The psychology of war

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I read this article in disgust. However, I can't even imagine the psychological impact that being in a war environment must have on a person. It is one experience I am glad I have never had.

[quote] According to investigators and legal documents, discussion of killing Afghan civilians began after the arrival of Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs at forward operating base Ramrod last November. Other soldiers told the army's criminal investigation command that Gibbs boasted of the things he got away with while serving in Iraq and said how easy it would be to "toss a grenade at someone and kill them".

One soldier said he believed Gibbs was "feeling out the platoon".

Investigators said Gibbs, 25, hatched a plan with another soldier, Jeremy Morlock, 22, and other members of the unit to form a "kill team". While on patrol over the following months they allegedly killed at least three Afghan civilians. According to the charge sheet, the first target was Gul Mudin, who was killed "by means of throwing a fragmentary grenade at him and shooting him with a rifle", when the patrol entered the village of La Mohammed Kalay in January.

Morlock and another soldier, Andrew Holmes, were on guard at the edge of a poppy field when Mudin emerged and stopped on the other side of a wall from the soldiers. Gibbs allegedly handed Morlock a grenade who armed it and dropped it over the wall next to the Afghan and dived for cover. Holmes, 19, then allegedly fired over the wall.

Later in the day, Morlock is alleged to have told Holmes that the killing was for fun and threatened him if he told anyone.

meljomur's picture
meljomur
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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Makes you wonder how much of that cruelty existed in these people before they signed up and how much was instilled in boot camp and in the later preperations for overseas duty. I too have never been in war nor in the service, but the way boot camp is portrayed, they strip you of the last vestiges of self esteem, make you hate the "enemy" put a gun in your hand and then the media calls you a hero for defending our freedoms. It's brainwashing plain and simple, that's why they take teenagers with raging hormones and very little life experience.

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Choco
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I know choco. The military is disgusting. And what they put those young people through is pretty heartless. But I suppose it is designed to brainwash and create mindless killing machines, who don't question their mission.

Although I have to wonder about the 18 year olds, who have little compassion, empathy and don't understand the basic premise of right and wrong. Says more about the way they were raised than anything else.

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meljomur
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