Death Without Explanation

To those alive during World War II it was clear as to who were the “bad guys” and who were the “good guys.” Subsequent wars have resulted in confusion as to why someone was fighting, and all too often, who is the enemy.Staff Sergeant Robert Bales is currently on trial for the murder of 16 unarmed Afghans who he shot down one night in Afghanistan. He shot men, women and children. As he told the court room, there is no explanation why he went out one night and began to kill and kill. He finally apologized for his actions admitting,”I don’t know why.” He is being honest, he has absolutely no idea why he walked into the night and began to shoot and shoot.

Questions remain. Was this an example of Post Traumatic Stress? Was he upset because an Afghan killed a friend and now he wanted to get back at all Afghans? Was he completely confused as to the reason for being in Afghanistan? Did he have any understanding of the lives and thinking of Afghan people?

Unfortunately, saying “I’m sorry” is not a sufficient explanation for behavior.