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POW Conditions

Discuss the April Book of the Month Shot Down by Steve Snyder.

Re: POW Conditions

Post Number:#16 by HalcyonFlower
» 26 Apr 2016, 21:12

Definitely a huge case with many complex factors. I find that people find it easier to monsterize people therefore being able to accept some inhumane things that happen to PoW. Nowadays, many countries allow the choice of joining the war but in those where conscription exists and an era when it did, enlistees might have felt the need to take out their stress on those who 'deserve' it.

There are a lot of great points made, especially by PashaRu. Feeling to be part of something or a collective can definitely make one do terrible things as well.
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Re: POW Conditions

Post Number:#17 by bookowlie
» 26 Apr 2016, 22:25

When soldiers are in combat, I think something happens to their psyche and the norms of civilized, humane behavior get thrown out the window. Then they come home and have PTSD....the nightmares, the tough adjustment back to the norms of civilized behavior.
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Re: POW Conditions

Post Number:#18 by Paliden
» 26 Apr 2016, 22:59

PashaRu wrote:Nationalism, patriotism, and pride of country - "My country is the best one" - are often the enemies of compassion and understanding. It's a very narrow-minded point of view, and when the propaganda machines churn out hate, prejudice, and lies, especially during wartime, this makes those on opposite sides look at one another one-dimensionally - simply as "the enemy" - and then it becomes easy to treat such ones as less than human. In the years leading up to WWII, Hitler methodically carried out propaganda campaigns to sub-humanize the Jews, and by the time the Final Solution was instituted, there were many who had already been so thoroughly brainwashed, participating in the genocide didn't present much of an ethical or moral dilemma for them.

Those who abuse prisoners in a POW camp are conditioned to look at those prisoners as inferior beings. Once that has been accomplished, the rest is easy.



I agree completely!
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Re: POW Conditions

Post Number:#19 by babika1962
» 02 May 2016, 07:35

Abuse and power come in many forms and there is nothing more powerful (or more dangerous, quite frankly), than having power over another human being that happens to be under your control/command. Much of Hitler's atrocities to his prisoners have been well documented and, since then, there have been the atrocities against prisoners in places like Rwanda and Serbia where torture, mental abuse, starvation and mass genocide were commonplace. When you're in a wartime situation, things like the Geneva Convention and basic decency to mankind unfortunately go out the window.

More interestingly though, let's say you're nothing more than a young soldier, an idealistic young man or woman on your first tour of Iraq, and your troop captures some insurgents or political hostiles that your superiors believe hold vital information and you're told to interrogate the prisoners using whatever tactic you need to use in order to extract that information from them. Let's say that you witness so-called tactics of torture inflicted by your fellow soldiers. What do you do? Do you participate? Do you report your fellow soldiers to your superiors for torturing a prisoner, a potential enemy whose intel could quite conceivably lead to an attack on your country? It's a very, very slippery slope.
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Re: POW Conditions

Post Number:#20 by gali
» 02 May 2016, 07:52

PashaRu wrote:Nationalism, patriotism, and pride of country - "My country is the best one" - are often the enemies of compassion and understanding. It's a very narrow-minded point of view, and when the propaganda machines churn out hate, prejudice, and lies, especially during wartime, this makes those on opposite sides look at one another one-dimensionally - simply as "the enemy" - and then it becomes easy to treat such ones as less than human. In the years leading up to WWII, Hitler methodically carried out propaganda campaigns to sub-humanize the Jews, and by the time the Final Solution was instituted, there were many who had already been so thoroughly brainwashed, participating in the genocide didn't present much of an ethical or moral dilemma for them.

Those who abuse prisoners in a POW camp are conditioned to look at those prisoners as inferior beings. Once that has been accomplished, the rest is easy.


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Re: POW Conditions

Post Number:#21 by Rhoe_Marrow
» 02 May 2016, 10:37

Taylor Razzani wrote:Unfortunately, I think hate makes people do such terrible things, and it is usually grossly misguided hate. This hate also changes people's views and makes them think lesser of their enemies, making it okay in their eyes to do such horrible things. It's mind boggling that humans can treat others humans this way just because of different views.

