Were Nazi death camp guards any more "evil" than Gitmo guards? Both followed orders

The evidence against the detainees in various locations is apparently quite variable. You have people who admit that they are jihadist killers, and you have people who deny same and are held with crap for evidence.

It’s a shame on our country, true. But not even close to what the Nazis did. Get real.

Actually, they did imprision lots of criminals in camps like Dachau.

You obviously have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m not even totally opposed to what you’re saying but am forced to argue against you anyway.

Show trial? Do you know anything about US politics or jurisprudence?

If they were caught, they could be impeached or tried in a court martial or civil depending on the circumstances and their military status.

Some people already have been tried and punished. I think it all goes much higher, and I think Bush and his cronies are scum, but your rhetoric is nonsensical.

FTR I agree with this.

IMO it is actually pretty insulting to compare the millions killed in the Holocaust with the, at most taking a crazy worstcase extreme, the ~5000ish people who were ever really roughly interrogated.

I also agree with **John Maces ** point – if you say “what is the difference between using the exact same illegal techniques on civilians under the exact same conditions?” Well of course there isn’t any. But in the real world, the U.S. Interrogator today isn’t the same as a Nazi - for all the reasons well listed on this thread by **Mace, Aechines Xtisme ** and myself - I would add the Nazi’s actual interrogation (where again death was not unexpected unlike the U.S. Army) would more likely be against partisans and POWs rather than holocaust victims who they were more or less just interested in killing rather than pulling information from.

That’s not the point; this thread isn’t about whether or not America has killed as many people in Iraq as the Nazis did in WWII; obvious it hasn’t. It’s about if the US guards are as evil as the Nazis; a moral judgement. I say yes, and if they haven’t commited crimes on the same scale, it’s because they weren’t told to. Magically switch American guards and Nazi guards, and I expect you’d get the same behavior and even the same excuses; only the language and uniform changes.

I know that rich right wing Republicans in a government controlled by rich right wing Republicans can do anything and suffer neither punishment nor serious investigation. I can barely imagine what the reaction would have been in Clinton acted as bad as Bush. I’d also like to point out that Bush can simply pardon anyone, except maybe himself.

Low level scapegoats, that’s all.

Well, you’re right - American Guantanamo guards aren’t in league with the Nazis – yet. That we know of. What a thing to be proud of! Let’s put it on the US Seal!

I can remember a time when anyone asking a question such as this would be considered ready for the tinfoil hat brigade. Now it’s a question that must be considered. How the Bush Administration has changed things!

:stuck_out_tongue: !! I hate to break this to you there guru, but its STILL only seriously considered by the ‘tinfoil hat brigade’. The difference? Appearently you’ve signed on. Your official tinfoil hat with anti-Bush badge is in the mail…

Hatred of Bush really does tend to warp some folks…he’s like a corrosive chemical or something. This is your brain… :slight_smile: …this is your brain on Bush… :mad: (‘mad’ as in angry and ‘mad’ as in, um, ‘mad cow’)…any questions?

:stuck_out_tongue:

-XT

During the 1930’s some people also dismissed the idea that Hitler was a threat.

Those that forget history are doomed to repeat it.

This is all mixed up. Their evil consists merely of doing bad things they’re told to do? No way. The evil of GIs has comprised doing bad but rational things they’ve been told to do (waterboarding in interrogations), doing bad but irrational rational things that certainly no one wanted them to do (abusing prisoners for no reason and taking pics), and probably some bad but irrational things that someone told them to do.

I can understand but not forgive the bad but rational things they have done. In this regard, they are certainly not as evil as SS officers, nor do I believe that they would turn the gas on at Auschwitz if so ordered.

Then there are the sadistic fucks who would probably love to turn the gas on. Yeah, they’re evil, but they’re mostly ones who have been going apeshit without orders.

So, you’ve got to separate them all out.

And I think that’s bullshit. You will find sadistic losers in any army at any point in history; that’s just the human condition. But the US military simply isn’t out to commit genocide; implying that it’s as bad as the SS is both insulting to the US military and disrespectful of the truth of the Holocaust.

My guess is that you’re too young to remember Iran-Contra. Reagan and his administration were put through the ringer (for good reasons).

Yeah, Bush is a lying, conniving piece of shit. No argument from me. But let’s state what he does accurately; otherwise you actually end up setting up a straw man for the opposition.

Yep, some of them are, I agree.

