Ain’t No Love in WarPublished 9:39am Friday, April 13, 2012
My friend James sent me an article via email that began by stating that we should not be surprised about the recent intentional killing of innocent civilians in Afghanistan, because our government had trained the man accused of the crimes to be a killer. The author, Chris Hedges, is a former war correspondent. His article outlines the kinds of moods and behaviors he has seen over his years chasing headlines in war zones.
Hedges spent only a fraction of his article tapping into the current incident directly, preferring to demonstrate the more global likelihood that war inevitably produces similar incidents, which he labels as state-sponsored murder. It is a harsher choice of words than I would choose, but I won’t argue the point. There have been numerous stories of atrocities in American military history from Sand Creek in 1864 to My Lai more than a hundred years later in 1968. In Afghanistan and Iraq there have been several events other than the current one. There is no way even to guess how many other such occurrences we (the American public) don’t know about.
Hedge’s handling of this topic is nothing short of brutal. He suggests that most men who have actually been in the teeth of mortal combat know about atrocities but are complicit in keeping them secret.