On this page, our case study is about a former general, retired a few years ago, in a third-world country. In the context of this site, the case is a call for a rethinking of the notion of "expert of xxx," here, in the military case. Other case studies are to discuss examples from some other field(s). (You may also read the page the oddities of the "me too" people for some "expertise," or greed, relevant discussion.)
This whole case study is like a bunch of black humor pieces. The grave "jokes" include the declaring of a national list of black-listed companies, which listed a Pepsi Co. owned company as an Islamic one. There were no associated lists of crimes, either in the earning, or in the using of the money, any way. But that was a full general, speaking to the media, in his uniform, and pointing to some companies in anti-Islamic war-cries. Obviously, nobody in the full hierarchy had even cared to look at those "emergency presenting" companies, to see who own the companies, let alone, what they are doing with their companies. (Otherwise, how could one commit such an error?) In other words, while the nation was being "informed" of a situation, the very people who were telling the case were not taking it serious enough, to look at it
A trivializing concept such as a "personal crime" is obviously not applicable, when the outrageous behaviors had been so public (published in newpapers, and other media), and so insistent, yet he was not kicked out of the army, but retired normally. The "black humor" appears to be systematic.
Have you heard Somalia? It is in Africa. When the United Nations armed forces would intervene there, probably to have a general from a mostly-muslim nation as the commander, our case-person was sent there.
I do not have the full details, but the public information is that there have been quite a few rapes and tortures committed there, by the U.N. forces. Canada has dismissed some portion of its soldiers, for that reason. Italian soldiers had also documented incidents. Belgium acquitted their own case(s). And what-else?
The question is: How much of this responsibility is with the commander, in charge of the forces?
What sort of "military expertise" is that, which does not take into account such wrongdoings, and organize against that, before it happens? And how does that person get assigned to higher posts? Obviously, the issue appears to be an important one to take notice of, even before we may get the full details of transactions. Is the U.N. forces supposed to be a herd of barbarians, only punishable at return?
The black humor with this entry could be imagining the case-study, shrugging his shoulders, and saying "If I am the commander, am I supposed to take care of what the soldiers do, during the operation?"
It is a common pattern that the aggressors declare themselves the victims - sometimes dating back to reasons from centuries ago, and even aggressors then. Here, the basis of the slander was, inferrably, that a company owned by a religious muslim was supposed to be dangerous. But, when the names are being read, you expect more than self-fueling guesses and flames. A "black list" is a claim - yet, as it turns out, it cannot have been truthful.
And furthermore, then, it turned out, one of the companies belonged to Pepsi Co. (specifically, as later renamed, it is "Frito Lay's"). The local partner had left three years ago, and the alarm-sirening general was not even having that piece of information. If he had been looking, he would. This suggests, he was not taking serious, even himself, the declared "danger." He was only willing to declare targets, to justify his own extremism.
Another incident of his, or under his command, is assignments from military psychiatry clinics, the head-persons, to arbitrary places. I know the case for the city I have been living in, the largest-population city in that nation. The professor heading the largest clinic, I read in a newspaper, was assigned to a veterinary hospital, as I remember, as the controller of somethings, which was for checking kitchens, and such. He revoked the decision through the court, but was reassigned. He again revoked it through court, but on Dec.12,1996 had retired because felt the pressure being applied on him as too much. He was sueing the case-study of this page, along with the hospital-president, and some other commander. This was the news.
Meanwhile, at the other hospital, at the other side of the city, the only psychiatrist in the clinic, a colonel, was first coupled briefly, by a captain coming from the hospital just mentioned. And, shortly, the colonel assigned to the infirmary of an army branch, within term. i.e:It was certainly like punishment. He was also thinking of retiring - as the sergeant in his command told me. I was the lieutenant psychologist, doing my obligatory national military service at the hospital. The next week, while the colonel was still packing, and visiting his friends, I was also "assigned away." I may later tell where.
We are not talking here, of child-health, or dentist's clinic. This is psychiatry. That is where criminal cases get expert reports, and also keep in mind the case of siberia in the former USSR, where the intellectuals of the nation were jailed as "patients." A clinic-heading psychiatrist being sent to arbitrary places and positions, with such an insistence, is not just funny. Yet, this was only another bubble in the records of the case-studied general, and he was not kicked out of army for committing outrageous behaviors, but has retired normally.
This entry features not only the case-study person, but also his team-mates, on top of the military hierarchy, and he mentality.
