An 'ethical' American militarism?The US military have just anounced that troops based in Iraq are to receive 30 days of 'ethical training'. Apparently, troops are to be given lessons in 'core warrior values', (whatever that is), in what seems like a desperate, knee-jerk reaction to the alleged slaughter of 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq.
The US military have been put on the defensive, top brass like Lt-Gen Peter Chiarelli, commander of multinational forces in Iraq admitted that 'it is important that we take time to reflect on the values that separate us from our enemies'. It looks as though American forces have fallen foul of their own propaganda. US forces have constantly made an emphasis of avoiding unnecessary civilian casualties, so when they do occur, they become a cause of an international outcry. Instead of pointing out that 'collateral damage', as it is euphemistically known as, is an inevitable consequence of war - the US military tries to play the victim, by accusing the insurgents of 'war crimes'. Accusing others of war crimes, only leaves the US military open to the very same accusation.
Picture: US military checkpoint in Bagdad. May 2006. (AFP/US ARMY/File/Staff Sgt Russel Lee Klika)