Ok. So this film released today showed the killing of what turned out to be innocent civilians, including journalists. It also featured sick, disturbing attitudes among the soldiers who fired on these innocent civilians. And it shows that the Pentagon originally lied to the press about what happened. [my em]
People were disturbed by the soldiers' attitudes? People should be disturbed. That's what war is. That's what war does to the human mind after prolonged exposure. War ain't played by Marquis of Queensbury rules.
You know what it feels like to be in the middle of it? Well, combat is the Great Equalizer. It is a time where abstract thought takes its leave, when the words "moral" and "compassion" meaningless until it's over. You are in touch with your basic instincts, kill or be killed, fight or flight, and nothing much else matters. You are as wild as the rest of God's creatures, humanity be damned. All that matters is what all of your senses, heightened to the sharpness of a razor thanks to the adrenaline rush, are telling you and what animal instinct and the training you've received are causing you to act. And you can't turn it on and off like flipping a switch.
Now, do that day after day, year after year, tour after tour. Do you expect them to be any different? After years on the line, seeing the killing and the destruction, the human mind does what it has to in order to protect itself. Some of that involves dehumanizing those you might have to kill; a hardening of the shell, as it were. It's also the addiction to the rush, for there is no other like that in a combat situation (Trust me, I spent years trying to find it via more 'peaceful' means).
What the troops' attitudes should show us is that they've been there too long, too many times; a place they never should have been in the first place. It shows us that back here at home, we haven't seen enough of the horror and suffering of war. If we had, we'd never have allowed Bush and Cheney to engage in this criminal enterprise. If we had, they'd be sitting in jail by now.
Do you think these soldiers were psychopaths before they went there? They're probably guys with spouses and kids whom they're gonna go home to. They used to have normal lives but now when they get back, normalcy will be a tenuous thing for years, if not forever. The average American has no clue, or they wouldn't be so cavalier about putting our troops in this position. I'm not excusing their actions but they are certainly understandable in light of what they've been asked to do for so long.
Everybody thinks it's like a big paintball game. The troops go out, play the game, and then come home. Only a small few take the time to reflect on what effect our 'adventures' have on the minds of the people we send on them. Don't forget, we're gonna have to deal with these people once this shit is over. They're gonna have to live and function in the real world. If you think it's disturbing seeing this in a war zone, think about what it would be to see it in your neighborhood.