Moral Outrage
Whew! God help us!

American Military Atrocities and War in General

I remember being a young Marine recruit. We unlearned civilization. How to clap a hand over a sentry’s mouth while inserting your Kbar in his kidney; agony, shock and instant blood loss prevent a struggle. We ran in formation shouting “Kill! Kill! Kill!” We learned flame throwers, how to burn the enemy alive. We learned to use white phosphorus, WP, Willy Peter or other names less printable, to cover enemies in burning goop that you can’t put out.

We learned to be what human beings shouldn’t be. We felt an exhilarating freedom, of not being subject to moral constraints. We learned to suppress conscience, morality, and empathy. This, more than the use of weapons, is the goal of military training.

It is not hard to direct the instinctual combativeness into hatred of any desired foe. Tribalism is innate in humanity. But the hostility cannot be precisely focused. Typically the soldier is young, not too bright, poorly educated, and not real sure what the war is about. You cannot train him to hate the enemy according to fine distinctions. They are all gooks, dinks, slopes, zipperheads, sand niggers, towel heads. That much used slogan of the Albigensian wars, “Kill them all, God will know his own,” becomes emotional bedrock to soldiers. And so he comes to hate them all.

And so the atrocities come. Always. Inevitably. In every war. The military’s response to a discovered atrocity is to lie about it if possible. If lying doesn’t work, spin, spin, spin. In the latest atrocity by US forces, in which a GI killed sixteen Afghan civilians for fun, or maybe from boredom, the Pentagon is saying that he had suffered a head injury.

But when you have trained men to behave in a certain way, don’t be surprised when they do.

[Excerpts of article by Fred Reed, who worked on staff for Army Times, The Washingtonian, Soldier of Fortune, Federal Computer Week, and The Washington Times.]

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2 Responses to “American Military Atrocities and War in General”

  1. An Afghan parliamentary investigation team has implicated up to 20 US troops in the recent massacre of 16 civilians in Kandahar. This contradicts NATO’s account that insists one rogue soldier was behind the slaughter.

    Two members of the fact-finding mission, Hamidzi Lali and Shakiba Hashemi, told the general meeting of Afghanistan’s parliament that the American troopers raped two Afghan women before starting the massacre.

    The team of Afghan lawmakers has spent two days collating reports from witnesses, survivors and inhabitants of the villages where the tragedy took place.

    “We are convinced that one soldier cannot kill so many people in two villages within one hour at the same time, and the 16 civilians, most of them children and women, have been killed by the two groups,” investigator Hamizai Lali told Afghan News.

    The head of the Afghan parliamentary investigation, Sayed Ishaq Gillani, told the BBC that witnesses report seeing helicopters dropping chaff during the attack, a measure used to hide targets from ground attack.

    This is while Washington claims that the 38-year-old Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, who has just arrived in the US, was the only American military personnel responsible for the massacre.

    Earlier, Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai criticized the United States for not cooperating with the Afghan fact-finding team and said the killing of civilians by foreign forces in Afghanistan “has been going on for too long.”

    On March 11, a group of US soldiers went from house to house in three villages in Kandahar’s Panjwaii district and gunned down Afghan civilians inside their homes, killing at least 16 people — mostly women and children — and injuring several others.

  2. […] and multiple murder atrocity by American soldier reflects countless others. It’s because US soldiers are trained to be violent in war theaters and show no mercy. Anything goes and does. Women and young girls are especially […]


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