One would think that,
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.
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 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 …