Anyone familiar with combat or the effects of prolonged combat should not be surprised that something like this takes place.
War is hell. And it is worse when those fighting are told to die for the mega corporations who grow fat on the blood of human sacrifice. The blood of our own children! Frankly, I'm surprised the soldiers in that horrible and needless war don't break more frequently. Yes, yes, I know. Every war has had its episodes of mass killing of civilians. The Germans firebombed Coventry, England, and the allies firebombed Tokyo and Dresden. These raids, killing thousands, were not strategically necessary. The difference is that bombers dropping death from 30,000 feet remained impersonal.
It's when Germans killed unarmed soldiers at Malmedy and the Japanese massacred thousands in China and Americans killed unarmed civilians at Mai Li, that we took an interest.
After burning Korans and urinating on the bodies of Taliban soldiers, then comes the murder of 16 civilians by a single soldier. Why did he do it? The answer is war! What other answer do you want? We may never know what was in his mind, but to him the action was needed and rational. And that alone should scare us!
I'm not making excuses for anyone. War is hell.
If anything good can come from this, it just might be a new and deeper understanding and the reality of what prolonged combat with repeated tours in the war zone can do to the human mind.
And to those who might compare the behavior of American soldiers during WWII, I would say that if the mission of that war were taken away, then those good men could just as easially crack and become cold-blooded killers.
Perhaps America will see what is happening and say enough. Let's get out of Afghanistan. No empire has ever conquered these people. Perhaps it will take events such as these to rescue our children. It's a war being waged by corporations, having no clear mission objective and no real plan to win.
The best of our land don the uniform and head for war thinking that they are doing their patriotic part. In reality, they are the pawns of power brokers who care nothing for the cost of war -- only the profits. Get our soldiers out of that hell ... stop the torture of our young men and women now. Enough is enough. Bring our heroes home. They have done enough. Recent events have shown they can do no more.