Where’s the outrage?

After Staff Sgt. Bales murdered several civilians earlier this year the news media was a stir trying to explain the lack of outrage by the Afghan public. NPR’s Steve Inskeep interviewed an NPR correspondent in Kabul who presented the simplistic view that Afghan’s had simply gotten used to the violence. Many American commentators were perplexed by the muted response of average Afghans towards the reprehensible violence. A narrative began to develop here in the US that Afghans were cold and detached; no longer capable of empathy after years of endless war.
Well it seems as if the same can be said of the American public when it comes to gruesome images of soldiers desecrating bodies. This was the case with video footage of American soldiers urinating on dead Taliban fighters, soldiers committing human rights violations in Abu Graib, or the recent photos published by the LA Times. Where is the outrage over any of this? At best most Americans wrote off these incidents as a few bad apples. The actual photos though are not the real problem. Neither is the lack of anger that American soldiers, held in such high regard here in the US, are capable of doing this. Outrage should stem from the fact that war destroys human morality. To be a good soldier one has to view his enemy as less than human. NATO forces in Afghanistan are actively employing this view when it comes to fighting insurgents. Sec. Pannetta was certainly right when he remarked that war is awful and breeds this sort of behavior. This destruction of humanity should be neither accepted not excused. Instead it should trouble us immensely. Americans who simply shrug this off as a result of war are more heinous than the soldiers who commit these vicious acts. They grant cover to our elites to continue the cataclysmic interventionist foreign policy that has gained traction since 9/11.
The outrage should be directed towards our disgusting comfort with war, rather than soldiers doing what soldiers do under the most extreme and dehumanizing circumstances.

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