This article will shock you, but ironically not that much. The Iraq War is an urban occupation/counterinsurgency, an unwinnable war, and one that demoralizes the occupying force drastically. This is a formula for atrocity:
The article points out that
In this investigation of alleged military misconduct, The Nation focused on a few key elements of the occupation, asking veterans to explain in detail their experiences operating patrols and supply convoys, setting up checkpoints, conducting raids and arresting suspects. From these collected snapshots a common theme emerged. Fighting in densely populated urban areas has led to the indiscriminate use of force and the deaths at the hands of occupation troops of thousands of innocents.
I believe that this phenomenon has taken root in the national character. We are deeply ashamed and know how bad all of this war is, but we cannot yet deal with the reality.
...it was only "when they get home, in dealing with veteran issues and meeting other veterans, it seems like the guilt really takes place, takes root, then."
This morning I went to a Catholic Church mass. The sermon was on the famous Good Samaritan story. "Treat your neighbor as yourself," directs Jesus. "Who is your neighbor?" Jesus asks.
It is our billions of dollars going to pay for this uninhibited disaster. But the service offered me a hint of peace, like a step away from the modern world of gadgets and flashing lights, and a remind of the spiritual tradition.
Jesus' story is essentially about turning ethical principle into practice. To live with love and mercy is to stop for the man on the side of the road.
It is a simple and instructive point, yet I realize that our lives and treasure are being used for war, occupation, and violence, somewhere on the other side of the globe, the lives and cultures of which we know so little about.
How sad is it to know that soon after the war, I saw incidents of shocking violence, like the 2003 bombing of Al-Jazeera's Baghdad office, which killed cameraman Tariq Ayoub, and it's been four years hence.
The killing keeps on going, the suffering continues, and it will take decades for our nation to recover, if ever.
Makes one want to kneel down...
On April 8, 2003 Al Jazeera's office in Baghdad was hit by a U.S. missile, killing reporter Tareq Ayyoub and wounding another. Al Jazeera, in order to avoid coming under US fire, had informed the U.S. of the office's precise coordinates prior to the incident. Dima Tareq Tahboub, the widow of Tareq Ayyoub, continues to seek justice for her husband's death and has among other things written for the Guardian and participated in a documentary broadcast on Al Jazeera English.