An American soldier has pleaded guilty to being part of a "kill team" who deliberately murdered Afghan civilians for sport last year.Video from ABC News, back in September:
Army Specialist Jeremy Morlock, 23, told a military court he had helped to kill three unarmed Afghans. "The plan was to kill people, sir," he told an army judge in Fort Lea, near Seattle, after his plea.
The case has caused outraged headlines around the world. In a series of videotaped confessions to investigators, some of which have been broadcast on American television, Morlock detailed how he and other members of his Stryker brigade set up and faked combat situations so that they could kill civilians who posed no threat to them. Four other soldiers are still to come to trial over the incidents.
The case is a PR disaster for America's military and has been compared to the notorious incidents of torture that emerged from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. This week the German magazine Der Spiegel published three pictures that showed American soldiers, including Morlock, posing with the corpse of a young Afghan boy as if it were a hunting trophy.
Confession Video: US Soldier Describes Thrill Kill of Innocent Afghans - Corporal, 22, Tells How His 'Crazy' Sergeant Allegedly Murdered For Kicks, Collected Body Parts.I realize that many soldiers of any country will not participate in this kind of blood lust. But this wanton butchery appears to be the natural extension of war without end and without purpose, as both victims and occupiers are further dehumanized, until killing another human being is mere sport.
We've encountered these stories too many times, in too many places, in too many eras, to excuse it away. It's what war is made of. It's why it has to stop.