The American people have grown accustomed during the past thirty years to send men and women off to war while the remainder of Americans enjoys the good life. Most cheered when President Bush lied about reasons for invading Iraq, most cheered when we sent drones to kill the bad guys–and, along the way sort of kill a few of the good ones. We send young men and women into a world in which stepping on the wrong stone can lead to death and then we wonder why individuals placed in such stress producing lives finally crack up under pressure.
I do not know why Sergeant Robert Bales went wild with fury and proceeded in a cold blooded manner to murder sixteen men,women and children in a village in Afghanistan. Survivors testified at his trial and he sat motionless and expressionless as they recounted stories of a man who shot and shot and never expressed any regrets for killing the innocent. All we know is Bales told his buddies, “I thought I was doing the right thing.”
Bales watches those who testify. He does not express any emotion. He gazes. What is in his mind? But, equally important is what was in the mind of President Bush who sent men like Bales into harm’s way??