No Bravery Part 2
I regularly read the moral outrage expressed by Americans in blog comments when an Iraqi blogger dares to mention that the conduct of American soldiers may be somewhat less that professional. Then even worse if one should call them outright murderers. And so Americans should be angry. After all they pride themselves with having the world's best trained professional army.
So I will leave it to an American to explain to his fellow countrymen the sense of outrage felt by Iraqis (and any decent person) over the news that a Pentagon inquiry will report that US Marines killed 15 unarmed civilians in cold blood.
One Army official told NBC News "This one is Ugly." Billmon replies:
Ugly? That doesn't even begin to cover it. Dick Cheney is ugly. The Pentagon is ugly. An Abrams tank is ugly. Executing helpless women and children while they're huddled on the floor, praying to their God, is a war crime committed by terrorists. It's Lidice and Rwanda and Srebrenica and, of course, My Lai. The men who committed this crime aren't really human any more -- they shed their humanity like a snake sheds its skin when they walked into those houses and started shooting. All that's left of them is a dark pit at the center of their reptilian brain stems, a place that knows no pity or remorse or even self-awareness. They're lost souls -- lost to the world and to themselves.
... These were professionals, supposedly the best of the best, and yet they threw away their training, their code and their honor, and drenched themselves and their flag in the blood of innocents. They simply snapped, in other words, and it makes me wonder how many more like them are out there -- one IED or ambush away from going beserk.
There is a whiff of genocide in the air...
And, I would add to apologists who would shrug this off as an aberation, that Iraqis will not be the only ones to sufffer. These soldiers will go back to America one day and may well treat other Americans in the same way.