What have we become?

May 23, 2004 at 8:58 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

Unlike the civilian chicken-hawk leaders of the US Armed Forces, it seems that it’s the members of the military themselves, at all levels, that are asking the tough questions about why we invaded Iraq. It’s quite ironic that the people who are supposed to execute orders with machine like precision and cold-blooded efficiency are the ones asking the tough questions about Americas’ purpose and conscience.

This evening, CBS 60 Minutes aired an interview with former Marine General and diplomat Anthony Zinni. In no uncertain terms, he said that the war is a lie, and that other military leaders shared his views.

I then found in Damien Barrett’s blog a Sacramento Bee interview last week of a Marine sargeant describing American atrocities during the war not related to the prison abuse scandal. It’s no wonder that even our British allies are saying that we are too trigger-happy.

War is hell, they say, but there are lines of behavior that have been crossed in this war. Such a widespread and wanton disregard for the most basic rules of war make us little better than those who fight us by wearing civilian clothes, drive suicide car bombs, or behead American civilians. The America that Republicans would like to believe in does not make relative moral judgements; everyone is subject to absolute moral codes of decency and behavior. We are not better simply because we’re not as brutal as Saddam Hussein. It’s a lesson that our leaders have forgotten.

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