April 12, 2010

More Josh Stieber with Amy Goodman

This link will take you to Democracy Now with Amy Goodman interviewing Josh Stieber about the wikileaks video. Josh is firm in telling us that these soldiers were doing exactly what they were trained to do. This was not an aberration. If we are outraged about what happened, we need to point a finger toward the military policies and procedures. This is what happens all the time.


Soldiers and veterans have been telling us this over and over since Vietnam right through the current Iraq and Afghanistan wars. If we didn't like what happened, we shouldn't be there doing what we do. And we shouldn't. The military puts a lot of effort into desensitizing the soldiers and training them to have a very specific reaction to a specific situation.

The training is mentally and morally brutal as they try to insure that soldiers like Josh will follow the script automatically. They failed with Josh. He is a strong sensitive man. Individuals that don't have as much moral strength are likely to swing to the other side of the pendulum. And they do. All the extra effort to win recruits like Josh leaves somebody else morally helpless.

The training of our troops needs to be different and we need to end our imperialist policies of warmaking and occupation. You can't expect the soldiers to do the right thing if you train them and then command them to do the wrong thing. The blame starts with the commander in chief and the generals and works its way down the line.

When soldiers refuse to do it anymore, we lock them up and take away their benefits even though they served in the past. We need to listen to the soldiers. Let them out of the service when they realize they cannot kill people. It's a good thing when people come to that realization.

Visit Josh's blog, Contageous Love Experiment

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