Thursday, June 01, 2006

Core warrior values


“If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?”
–T. H. Huxley

The Pentagon admits that US troops fired into the crowd after that fender-bender in Afghanistan Monday, after two days of lying about it and after Brig. Gen. Carter Ham blamed praised the Afghan authorities: “we should be cognizant of the fact that a freely elected government of Afghanistan managed this situation effectively. That could not have happened only a few short years ago.” 20 or so civilians were killed, if that’s your definition of effective. And you know I really do think that could have happened a few years ago: Afghanistan’s domestic rulers and foreign occupiers the last few decades haven’t exactly scrimped on the lethal crowd control. Anyway, the Pentagon is now claiming the troops acted in self defense in response to gunfire from the crowd that no one had previously thought to mention.

In response to the Haditha Massacre, US troops in Iraq will be given what some in the press are calling “ethics training,” although the military calls it “core warrior values,” which somehow doesn’t sound all that promising to me. Says Gen. Peter Chiarelli: “Of the nearly 150,000 coalition forces presently in Iraq, 99.9 percent of them perform their jobs magnificently every day. ... The challenge for us is to make sure the actions of a few do not tarnish the good work of the many.” Don’t you hate it when a few individuals massacre two dozen civilians and ruin it for the rest of the class? Chiarelli: “As military professionals, it is important that we take time to reflect on the values that separate us from our enemies.” For example, we eat crispy delicious bacon, they don’t. Values like that. Core values. Core warrior values. Mmm, bacon.

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