Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Banality of Evil Applies to Everyone

by Guest Columnist, Jacob G. Hornberger

One of the aspects of the Iraq War that has fascinated me the most is how CIA agents and U.S. soldiers could actually bring themselves to kill, torture, and sexually abuse Iraqis. After all, don’t forget that neither the Iraqi people nor their government participated in the 9/11 attacks. The worst “crime” that any Iraqi committed against any American was resisting an unlawful invasion of his country.

Nonetheless, even though the Iraqi people were innocent of any attacks on the United States, many CIA agents and most U.S. soldiers have been able to bring themselves to kill and maim hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in an invasion and occupation of a country that never attacked the United States, and murder, torture, and sexually abuse dozens of Iraqis detainees and prisoners.

How is a government able to bring men and women to do such things to people who never did anything to harm the United States?

I’m currently reading a fascinating book entitled Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher R. Browning. It’s about a police unit from Hamburg, Germany, which was assigned the task of rounding up hundreds of Jews in villages in Poland and shooting them at point-blank range.
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