HAS WAR AND THE MILITARY TURNED SOME OF OUR COMBAT SOLDIERS INTO INSTRUMENTS OF GENOCIDE?? (Blogcritics)
Hello Bloggers/Readers, I hope you are continuing to have dialogue with each other on all of the important social and political issues that are affecting our lives.
I am sure you have been following the stories coming out of Afghanistan involving the killing of at least 16 Afghanistan citizens. I was waiting to get more information before I posted my blog but, after hearing that the soldier who allegedly murdered these people had been transported out of the area and returned to the U.S., I know this situation will not be resolved anytime soon.
Let’s go over what we know at this point. A U. S. Soldier allegedly left his camp in the dead of night, went into an Afghanistan village and indiscriminately killed 16 unarmed people, mostly children, and burned their bodies. He then allegedly walked back to his camp and turned himself in. This has now turned into a major international incident with finger pointing and threats of retaliation from the Afghanistan people and the Taliban against our troops and against our country. Now what happens?? Now you will hear different accounts of what occurred from both sides and we will be left with making our own assessments of what actually happened. Will we ever know the whole truth??
So, why am I writing a blog about this incident at this time?? I am writing because I am very concerned about what is happening to our brave men and women who are putting their lives on the line, day after day, night after night, fighting to help these counties survive. Some of these soldiers are being deployed 3, 4 and even 5 times back to either Iraq or Afghanistan. Then, when they are back home with their families, they are preparing and training to go back and kill more people. Some maybe ticking time bombs who are not getting the proper help to deal with war.
No wonder people and doctors are talking about PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and identifying it with our military troops returning from a war. How many of our troops have this disorder and are being sent back into military conflict?? If we don’t have a proper mechanism to determine if a soldier is under this type of stress condition, will we have another mass murder of unarmed people and children and with soldiers killing their comrades?? What about the impact on their families when they try to assimilate into regular day to day living between deployments??
I think the mental stress and strain put on our troops should be extensively examined and the physiological impact accessed. What would make a soldier, who also allegedly had some brain damage from a previous incident, walk into a village and murder those people in cold blood?? Did he feel they were the enemy and they all looked alike?? Or did his constant re- deployments cloud his judgment to the extent that they were just casualties of WAR?? Maybe he was angry at the loss of a fellow soldier and just wanted to get even!! I’m not sure we will ever know, because now the wheel of CYA begins. Why was he cleared for re-deployment after brain injury??
If a player has a concussion after or during an athletic event in this country, the doctors tell teams to sit them down and not let them play. I don’t know how long it was after this soldier’s brain injury; but, was one soldier needed so badly that some officer or doctor couldn’t make a command decision to sit him down and take him out of the game?? Who is really at fault when something like this occurs???
This Afghanistan incident is not the only situation of PTSD. I’m not going to try and discuss every situation that has happened in the past, but I will remind you of the stressed out soldier who killed five of his own comrades in Baghdad in 2009, and the soldiers in 2010 who testified about their Sgt., who ordered them to kill unarmed Afghanistan civilians. And we can’t forget the Army major who killed 11 and wounded 31 people in Foot Hood Texas in 2009! Does war produce a mentality that suggests incidences like these are a product of war??
Most of my career has been in law enforcement and I have either seen police officers or witnessed police officers, under stress situations, who overreact in trying to handle or deal with a violent confrontation. More force than necessary is often utilized because of the stressful nature of the incident. Also there is an acute development of a very hostile attitude toward the perceived enemy…in law enforcement, it’s against the criminal. With the military it’s against the enemy combatant, and probably in Afghanistan or Iraq, against anyone who looks like the enemy. In this blog, I won’t comment on the marine who recently referred to the President as being the enemy, under the alleged umbrella of free speech!! What does that tell you about his military discipline??
I don’t want to be overly critical now, but I still remember instances from our past history when WAR trumps common sense and civility. I don’t know how many of you are old enough to remember the massacre at My Lai during the Viet Nam conflict. My Lai has been called “Murder in the name of War”. I have posted a link to the Wikipedia article for your review. It will open your eyes. (347 to 504 unarmed citizens were murdered under the guise of either war or the military attrition strategy, an emphasis on body count and kill ratios.)
I mentioned the My Lai incident to illustrate the cover up that occurred in the CYA scenario to protect those involved. The mass cover up lasted for 18 months and some big named people were involved. As I stated in one of my other blog posts, when the institution is too big to fail, all bets are off!
Some of these Wars are not only costing the lives of our soldiers but the prestige of our country. We are being put in a position of fighting for a country that hates us and is looking at our troops not as saviors, but as cold blooded murderers. If constant re-deployments is the issue and causing the mental stress that can’t be identified, maybe we should set a limit on re-deployment to no more than two occasions. If we then determine we don’t have enough troops, reassess our ability to complete the mission and pull out!! We now have had to deal with some of the Afghanistan soldiers turning on our troops and killing them. The Secretary of Defense during a recent trip to Afghanistan had a touchy security situation which forced all troops, including U.S. Forces, to be disarmed during his visit.
It would be nice to continue to be the world’s policeman, but at what cost!! In our political system, we have our war hawks who believe this country should fight tyranny wherever it exists in this world. How many lives of our troops should we sacrifice to satisfy the hawks? What happened at My Lai, when the American public found out what was done, was one of the primary factors that forced an end to the Viet Nam war. The American people protested so vehemently that our troops were eventually pulled out.
I am reminded of the comment in Wikipedia, made by Colin Powell about the My Lai incident, …” in war, these sorts of things happen every now and then”…. and the comment of the Viet Nam General in describing Lt Calley, the only soldier convicted of the massacre, “Calley tried to get revenge for the deaths of his troops, in war this is natural”. My comment about these casual statements is: are these statements the type justification we can expect to support every war the U.S. gets involved in?? What is that song again, “War, what is it good for……..”
I hope this recent incident opens our eyes, the eyes of our military and the eyes of our government to carefully and judiciously examine this situation for the sake of our soldiers and our country’s well being. Keep blogging and communicating!!