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Friday, May 04, 2007


Out Now! - More reasons (as if we needed them)

In today's news:
In its first study of the ethics of U.S. troops on the Iraq battlefield, the Pentagon has found that more than a third would support using torture to get information from insurgents.

An even greater proportion, 41 percent of soldiers and 44 percent of Marines, said torture should be allowed if it would help save the life of a comrade.

And fewer than half of the U.S. soldiers and Marines in Iraq would report a comrade for unethical behavior, according to the results of the survey by the Defense Department's Mental Health Advisory Team.
And while they're busy treating Iraqis like the occupied people they are rather than as fellow human beings, their own health is also suffering:
The survey also found one-third of soldiers and Marines in high levels of combat in Iraq report anxiety, depression and acute stress.

Soldiers who deployed more than six months or multiple times were more likely to screen positive for a mental health issue, the survey found.
I only wonder how they found any soldiers who had been deployed shorter than six months and only a single time; I didn't think there were any.

Just so I don't seem to be on a high horse, although there are differences between the forces (40 percent of Marines and 55 percent of Army soldiers would report a member of their unit for killing or wounding an innocent civilian) which suggest that at least some of this behavior comes from training and/or "institutional attitudes," I don't pretend that any one of us, certainly not excluding myself, couldn't be guilty of the same sort of behavior if placed in the same position. Which is just one of many reasons why occupation is not only not acceptable, but even counter-productive.

Winning hearts and minds? More like harvesting hearts and poisoning minds.

Out now!

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