July 10, 2006

A Time To Leave

From the Guardian:
Four more soldiers have been charged with the rape and murder of a young Iraqi woman and her family, the most explosive of the five war crimes investigations currently under way in Iraq.

A fifth soldier was charged with dereliction of duty for failing to report the events of the night of March 12 when a group of soldiers are alleged to have abandoned their checkpoint to enter the home of an Iraqi family in the town of Mahmudiya. They allegedly raped and killed a young woman inside the house, and shot dead her parents and young sister.

In recent weeks, 16 soldiers have been charged with murders in Iraq - more than during the first three years of the war.
And that is before any charge come through for the massacre in Haditha.
Sensitivities in the case deepened yesterday as Reuters news agency reported that the rape victim was only 14 years old.
Fourteen. My God. Fourteen!

How did this happen? Take a good, long look at this guy:

Until Steven D. Green was charged with raping an Iraqi woman and killing her family, his life seemed as unremarkable as the flip-flops and Johnny Cash T-shirt he wore to court. He was a high-school dropout from a broken home who joined the Army to get some direction, yet was sent home due to an "anti-social personality disorder."

Now, the 21-year-old could get the death penalty if convicted in the horrific crime that has strained the U.S. military's already troubled relations with the Iraqi people and sent shock waves around the world.

Steven Dale Green grew up in the west Texas oil town of Midland, where President Bush had been raised. Green's parents divorced when he was 4, and his mother remarried four years later.

His upbringing was not without complications. His mother pleaded no contest in 2000 to a drunken driving charge and was jailed for six months.

Midland school officials said Green attended classes from 1990 to 2002 but only made it through 10th grade, suggesting he might have been held back at least once.

After dropping out, Green moved about 80 miles north to Denver City, the former oil town along the New Mexico state line that is listed as his official hometown. He got his high school equivalency degree in 2003.

According to a report in the Midland Reporter-Telegram, Green was arrested for misdemeanor possession of alcohol on Jan. 31, 2005. Days later, just a few months shy of his 20th birthday, he enlisted in the Army.

He was deployed to Iraq from September 2005 to April 2006 as an infantry soldier in B Company, 1st Battalion of the 502nd Infantry Regiment, which is part of the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, Ky.

It was there that he was sent to patrol the so-called "Triangle of Death," an area southwest of Baghdad known for its frequent roadside bombings. Military officials say more than 40 percent of the nearly 1,000 soldiers in the region have been treated for mental or emotional anxiety. Green was apparently one of them.
Green was discharged on May 16 for what military officials in Iraq told The Associated Press was an "anti-social personality disorder." That sounds like a desperate last-minute effort at a cover-up to me. Heads must roll, all the way up the ranks. But that is still not enough.

What we have here is not just one sick mofo, or even a platoon of them. It's a sick society, exporting its sickness to the world.

Take a good look, America.


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