And was he impeached ? Nope. Was the entire government under Republican control ? Nope.

Agreed.

Does anyone here really think that German males of that period were somehow born particularly evil?

Take the right gung-ho impressionable mind, give it the right cause, back it up with the voice of authority, put it among other minds who are taking the same downward spiral and you have the makings of an Americanized Nazi – capable of the same atrocities.

It is evil when one person is tortured or shot in the head. Large scale massacres may make it more noticeable and memorable, but evil is an individual responsibility.

Does anyone recall the recent thread that we had about the tests and experiments on following orders?

Yes, I have a question: what kind of psychelic crack are YOU smoking? See, the US didn’t USED to detain prisoners without trial and deny them access to legal counsel or fair trials. The US didn’t USED to torture prisoners. The US didn’t USED to have a government that openly supported torture.

All of these things are real and substantial differences between the US under civilized administrations, and the US under the Bush Adminsstration. All these differences move the US FAR from its previous position of being an acknowledged leader in terms of treatment of prisoners, to just another sleazy gang of thugs with police powers. A gang that must be compared with the Nazis not in terms of a difference in kind, but in degree.

And if you don’t recognize that, me boyo, YOU’RE the one who needs to be fitted for a tinfoil hat. My advice, stay off the “Bush is God” brand koolaid. Sure, it gives you the warm nummynums when bad people try to make you think objectively, but it’s got a way of turning your forebrain into so much gray sludge.

The result of what happened, for this exercise, aren’t important. Both guards “did what they were told” even though what they were told was wrong. Being told to do something wrong is pretty bad because either they condone it or someone higher up condones it. That person has the choice to either do it or not. The choice to do it is the problem whether it’s Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Nazi prison guards, etc.

One point that people are missing is that the worst thing the US has done in the “War on Terror” is arrest a lot of people without (and many with) cause and then hold them for years without trial. That has nothing to do, really, with the guards following evil orders.

The second worst thing has been the use of torture as condoned by the Bush regime and the military. That’s evil, that’s a shame, and it indeed involves military personnel following evil orders. But, again, it really hasn’t been that many people and the torture hasn’t been “that” bad. I can see military personnel waterboarding known and admitted al Qaeda leaders and not losing too much sleep over it.

Finally, there have been the killings and various abuses that have cropped up here and there–some of which are by genuine bad apples, some of which may have been in some way encouraged or condoned by higher-ups (but not engaged in as a matter of official policy or as part of a conscious, rational strategy). Those people are obviously sadistic fucks no better than your average bad Nazis.

Finally, not all Nazis working in concentration camps were equally involved in the worst shit, although all were in some degree culpable for carrying out the policy of the worst regime ever to exist on the planet. But we’re talking about people who had been indoctrinated for years before WWII even began and who did their worst deeds often with the excuse of seeing Germany as a victim in the war. Finally, the Nazis picked the worst, most sadistic people to do the dirty work. The psychology is not all that unintelligible once you look at the history.

It’s pretty much the same psychology at work in the US, the psychology that is at work in most situations when evil prevails: You can do it, you must do it, because you’re being attacked. And they’d do it to you if they had the chance. And they’re evil; you’ve seen what they’ve done.

But the US just hasn’t gotten as bad as Nazi germany, either on the collective or individual level.

That is correct, but one must differentiate between bad apples and official policy.

No, we just used to have other people do it for us-ever hear of the School of the Americas?

People have died. How is that “not that bad” ? Children were raped, chunks torn out of people by dogs, people have been crippled; how is that “not that bad” ? Nor do you have any evidence that we are torturing Al-Qaeda leaders, instead of random people we grabbed. Finally, why does their affilation with Al-Qaeda justify anything if we are as bad or worse than they are ?

With an administration that justifies torture, what makes you think they aren’t part of official policy ?

Uh…I may be misunderstanding that quote…but it looks like what he said is “we have taken their riches and iven that wwealth to the Reich, not kept it for ourselves. A few who offended against this order (i.ei., kept the stolen wealth for themselves instead of giving it to the Nazi government) will be dead men without mercy (for having kept the money from the Nazi government).”

That doesn’t appear to have any bearing at all on standards of treatment of the Jews. It appears to be a strictly division-of-loot-oriented order. In which case, I don’t see how it applies at all to the question under discussion – doesn’t the boss bad guy always kill underlings who don’t give him all the loot?

Am I not reading that right?

