May 31, 2006

Haditha - duh...

I can't believe some of the commentary about Haditha. One has to be appaled, disgusted even, by what went on. But one can't be surprised. This is war. Humans have been waging war for millenia, and its effect on the warriors participating in it has always been the same. Any conflict that carries on long enough will lead to very human, very primal and very violent episodes such as these. From the bloodsoaked sea at Napoleon's Jaffa to the rape of Nanking, the fall of Berlin and the betraying churches of Rwanda flows a continuous scream of human anger, bloodthirst, fear, pain and death. The people that stood proudly behind these armies thought themselves on the right side of history, considered themselves generous benefactors, bringing culture, material progress, civilization, or righteous avengers for previous atrocities. They thought their soldiers heroes.

When put in life-threatening danger for prolonged periods, humans revert to their core being: animals that protect their own hides first. At any cost. Haditha wasn't the first of these gratuitous killings in the conquest of Iraq - there have been too many reports like that already - but it is the first that got noticed in the US. If you want to be surprised, be surprised that this one may actually be prosecuted. Don't be surprised that it happened.


Blogger Granny said...

Others have been noticed, but not by anyone willing to act.

Yes, people revert but when soldiers are trained to look on the enemy as subhuman slopes or gooks (Viet Nam) or ragheads (Iraq) it becomes much too easy to wipe out entire families.

3:34 PM  

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