posted on May, 18 2008 @ 12:12 PM
I am not trying to defend the soldier's actions. They were clearly inappropriate. These types of actions should be expected, however, from soldiers
who are actively engaged in combat with an "enemy."
For the most part, people that join militaries from all over the world are decent people. They are not serial killers, nor are they sociopaths.
Militaries do expect these people, however, to take on the behavior of sociopaths and become killing machines. One way to turn a decent person into
a killing machine is to convince the decent person that the people he is killing are not truly human, but are demons or vermin.
In the case of US soldiers in Iraq, the US military has to convince US soldiers the people they are fighting against are sub-human. I do not know if
there is truly an appropriate way to teach US solders that the Iraqis they are fighting against are sub-human. (It may be impossible to appropriately
convince soldiers the people they are fighting against are sub-human whe the war the soldiers is itself unjust.) However, there are clearly
inappropriate ways for the US military to condition US soldiers to believe the Iraqis they are fighting against are sub-human.
One such way is for the soldiers to be conditioned to believe all Iraqis, all Muslims, or all Arabs are bad. It is wrong for the
military to impart this belief onto US soldiers for many reasons. In this case it seems that this particularly soldier got the idea that all
Muslims were an enemy and sub-human. Therefore, it would be appropriate for him to shoot up their holy book.