Agreed. A seed of hate can lead some to commit unspeakable acts.
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Re: POW Conditions

Post Number:#22 by CrescentMoon
» 02 May 2016, 13:40

I agree with everything that has been said above. I also think it's interesting to add that there is a huge psychological element as well. For example, in the Stanford prison experiment, there was an experiment conducted using college students where the students were divided into groups and half played the role of prison guards and the other half were prisoners. The students ended up getting carried away with their roles and the prison guards were actually exhibiting sadistic tendencies while the prisoners were very submissive. Even though this was all supposed to be role play the students got carried away with their roles. I think a huge reason why the actual prisoners of war were treated so horribly is because the captors did something similar where they got carried away with their role in the situation as well.
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Re: POW Conditions

Post Number:#23 by Rachaelamb1
» 02 May 2016, 22:15

rssllue wrote:In addition to that, I have to say that when we think about everything that is encapsulated in the"all" part of that quote, it is an extremely scary thought and one that I believe very few of us would truly agree with. We mostly like the idea of "fair play" instead of a "free-for-all" attitude. I truly think that sayings like these are easily glossed over too much because we are so used to hearing them and that they really don't hold water when they are actually scrutinized.

Very true!
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Re: POW Conditions

Post Number:#24 by Brittster
» 07 May 2016, 16:44

I noticed many people mentioned that hate is a motivation for these types of vicious acts. I would certainly agree with this and also add that fear of the unknown or of differences helps to generate that hate. Just because other cultures are different from someone does not make them wrong. But when we don't understand them and view ourselves as superior, it makes it easier for people to fall into those deluded mindsets that would breed such actions and even having a war in the first place.
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Re: POW Conditions

Post Number:#25 by CataclysmicKnight
» 08 May 2016, 09:47

Taylor Razzani wrote:Unfortunately, I think hate makes people do such terrible things, and it is usually grossly misguided hate. This hate also changes people's views and makes them think lesser of their enemies, making it okay in their eyes to do such horrible things. It's mind boggling that humans can treat others humans this way just because of different views.


This nails it on the head for me. Somehow, and don't ask me how because there's no way I could do it when people become POWs or even these days highly suspected of terrorism or plans to do things, they seem to be thought of as sub-human. Unfortunately, there are plenty of folks who have no problem treating animals or these "sub-human" people wrongly....

It's really sad that people have to go through that. There are things far worse than death, and standing up for your beliefs - even as a soldier - doesn't give people the right to torture them.
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Re: POW Conditions

Post Number:#26 by SharisseEM
» 12 May 2016, 09:21

In times of war, people will treat their enemies the way they think they deserve to be treated. They believe they are justified in their treatment. No longer do they think that their enemies are human just like them. Hatred makes them think they deserve to be abused and treated as horribly as possible. The situations could very well have been reversed and the mindset would be the same.
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Re: POW Conditions

Post Number:#27 by Insomniac07
» 26 May 2016, 09:06

PashaRu wrote:Nationalism, patriotism, and pride of country - "My country is the best one" - are often the enemies of compassion and understanding. It's a very narrow-minded point of view, and when the propaganda machines churn out hate, prejudice, and lies, especially during wartime, this makes those on opposite sides look at one another one-dimensionally - simply as "the enemy" - and then it becomes easy to treat such ones as less than human. In the years leading up to WWII, Hitler methodically carried out propaganda campaigns to sub-humanize the Jews, and by the time the Final Solution was instituted, there were many who had already been so thoroughly brainwashed, participating in the genocide didn't present much of an ethical or moral dilemma for them.

Those who abuse prisoners in a POW camp are conditioned to look at those prisoners as inferior beings. Once that has been accomplished, the rest is easy.


I agree. Usually soldiers, heck, people are conditioned to think that their nation or religion or culture is the right one. Anyone who disagrees is in the wrong. There isn't space for difference of opinion. They then are filled with the need to dominate and defeat the other side to prove their own righteousness.
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Re: POW Conditions

Post Number:#28 by LarkSpur25
» 26 May 2016, 17:52

War costs money and much of the money went to arms or food for an army. Which unfortunatley means not much thought was put into caring for POWS. I also think that retribution for the death of fellow soldiers, difference in language, religion etc caused many of the huge issues that happened in a POW camp.
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Re: POW Conditions

Post Number:#29 by literarycat
» 06 Jun 2016, 11:00

Taylor Razzani wrote:Unfortunately, I think hate makes people do such terrible things, and it is usually grossly misguided hate. This hate also changes people's views and makes them think lesser of their enemies, making it okay in their eyes to do such horrible things. It's mind boggling that humans can treat others humans this way just because of different views.



It seems like you took the words out of my mouth. Hate is a thing that makes generally nice good hearted people do terrible things and not look beyond that hate.
The world breaks everyone, and afterwards, some are strong at the broken points ~ Ernest Hemingway.
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Re: POW Conditions

Post Number:#30 by bookfix_blog
» 13 Jun 2016, 07:32

Revenge and spite.To show them a lesson to perform the cruelty that they believe the other side is performing to their own.
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