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Afghan Massacre Sheds Light on Culture of Mania and Aggression in U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez
Democracy Now! / Video Report
Published: Friday 16 March 2012
“Democracy Now! provides deeper understanding of the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians.”

Democracy Now! speaks with journalist Neil Shea, who has reported on Afghanistan and Iraq since 2006 for the Stars and Stripes and other publications. Shea discusses his experiences witnessing disturbing behavior during his travels with U.S. troops in Afghanistan and offers insight into understanding the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians. "When we cycle our soldiers and Marines through wars that don't really have a clear purpose over years and years, we expect light-switch control over their aggression," Shea says. "We expect to be able to turn them into killers and then turn them back into winners of hearts and minds. When you do that to a man or a woman over many years, that light-switch control begins to fray."

Author pic
ABOUT Amy Goodman

Amy Goodman is the host of "Democracy Now!," a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 900 stations in North America. She is the author of "Breaking the Sound Barrier," recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

Of course the war on

Of course the war on Afghanistan is immoral and fruitless, but be careful not to state that on Facebook or the other social media sites or you may be arrested for sedition.

We are such hypocrites, and

We are such hypocrites, and in this case both the President and Panetta are the arch-hypocrites, their words mean absolutely nothing. As for the particular soldier, to refer to a professional warrior as "mild-mannered" and all that that entails is truly an oxymoron.

That this one served four tours, the last one after a severe injury, well, his decompensation is not unexpected or unpredictable, but then, we need to face facts, our military personnel are actually disposable commodities to be used and discarded, and any other LIE told by a recruiter is just that, a LIE.

Writing this comment a few

Writing this comment a few days after the article was posted, and with the killer already ID'd, I have to ask this question: If the staff sergeant murderer was so upset about being deployed again, why didn't he turn his aggression on his military comrades who represented the military establishment that deployed him again? Oh, wait, they're armed and could fight back. The people he murdered weren't armed--a perfect target for a sniveling coward.

The draft is only going to

The draft is only going to lead to the same military the US has now. Kids who have parents with money enough to pay for college are home free. The same people who enlist now because there aren't any jobs, are the ones that the draft will really enlist. A draft now will only enhance recruiting for the military in the short termThe military budget is out of control, and there's not even another superpower to fight, as in the Cold War. End foreign occupations for the benefit of corporations and support the troops; bring them home!

I agree with bringing back

I agree with bringing back the draft. During Vietnam kids and their parents were passionately interested in the war. Now only a small sliver of our citizens are concerned. The draft, including men and women, could be used to populate the Peace Corp and a domestic corp. Young people need to give back to their country. A draft would ensure young people of all social classes would serve. Including women!Also, the all volunteer military is a disaster. The son of a friend is on his 6th deployment! We are wearing out our troops. The military can not function without mercenaries. Bad.

It's two-pronged, this

It's two-pronged, this culture of permanent, mad war against all the world.

Most obvious is the permanent militarization. No logic here, except that all cultures of the world need to be subdued. It's a madness that simply percolates into all who charge into it, from Little Big Horn to My Lai to Abu Gheraib to Kandahar.

Second prong of course remain U.S. "higher" ed, assiduously divided into its silo departments all the better to set all into the neutered, depersonalized specialization habits for the replacement of all cultures of the world by the consumerist mad and financialist avaricious Corporate American.

And many discharged vets are

And many discharged vets are recruited for our police. You see those who should not be serving--shaved heads, failed marriages, resorting to violence rather than diplomacy. Powder kegs waiting for the wrong place and wrong moment to go off.
Thank you military/industrial industry--another blessing bestowed upon our society from your pursuit of profits.

Unfortunately for all of us,

Unfortunately for all of us, this is true. They're also going to work for the TSA and private security companies, the latter of which only exacerbates the ugliness in many of the former military members because there seems to be no consequences for their actions.

The problem with our military

The problem with our military forces now, as I see it, is that you have four types of soldiers: Those who could find no other employment to support their families, those who were ordered to enlist or go to prison, those who really do consider themselves patriots and think they are defending their country and, last and scariest--those who have a killer mentality who have found a legal outlet for their bloodlust. Absolute recipe for disaster. Bring back the draft!!! It's the quickest way to end wars being fought for no other reason than to support the fat cats behind our military complex! Also the fastest way to make the public stand up and take notice!!

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