I know not why Staff Sgt. Robert Bales committed these most brutal atrocities. This is not written to excuse his behavior or condemn it, although I do so in the strongest terms. I write this because even though Sgt. Bales admitted killing these men, women and children, he had an accomplice. It was the American government that sent this man to 1,192 days of hell
. Despite head injuries, the loss of part of a foot and his personal plea that this would be a hardship on his family and serving three tours in Iraq, they sent this broken man to Afghanistan. When is enough? When does killing and seeing your buddies killed become too much?
There has to be a breaking point. The Vietnamese broke Senator John McCain and no matter what I think of this man's politics, I salute his service and for him to be broken by his torturers tells me anyone can be. Senator McCain might be many things, but in my view, he's one tough SOB and they must have really put the screws to him to make this Admiral's son talk. He has spoken of this and has said the worst thing that has ever happened to him was not the physical torture, but having to tell his father "They broke me". This is what drives these men. Not some kind of pseudo patriotism to the Flag, but their buddies and their family. Sgt Bales was fixing to lose his house and on his fourth tour and he snapped.
It is estimated that 31% of the men and women sent into combat zones have some type of PTSD.
That is after only one tour. No one, no psychiatrist in the world can tell you what percentage of soldiers who have been deployed four times to combat zones have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. How this country and can send these soldiers over to these damn places to kill and be killed, to see atrocities that we cannot imagine in our widest dreams and to watch their closest friend die or lose limbs is a travesty. Our minds are not wired that way. We are not born killers, we are taught to kill and in any fucking world this is wrong.
Old men sit in smokey rooms puffing on their illegal Cuban cigars with a "wink, wink" thinking the law doesn't apply to them. President Kennedy is said to have ordered boxes of Cuban cigars imported to the White House because he was fixing to sign an executive order banning all contraband from coming into America from Cuba. I guess the rich and privileged deserve their inside knowledge about cigars, and wars. When it comes to wars they love to plan them, however incompetent they are, but do not think about asking their children to go. No, they have their Ivy Leagues colleges to attend. War is now a poor man's game and has been since World War II.
But when does this insanity end? When does a soldier's brain snap from seeing these awful, awful things. They fight and kill and see their friends die in the daytime and then go on Skype at night and their wife gives them the news they are losing their homes. Or perhaps a son or daughter is acting up and they cannot do a damn thing about it. They can only get up the next morning and do it all again. The human mind cannot work this way. I know absolutely knowing about psychiatry, nor am I a neurologist, but even an idiot like me knows you can't keep sending these brave soldiers into harms ways every other year. By the time they are rehabilitated from the last tour, their bodies and minds partly adjusted, they are sent back, regardless of their personal situations.
Don't tell me this is what they signed on for, that's bullshit. They signed up because there are no jobs and they are poor and want to go to college. Some even signed up to experience the army and find out what war is like, after experimenting with it on their game boxes. Hell, the army recruiters even give out the war games to make it look glamorous. It doesn't take long for a person to find out it is indeed hell, especially when they see their friends brains splattered all over themselves. Sgt. Bales should be locked up for life. What he did is unforgivable and there are no excuses for slaughtering whole families. But there is another culprit. The United States government is just as guilty as Sgt. Bales, maybe more so. Hell, we taught him how to do it!