Sailboat

:stuck_out_tongue: You seriously think that the guards at Gitmo are comparable to Nazi death camp guards…and you actually have the balls to ask me what I’M smoking? Dude…you need a serious reality check.

As to your assertion that the US didn’t detain prisoners without trial, blah blah blah…what reality do YOU live in? Ever heard of the Civil War? Ever heard of a conflict called Vietnam? When was this magical time when the US was composed of saints and everything was all sweetness and light? Christ man, you can expand it beyond the US…I can’t think of any nation in a serious conflict that didn’t have things like this crop up…and much worse was the soup of the day from your Euro buddies for much of THEIR colorful history. Hell, there were alligations of torture, rape, etc during the Bosnian conflict…and that was about as non-serious as things get.

Horseshit. Name a major conflict that the US was in where there weren’t similar things happening. Folks were shot/hung and tortured during the fucking REVOLUTIONARY WAR for gods sake. WWII? Bzzzz…sorry, but thanks for playing. Korea? Nope. Vietnam? Its to laugh. Perhaps Granada or the Panama adventure…but then they weren’t exactly real conflicts.

Reguardless, if we tortured to death every single prisoner at Gitmo it STILL would be a laughable comparison to what the fucking Nazi did during WWII. You really are clueless as to just what those merry folks did, aren’t you? Well, I’m certainly not going to rain on your parade. Its so stupid a comparison that you MUST be drinking the koolaid to even bring it up.

For the life of me I can’t figure you guys out. Why can’t what is being done there stand on its own as far as it being wrong goes? Why do you constantly have to drag in the Nazi’s or Vietnam or whatever other dumb shit analogy is de jure? Its so…well, stupid.

Dude, you are seriously high if you think that I support Bush or am drinking that particular brand of koolaid. I can’t stand the guy, and I DO think we are wrong about Gitmo…and have said so repeatedly. I’m GLAD the courts ruled against what they are doing, and hope Bush gets spanked…hard. I just am not delusional enough to think that what the US is doing there or in Iraq is in any way comparable to what the Nazi’s did during WWII.

As for the tinfoil…if the hat fits, wear it, ehe? :wink:

I’ve got to be skating close to the edge here and don’t particularly want to get spanked by a wandering Mod, so I think I’ll bow out and let you guys get on with your kumbyahing…have a nice circle jerk and pat each other on the back for your brilliant US=Nazi Death Camp analogy. :stuck_out_tongue:

-XT

Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld hater here.
I do not see the Ops comparison between Nazi death camp guards and Gitmo guards as being fair. The Nazis are the standard for detailed, systematic extermination and violations of human rights. The Gitmo guards are thankfully not in their league. Maybe a comparison to Soviet Gulags would be more appropriate.
The Gitmo guards should not be compared to Nazis, for the simple reason that it reduces the outrage that should be felt about this violation of everything America should stand for. The Bush’s administration creation and maintenance of Gitmo has put a black hat on America and its service men and women. When this Bush administration finally ends, it is just barely possible the World Court will request extradition of these criminals. I doubt it highly.

Aeschines your posts on the subject of the Nazis were extremely well said and brought up points that I usually do not think about as I typically take the knee-jerk, Nazis are evil, no more needs to be said approach. Thank you.

Jim

That’s what he’s saying. In other parts of the recording he unambiguously says and admits that the Nazis are exterminating the Jews, so any Holocaust denier should have this shoved down their throat (of course, they know about it and make lame excuses, like any fundamentalist/dogmatist does).

At this point I don’t know what your point is.

MY point was that even the worst Nazis didn’t see themselves as engaging in a sadistic free-for-all (actually, some probably did; but many didn’t). Indeed, one of the most chilling lines in the Posen speech is that Himmler sees himself and his underlings (“we”) as still being “decent” after having done what they’ve done. He sees the Final Solution as a hard, regrettable task, and they are proceeding with rules such as the one cited above.

We don’t need to jump along and call these guards “Nazis”. If it’s so problematic, just find another circumstance where “following orders meant doing something very bad” and liken it there.

Yeesh, you read “Nazi” and the discussion goes all over the place. It’s not about placing names at all. It’s saying that doing bad things becaose someone told you to is wrong, no matter if it’s Nazis, the USA , the BoyScouts of America, or the Catholic Church.

You just did the same thing he did and assumed that the people in your example were guilty too.

Stop that.