Thursday, March 24, 2011

Morality of War

OINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AP) - A U.S. soldier was sentenced to 24 years in prison Wednesday after saying "the plan was to kill people" in a conspiracy with four fellow soldiers to kill unarmed Afghan civilians.

When I heard about the trial from a good friend of mine who is also a journalist, Laura Meyers and who also attended the trial, I wasn't surprised. I had read all about My Lai In Vietnam from door gunner, Larry Colburn who was on Hugh Thompson's helicopter who stopped the carnage.

What upsets me most is the comment from one of the soldiers is that they received conflicting orders from higher command on what to do and how to treat the Afghan civilians. This is appalling. These men were raised with values of what was right and wrong. Even with the conflict of going to war and killing the enemy, you do not kill civilians. I would cringe when I heard some Marines talk about the Afghans in derogatory ways. I found it offensive. Perhaps because of my many years of traveling the world I can understand the difference between cultures. 

It is frustrating to think that even with the progress we've made in Afghanistan there are people who are to ignorant to understand what is really at stake.