from Mumbai and worked there for a few weeks, though I stayed at the JW Marriott in Juhu beach, a decent distance from the Taj, Oberei, and VT train station.

Thanks very much to Mr. Ganguly for his informative response and insight, and to Mr. Farrell for asking all the right questions in the right way. Friends from the region - educated, thoughful, sensible people - are seething with anger and trying to keep their emotions in check, so I especially appreciate Sumit's caveats about playing into the hands of the evil fanatics.

Regarding DenvilleSteve - at first I thought he was just a troll, but seems geniunely to be as poorly informed as he appears.

Ray 12-01-2008 11:21 PM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Francoamerican (Post 98320)
Fighting in self-defense is instinctive behavior, but killing en masse is not.

Says you!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Francoamerican (Post 98320)
The question is whether human beings are bellicose by nature, or whether they need to be herded into gangs and nations and armies in order to kill without scruple another gang, nation or army designated as the "enemy."

No; it isn't. The question might be whether the 'herders' in this scenario are human or not.

I think they are!

But I'll tell you what: you go ahead and test this one out. Order people to go kill other people, and, the ones who go through with it, you get to call them inhuman.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Francoamerican (Post 98320)
The only difference between trained and untrained soldiers is degree of proficiency in killing.

I have no idea what the fuck this is supposed to mean, but, even so, I know it isn't true.

TwinSwords 12-02-2008 12:03 AM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray (Post 98300)
I know Marshall's work has suddenly become hip

Has it? I was unaware. I read it 25 years ago and have hardly heard anyone mention it since. I don't think I've spoken about it, or heard anyone else speak about it, in at least a decade. Rather than calling it "hip," I would call it "groundbreaking," "important," and "highly influential." Even if you disagree with Marshall's conclusions, you can't dispute that it has had enormous impact on how soldiers and marines are trained — in the US and around the world.

Perhaps, if the work of Marshall is too renowned and credible for your tastes, you could look into a book by LTC Dave Grossman: On Killing, The Psychology of Killing in War. One of Grossman's primary observations is that humans need to be conditioned to kill (that's the "proper training" we're talking about) because virtually all animals, including humans, have a natural aversion to intra-species killing. For example, a lion will not hesitate to kill a gazelle. But if a lion finds itself in conflict with another lion, it will try to avoid lethal violence by going through stages of posturing and submission. If the conflict does become violent, it usually ends without a lethal-blow. The same applies to humans.

When Marshall found that only 15% of soldiers would fire their rifles*, the US Army set about to increase firing rates by instituting intensive behavioral conditioning. This training includes a wide variety of techniques, but a typical example** can be found at the firing range. Prior to Marshall's work, soldiers/marines trained by firing at paper "bullseye" targets. Today the targets are shaped like men, and dynamically pop up for greater realism. The trainee is expected to fire at the target within a few seconds of its appearance. The intent is to bypass conscious thought and make killing a reflex. The results of the behavioral conditioning are well known: by the Korean war, firing rates were over 50%. By Vietnam, they were over 90%.


* Among the 15% who did fire, some would only fire over the heads of the enemy — a form of "posturing" designed to deter but not kill the enemy.

**Please note: This is but one of scores of examples of the kind of training implemented following Marhsall's work.

Francoamerican 12-02-2008 04:31 AM

Re: Is India capable of defending itself ??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray (Post 98350)
But I'll tell you what: you go ahead and test this one out. Order people to go kill other people, and, the ones who go through with it, you get to call them inhuman.



I have no idea what the fuck this is supposed to mean, but, even so, I know it isn't true.


You appear to know many things, or at least you express them forcefully.

There is no biological evidence that human beings have a desire to kill other members of their species, just for the hell of it. Like all other animals they fight and kill in self-defense. This is instinctual behavior.

War is a human institution. Does that mean it is inhuman? Obviously not, and I didn't say so. Courage, the fighting spirit or whatever you want to call the capacity to overcome the fear of death, has to be inculcated in soldiers and that means, yes, de-sensitizing them to killing. Courage certainly doesn't come naturally to most people. If it did military training would be unnecessary.

My last point was so banal that I don't understand your incomprehension. It is a well-known fact that conscript soldiers in WW I and II weren't very good soldiers, i.e. less proficient in killing. The Brits, in particular, had an especially low opinion of Americans in WW II.


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