Sunday, 16 July 2006

A crusading psychopath is in a war near you

A society at variance with its values

There is probably no greater disservice to the young people who sit in the war zones instigated by America than lowering the bar to entry into the army.

It now transpires that the young soldier who has been charged for the rape of an Iraqi lady and the murder of her and her family did have problems long before he was recruited into the army.

As Americans are wont to do, family background reads much into what is expected of anyone, it is a shame that knowing that sometimes broken homes with respect to the American demographic do lead to problem children and a life of failures that get up-ended by the law.

For a country that prides itself in near Puritanical piety and condemns anyone who ever falls foul of the law for life regardless of having served their just sentences, one would expect a lot more would be done in social engineering, moral education and counselling to prevent people from falling by the wayside, in the first place.

The new penitentiary – service in Iraq

A criminal record in America is a millstone around anyone’s neck, however, with the pressing need for cannon fodder to expend in wars, especially in Iraq, the blatant laxity in recruitment parameters allows for enlisting to become a shortcut to rehabilitation.

Cynically, it gets those criminals out of America to a dangerous and deteriorating war atmosphere where the instinct to live and the desire to kill become competing moral dilemmas for people who before they enlisted had no moral fibre.

Even more cynically, if that ‘so-called’ recruit becomes one of the number who end up dying in Iraq, his duty to the nation in that faraway land would count for more in all respects than his misdeeds on earth.

A boy troubled

Dear Steven Green is only 21, in some places especially in the West, it is probably only within the range of legal responsibility but hardly any other responsibility accrues than to still be studying or working to start a career.

I cannot say how many siblings Steven had, but in 2000 his mother served a jail term for drunk driving, he would have been 15 then and I do wonder if there were mitigating circumstances in law to help the family before sending his mother to the can for 6 months.

Then he got done for having possession of drug paraphernalia – don’t laugh – sometimes American charges almost make Europe the centre of moral decadence. He has also been charged with under-aged possession of tobacco and alcohol – three misdemeanours in all and he served jail time for the third – 4 days.

Where is that strict uncle?

If I may generalise generously, in strict disciplinary environments like Nigeria where I grew up, the most in punishment any one child might suffer for these “crimes” would be porting the child off to some strict uncle who would with example, mentoring, tutelage and probably corporal punishment, work on the young man to bring him to rights.

That concerted effort almost always works out right because everyone who matters gets involved in condemning wrong, praising right and easing the subconscious, if possible, to a better way of doing things.

The young man eventually becomes a ready uncle to help other wayward wards towards the right with example and experience.

In America, that uncle became the Army, after a boot camp which is supposed to demean and instil, the tool of trade is no pen for the erudite or instrument of some apprenticeship into a nominal profession, it is a gun, a gun to shoot down Iraqi insurgents, innocents and by happenstance to clean up after the pleasure of assuaging possible sexual repression.

A crusade without a name

Before, he left for Iraq, Steven Green was baptised literally, as he took religion, and many others have before going on duty – this really now smacks of a crusade and begins to makes sense when Vladimir Putin did say yesterday that Russia would not get involved in Crusades.

So, after Mr Steven Green’s last demeanour, the army dumped him in a discharge that claimed psychiatric grounds – one would think he would be put on some programme of therapy, treatment or counselling to help him become a better man.

Now, he has been completely disowned with the statement – “staining the image, the honourable image of the United States military. [1]” Honourable image? Recruiting crooks? I think someone has both perception and perspective wrong here.

Manufacturing psychopaths

But no, they took a minor criminal in America, created a rapist and murderer of him in Iraq and dumped him back in America ready to become a showcase of a bad person rather than it being a window of scrutiny on a failed and wanting criminal justice system, a rotten army recruitment policy and an unconscionable discharge and rehabilitation process.

So now he would face the full force of the law for a situation that could have been avoided had the company in which he was based been more disciplined that they would not have revelled in drink, changed clothes and committed the crimes before cleaning up with murder.

More so, if the society had, when things were going wrong arrested the decline rather that count the crimes expecting the next one to bang him up for life or cart him off to war.

Indeed, justice must be done and seen to be done with regards to the rape and murder, but the greater indictment must lay with the society that sends unstable men to war to create pathological psychopaths of them.

References

A troubled man's saga in a troubled land

Kin hope military will support soldier

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