Observations on the world today.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Why So Surprised? 

Take No Prisoners:

The video snippet above has been circulating on the Internet for almost a year now. Yet, people are shocked by the disregard our soldiers hold Iraqis in.

Sorry. I'm not shocked.

I never joined the military. One reason was that I came of age the year Reagan was elected. I had no desire to be party to any war he might want to start. Not even in a support position.

Another reason I never joined the military is that I actually value my liberty. I enjoy being free to say, "I quit," any time my employer expects me to do something which I find distasteful. I used to sell photography in churches for Olan Mills. One day, I simply became frustrated with explaining to my superiors that the reason my sales were low was that I refused to mislead people into buying the product. Don't get me wrong, it was a quality product. But it was over-priced and the sales techniques that I had been taught rubbed me as slightly less than ethical. I stopped selling Kirby sweepers for the same reason. I never wanted to be Alec Baldwin from Glen Gary Glen Ross. (Although to be honest, I was more of a Jack Lemon.)

The point is, if I find the orders or the policy that I am being asked to carry out distasteful, I feel that I should be free to refuse. That simply is not always an option in the military.

Although, that isn't and shouldn't be seen as an excuse for the perps in Abu Ghraib. In such a case as that, it becomes the Nuremberg defense. And the Nuremberg defense don't wash.

But getting back to the idea that so many Americans are surprised to learn that this happened, and that some of our fine troops were responsible. How can you be surprised? Our government has been looking the other way all along. We used incendiary bombs (Napalm) on bridges back in April of last year. We dropped 500 pound bombs on their houses in Fallujah just last month. Between those episodes, we conducted house to house raids during which we dragged people who we were supposedly liberating in to be interrogated. We allowed for wide-spread looting and crime in the streets for months. And before any of this was aloud to manifest, Bush made sure that we were not signatory to the international war-crimes tribunals law. *Nudge nudge wink wink*

Have you never seen a post-Apocalyptic movie? Have you never read Lord of the Flies? Have you never seen Survivor?

Civilization hangs by a very precarious thread. Put enough strain on the thread, and it is bound to snap.

So if I am in any way surprised by Abu Ghraib, it is surprise that anybody else is surprised.


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