The top three paragraphs from a story in today’s NY Times:
One of four Army infantrymen charged with raping a 14-year-old girl in Iraq last March and then killing her and her family pleaded guilty today to all charges in a military court at Fort Campbell, Ky.
The plea came on a day when a marine is scheduled to be sentenced at Camp Pendleton, Calif., for his part in the kidnapping and killing of an Iraqi man in a town to the west of Baghdad.
The legal actions are part of the fallout of the fighting in Iraq, where insurgent fighters blend in with the civilian population, frustrating soldiers who are subject to roadside bombing and other attacks.
Holy fucking shit!
So when four infantrymen decide to rape a 14-year-old girl and kill her and her whole family, that’s “fallout” from the frustration soldiers feel because “insurgent fighters blend?”
Yes, I’m sure the soldiers thought that the 14-year-old they raped and murdered – not to mention her 7-year-old sister, who they also murdered – were insurgents blending with civilians. In no way was this a problem of a culture of entitlement, racism and misogyny, combined with giving green soldiers absolute authority over civilians that some of them think of as subhuman.
Heck no! It’s the fault of those damn blending insurgent Iraqis!
(The soldier, by the way, plead guilty in order to take the death penalty off the table. The Times says he’ll probably get sentenced to life, but could be out in 20 years.)
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It’s besides the point of this post, but I feel obliged to point out that the other case the Times mentioned involves soldiers who planned to kidnap and murder an alleged insurgent, but grabbed and killed the wrong man. That’s a genuine example of a death resulting from “insurgents blending with civilians,” I guess; but it’s mainly an example of the inevitable result of believing that war justifies punishing alleged “insurgents” without trial or defense. George Bush and conservatives have been fighting hard to erode the right of trial and defense, and their thinking may have influenced the murderers in this case.