Blame System, Not Soldier | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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News » Letters

Blame System, Not Soldier



So, a soldier in Afghanistan flips and kills 16 unarmed civilians, including children, and in an instant becomes an unredeemable aberration in the media and the public mind. I read on that prosecutors are going for maximum charges, as if he alone were involved in the ongoing disaster that is America’s occupation of Afghanistan.

Our Great Leader vows to hold all involved accountable, but we know that not to be true. None of those who planned this war crime throughout the summer of 2001 and signed the invasion order the day before we had an excuse to wage war will be mentioned or face prosecution. Not a former president or any member of The Project for a New American Century, which made up most of his cabinet (including his VP and brother) will be mentioned as accessories to this one atrocity among many contained in this greater atrocity. And certainly Great Leader himself, who continues this ongoing waste of blood and treasure, will not implicate himself as a responsible party.

No, only the soldier will be held fully accountable. The powers that be will laud the system for its willingness to investigate this event and find the “truth” (just like Abu Ghraib?) that will be ladled on the public as proof positive that the system is deserving of praise in its relentless pursuit of justice and accountability by bringing the perp to pay for his crimes.

The system that placed him and thousands of others like him in harm’s way in repeated deployments will once again be self-exonerated, exalted and placed outside of all responsibility. The same system that defined a war of aggression as the supreme war crime will forget its own definition and continue breaking its own laws. It will absolve itself, pointing bloody fingers in feigned righteousness at this tired and war-weary soldier, shattered in mind and spirit, doing the dirty and horrible job that in truth needn’t be done; a job that they themselves will never consider, nor be called upon to do.

The system is the problem, not the soldier.

Clee Paul Ames