Two stories from Iraq recently caught my attention. One dealt with three soldiers who were kidnapped, so far one has been found dead while others are still missing. The second concerned another incident from the same battalion in which five soldiers are charged with a rape-killing of a 14 year-old girl as well as murdering three other members of her family.
Eight ordinary Americans encountering horrible events in their lives because a president decided to send them off to hell on a wild-goose chase over WMD that did not exist. Three young Americans were manning an outpost with a lone Humvee, no barriers to detect possible infiltration, all alone and unprotected. But, the people who sent them there were probably at that same moment at some fund-raiser boasting about protecting America against “terrorism.” I also thought about the five men who killed and raped. There is absolutely no excuse for their behavior, it was horrible. They were sent into madness and reacted with madness. That is the story of war. Place decent people into situations in which ordinary rules of conduct no longer apply and they reach into a subterranean part of their beings and respond in ways outside of their normal range of thinking and action. But, who is responsible for placing them in such situations? Isn’t that also an important question?