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Remembering The Context Of War Crimes ~ The Crime Of War Itself

One would think that,

by now,


would have made the connection between war and atrocity.


are we too obsessed with our consumer-driven lifestyles,

or too apathetic to even pay attention?

Or perhaps we believe the military is a refuge for miscreants and deviants

capable of unspeakable acts of cruelty and barbarism.

More likely,

I think,

confronting the incivility of war,

the murders of civilians in Haditha

and in Baghdad

– the latter documented in the now infamous WikiLeaks “Collateral Murder” video –

provides a welcome

( though, perhaps, unpleasant and regrettable )

opportunity to reassert our commitment to the rule of law

and to the dictates of our individual and/or collective consciences.

As evidenced by the appalling events in Haditha

and Baghdad,

and so many others

– including the recent atrocity committed when several Marines urinated on the lifeless bodies of Taliban fighters

– warriors are dehumanized and desensitized to death and destruction.

Judgments of right and wrong – morality – quickly become irrelevant,

and cruelty and brutality become a primal response to an overwhelming threat of annihilation.


atrocities in such an environment are not isolated,

aberrant occurrences prosecuted by a few deviant individuals.


they are commonplace,

intrinsic to the nature and the reality of war …

Having been indoctrinated into the mythology of the “good war”

and the “noble warrior,”

the uninitiated and unaffected,

which includes most civilians and many non-warrior members of the military,

fail to realize this truth:

that all war is barbarism,

in which cruelty and brutality

– atrocity –

is the norm,

rather than the exception …


Read the rest here


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