The context is a war against terrorism. The government had founded a new branch of police, the special team, to track and combat the terrorists in the rural areas. It was quite successful, and the case of terrorism was getting dealt with.
At that point, some noise entered the scene. The military was not satisfied with the situation. They were objecting the police special-teams, patrolling the mountains. They claimed ownership in that domain. The central question was probably the one discussed in the newspapers: "Is the government trying to put military in second place, after the police, in internal security?"
Keep in mind that, the nation is one that has witnessed a few military coups against the state. Such coups resulted in some new constitutions, and the prize of state-presidency for the coup-leader, and memberships in corporate boards, for the (most or all of the) rest of the coup-leaders. The excuse for such coups had been "internal security" although not much got explained why the military could not do it before the coup, when the politicians already had let the army special-alert rights (so called, "sıkıyonetim"), across the land. Now, the government was managing it the civilian way, and being successful, but the army was objecting to it! (You may like to consult the "me too" people discussion, relevant to the current one.)
In the first three years of it, after the army top-brass got what they asserted, the newspapers were full of dead-soldier reports. The terrorists were fighting in the guerilla-style, whereas the army rank-and-file as usual. Only after three years, the news was that, the army would also send its special teams, i.e., commandoes, to track the terrorists. This helped to improve the scores, but not to end the fighting - which got chronic, and lingered for many years.
As most of as have heard, bombs have a special property that, when they hit somewhere, they kill the person(s) at that position. The army used this fact to kill the terrorists, in their camps, with air-bombardments, too. This only helped to increase the national debt. (In 1997, the national debt, as I recall having observed, was indeed the same amount as the cost of the military spendings, in that self-asked fighting. With interest-paying, of course, it has gotten only worse. The country still has some major debt.)
The international human-rights-abuses courts may have been providing the clue, for why the sick-and-dying terrorism, under the management of police teams, got enlivened in the military years. In other words, bombs were still doing what they were supposed to be doing, but there appears to be some human resistance that still kept some people to go into the other side. We get supporting evidence, by comparing this version of humans-treatment with the memoirs of what the police-teams did, when on patrol, in those days, before being passivized by military insistence.
For example, the police-teams chief, in an interview/memoir, has tld that, although not being religious people themselves, when visiting some village, he attended to Islamic prayer, the salah/namaz, to keep the relations warm with the people. (Not an Islamically valuable reason for observing namaz, probably. It should be for Allah, not the people, but this is an example of a policy of being positive with the people of the region. By contrast, the people-treatment during the military-action years, has been documented by a lot of human-rights abuse cases that incriminated the state, in international courts (to which the state had accepted accountability).
The last scene was started when the terrorist-founder was arrested, in an African nation, with the help of USA pressure. The process of forcing him out of his place could have easily gone to nowhere, unless the people had boycotted the products of some European nation(s) which provided shelter for him, sometime in the process. When in Africa, USA got him, and that was the political campaign material for the local politicians. He has been put in a, reported-to-be-luxurious, jail in island, without any other prisoners, but accepting his visitors. If any relevant, I should also note that, he had been educated in the university and THE department which educates the so many state bureaucrats as city and town governors. (Does this sound like anything? O.K. You think about it. I am getting to the (further) black humor parts of the issue.)
A nation-wide scandal in 1997 was a general's video-recorded talk, in a public meeting, commenting on the prime minister visiting Saudi Arabia. It was (as best as I recall): "How does he go and visit that pimp? If I have fought for twelve years against the separatists, I have the right to ask this." Needless to say, the first part of this, the swearword (only used probably, to "strengthen" his expression, as is usual with such people), and the overall critcizing of a general located in a peripheral city, the prime minister of the nation, in such a fashion. (That general also kept his position, and later even raised a bit. Indeed the government was forced out, under military pressure.)
What shocked me was the implicit statement in it: A general, havings sent troops to death for twelve years , and still having not been succesful to end the terrorism (in fact, as stated, had increased it, after the police left), was still being able to claim that as a holier-than-thou justification for his words. We, the people, financed that with our taxes, our future debts, and our lives, yet still have not got the results. Are we, as the nation or its representatives, still "indebted" to such generals? Phew! What a job! Who becomes a concert violinist, and risk a bad performance? Become a soldier.
One of the higher-ranking generals, among the joint-staff with our case study feature, in a later interview after retirement, was telling on the TV, their reasons for going into the job, instead of the police. He claimed "When we soldiers go to the mountains, we take our kitchen with us. The police teams would have to get from the people. They would be outlaws." Le me list a few objections to that "reason":