In past discussions here and elsewhere on the behaviour of US troops in Iraq, I have suggested that people can be expected to do irrational things when put in extreme circumstances under great stress. I would even extend this to actually forgivving certain actions that would in other situations be considered criminal, but the more I read about this case, the more I think that someone has to go down hard.
If what is being reported is true, it appears that some US troops took a shining to a young Iraqi girl (reports of her age range from 14 to 25, but the 25 figure comes from the FBI, the younger from locals that actually knew her family, so I’ll go with that one) at a checkpoint and then looked her up later on. They killed her family, including a younger sister and her parents and then took turns raping her before killing her as well and burning the bodies to hide the evidence.
Several soldiers have been arrested, but the only person to be named so far is Steven Green, who was discharged from the military due to a “personality disorder” (apparently, too late). By all appearances, he was either the ringleader of the incident or the military is very happy to make him appear that way in order to limit the damage and protect others still in uniform.
There is nothing that doesn’t disturb me about this incident. First, the incident itself is disgusting. Second, Green managed to get honourably discharged before it was discovered and might have gotten away with it altogether had someone not felt guilty enough to discuss it during a debriefing session later on.
And finally, if Iraq is a legitimate government, as the Bush Administration maintains, then why the hell is this guy not being handed over to their tender mercies?