News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: They're Such Nice Boys

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

They're Such Nice Boys

From an article by Conn Hallinan trying to explain why occupations fail:

Israeli psychologist Nofer Ishai-Karen and psychology professor Joel Elitzur interviewed 21 Israeli soldiers who served in the Occupied Territories. They found that the soldiers routinely engaged in murder, assault, threats and humiliation, and many of them enjoyed it.

“The truth is that I love this mess—I enjoy it. It is like being on drugs,” one soldier told them. Another said, “What is great is that you don’t have to follow any law or rule. You feel you are the law, you decide. Once you go into the Occupied Territories, you are God.”

One soldier told a story about seeing a four-year-old boy playing in the sand in his front yard during a curfew in Rafah. The soldier says his officer “grabbed the boy. He broke his hand here at the wrist, broke his leg here. And started to stomp on his stomach, three times, and left. We are all there, jaws dropping, looking at him in shock…the next day I go out with him on another patrol, and the soldiers are already starting to do the same thing.”
And on the Napoleonic army in Spain:
A few hours with the works of Goya will give one an idea of how the French army behaved in Spain.
These quotes, as well as the stunning statistics of American soldiers' indifference to Iraqi suffering testify to the validity of Milgram's experiments on the dark heart in every human, I think.

No comments: