We are after all only human, which is at least part of the reason that we can succumb to collective dehumanization as a society so readily.
The recent youtube video appearance of US marines peeing on the bodies of taliban fighters in Afghanistan has brought appropriate statements of disgust and anguish over the reprobation but probably much too little introspection.
Sebastion Junger takes a look at how we got here as a culture and society and while he may not have a solution he at least gets closer to digging up the roots of the problem than most of the voices out there do these days.
Read the whole thing, he does a good job with the piece and it's an important point that he makes.There is another context for that behavior, though — a more contemporary one. As a society, we may be disgusted by seeing U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters, but we remain oddly unfazed by the fact that, presumably, those same Marines just put high-caliber rounds through the fighters’ chests. American troops are not blind to this irony. They are very clear about the fact that society trains them to kill, orders them to kill and then balks at anything that suggests they have dehumanized the enemy they have killed.