It's surprising that more soldiers don't snap. I know they do, but killing 16, including children, that's terrible. He'd been drinking? How much drinking is allowed at combat bases, anyway? And, yes being lied to by the military and told he was on his way home...and then "oh, we changed your orders." That should not be legal, although I know they pull that crap with soldiers all the time. He was ultimately responsible, but a lot of factors added up to his snapping and they all have to be considered before his sentencing.
Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.
Why won't you answer my question? I'll ask it again: If his deployments or a mental disorder or anything else contributed to his choices, then don't you think we should acknowledge that in order to prevent stuff like this from happening in the future?
"It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to." - W. C. Fields
Course in WWII everyone went, few families didn't have at least one male overseas. There was a strong sense of we are all in this together. Survivors of entire units came home to parades and sweet loving. The enlistment was duration plus 6 months. The war was highly censored so any soldiers raping or murdering civilians, POWs, or each other tended to be overlooked. Some were jailed for soldier on soldier but it was rare for anything else, especially in the Pacific.
Now service is a life choice like some civilian job. You enlist on your own and come out on your own. Most everyone you know found something else to do rather than 'defend freedom' in yet another armpit of this planet. Once the shooting starts the enlistments drop dramatically. Given huge re-enlistment bonuses some stay on and others go the merc route as war has become a corporate venture.
Not making any excuses, the maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters, but let's not gloss over the past wars trying to make something more out of this one.
That was then and this is now. Men crack, ALL men do, just at what point is the question. We had a saying, "Pressure makes diamonds, or a squirt of oil if the lump of coal has a flaw in it"
Sometimes you get a diamond and sometimes a squirt...
I don't think this should reflect badly on the town. It seems as if every part of America has people who simply snap these days. It has to be a societal thing.
Thank You for your service Sgt Bales before you killed anyone. But now you killed 16 plus one foetus. Your service is null and void now. You ought to be sent to the gallows.
The standard answer to the 'question' of what GI's did in WWII as an example of mass murder on civilians is we really don't know. There are recorded incidents of American soldiers murdering German civilians, English soldiers, and his fellow Americans. (Band of Brothers) Perhaps the main reason he didn't kill more is he was really drunk and M-4s and night vision didn't exist in WWII.
However there is a strong link between a feeling of racial superiority and atrocities. Japenese treatment of European POWs. Some GIs returning the favor and some rogue GIs in The 'Nam.
I make no excuses for the SSG, he is in deep kim-chi. However it isn't as if our troops are suddenly less manly or of the proper fortitude. No good purpose is served by attempting to claim a high ground for WWII GIs and looking down on this generation's troops because of the generation they rose up from.
How many of you judge and jury types have served America in a combat situation? How many have experienced mental anquish? How many of you have been next to a fellow human being to witness his or head blown off? How many of you have prayed to God for one more day of life so you can get back to your loved ones? How many of you expressed outrage at the TEN YEAR WAR before this event?