[lit-ideas] Re: What happened at Abu Ghraib?

  • From: Ursula Stange <Ursula@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 13 May 2004 09:43:21 -0400

Interesting.  This lesson dates all the way back to the Spartans.   They 
wanted their boy soldiers to learn to live off the land and, in training 
for the stealth required for that, barely fed them, encouraged them to 
go out and steal and then punished them if they were caught.  Punished 
not for the stealing but for the getting caught.  


John Wager wrote:

>I DO remember our "lesson" in military ethics from Basic Training,
>though. It was taught as only an Infantry Drill Sergeant could have
>taught it, and it was a perfect lesson, the kind of lesson you use as a
>model of how to teach.
>One slightly slow trainee inquired of the Drill Instructor if he could
>go to the snack bar down the road. This had always been "off limits" to
>trainees, reserved ONLY for cadre, with the promise of being able to
>perhaps go to the snack bar at the very end of training. But much to
>everybody's surprise, the DI said "sure you can go to the snack bar!"
>We looked up in surprise, but that was all that was said. Later the
>trainee who had asked the question returned, eating the remnants of a
>hamburger and a milk shake. The DI saw him and started yelling, making
>the trainee throw the food in the trash and start doing push-ups. The DI
>told the trainee that the trainee was restricted to the company area for
>the next two week-ends, the first week-ends that we would have been able
>to go into town.
>"But you said I could go" the trainee complained.
>"I'm not punishing you for going to the snack bar; I'm punishing you for
>getting CAUGHT going to the snack bar!" was the DI's reply.
>THAT was my real training in military ethics.
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