Investigating war deaths – U.S. investigates checkpoint shooting – Apr. 1, 2003

I’m finding myself continually comparing the events of the last few weeks to World War II. One of the things I’ve found interesting is stories like the one above. People died in a war, and we are conducting an investigation. Had this happened in WWII, it would have been noted as casualties of war, and that would be it.

The other area in which the comparison is interesting is our (the public’s) attitude towards the enemy. In WWII, the enemy were barely human, and things I’ve read from the time speak of them in terms that would be considered deeply politically incorrect today, even among people strongly supporting the war.

I suppose the story above really is about our attitude about the enemy. Saddam Hussein is the enemy, and the people in his nation are merely victims. And while this was at least as much the case in 1940’s Germany, we certainly did not view it that way.

I heard a fascinating quote on the news today, from an Iraqi soldier who had defected. It was something like “Why are the Americans bombing innocent Iraqi soldiers?” Huh?