Military under fire…again

March 30, 2011

by Taylor Stephens, EDITOR

After reading the absolutely disgusting story by Rolling Stone Sunday and viewing the horrifying pictures and videos, I sit ashamed of our military. My heart trembled then dropped and I felt an anger that I have never had the displeasure to feel toward the military. Who do they think they are?

They obviously think they are above the law, above apprehension and above humanity. Not all of the military, of course, but at least members like those focused on in the article “The Kill Team.”

“He was a smooth-faced kid, about 15 years old. Not much younger than they were: Morlock was 21, Holmes was 19. His name, they would later learn, was Gul Mudin, a common name in Afghanistan. He was wearing a little cap and a Western-style green jacket. He held nothing in his hand that could be interpreted as a weapon, not even a shovel.

“The expression on his face was welcoming. ‘He was not a threat,’ Morlock later confessed.

“Morlock and Holmes called to him in Pashto as he walked toward them, ordering him to stop. The boy did as he was told. He stood still.

“The soldiers knelt down behind a mud-brick wall. Then Morlock tossed a grenade toward Mudin, using the wall as cover.

“As the grenade exploded, he and Holmes opened fire, shooting the boy repeatedly at close range with an M4 carbine and a machine gun.

“Mudin buckled, went down face first onto the ground. His cap toppled off. A pool of blood congealed by his head.”

This is but a piece of what Rolling Stone shocked America with Sunday.

Let’s remember here that our tax dollars have paid for this massacre.

What you put into your government has been used to murder a 15-year-old boy.

What shocks me is who these are not the only men that do this. In fact, based on information released by WikiLeaks and other articles similar to the Rolling Stone article, I’m willing to wager that there are plenty more soldiers like this.

Do I hate soldiers? Not even a little bit. I believe they are one of the most necessary resources making it possible for us to enjoy the freedoms offered to America. However, soldiers like this give the military and the U.S. as a whole a bad name.

What this article reminded me of was Julian Assange’s controversial leak “Collateral Murder.” However, rather than being outraged at Rolling Stone for printing the story, publishing the pictures and releasing the videos, the government is acting embarrassed, which is quite the opposite reaction we saw when Assange launched his World Wide Web war.

What makes this worse than Assange’s escapades is that Assange actually attributes to how he received the information that is posted on his whistle-blowing website. Bradley Manning will forever be under fire for the safety he has risked of the military. However, with the article from Rolling Stone, we have no idea how the information was received, who we should blame or whether or not this could cause serious problems between America and Afghanistan — worse than they already are.

Let’s be honest, this is an act of absolute hatred and violence. Nothing about the murders committed or the stories told has any legitimate reasoning or evidence of being warranted. This is a group of men who dislike Afghans so much they are willing to take Afghan lives just for the hell of it.

War is not an object of hate. In fact, I’d venture to say that war generally always begins with a positive agenda. However with people like Morlock and Holmes, war receives a skewed view and seems to be in hatred.

Taylor Stephens is a senior journalism and English major from Bossier City who serves as editor for The Tech Talk. E-mail comments to tds026@latech.edu.