Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Houla massacre shows how killing can become normal

We are so shocked when confronted by atrocities that we invest them with a sense of moral purpose often absent from the act

Peter Beaumont, Tuesday 29 May 2012

"......In these kind of conflicts, those who display the fiercest loyalty to their own group and fiercest hatred of the "other" have a special usefulness – providing not only the most ruthless killers because they are challenged the least by the morality of what they are doing, but often also acting as examples of what the new culture of conflict "requires" of all members of the group.

For in the end, this is what war does – and not only in authoritarian regimes like that of Assad. The same processes occur whenever men are asked to kill others. It is why each generation throws up its horrors, and why we should not be surprised even as we are horrified by each new My Lai, each new Sabra and Shatila, or each new Srebrenica."

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