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A Call for Compassion for David Motari

Modern warfare is the most utterly uncivilized of all human experiences. Perhaps if the Equal Service Amendment were enacted, this information would make its way back to the idiots who voted to authorize this atrocity.

Like most of the country, I’ve been following the story of David Motari, the Marine who allegedly threw a puppy off a cliff in Iraq.

One thing that I find fascinating is the fact that this unjustified war has caused the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis and thousands of innocent Americans. There are thousands of American boys who are, right now, suffering unspeakable permanent injuries and disabilities because of the lies that led us to this point.

Yet it takes a dead puppy to spike our national outrage. What does that say about us?

Sadly, our outrage may be misplaced after all.

I’m no psychiatrist, but this article on ABC News raises some interesting issues.

Having to live with the constant fear of being injured or killed might have led this Marine to take his aggression out on a defenseless animal, several psychologists said.

“Most of the time war is about chaos and the fear of being wounded or killed,” said David Spiegel, professor and associate chairman of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine. “And so you’re constantly confronting those fears and one of the ways to confront that may be by showing you’re the one that renders other creatures helpless.”

“The thought is that ‘I’m not the one who gets thrown off a cliff, I’m the one doing it,'” said Spiegel.

I can understand why Motari did this. Imagine that you had no control over whether you got sent to Iraq or not. Imagine that every day, you walk through this place not knowing if you’ll be blown up, shot, or if you’ll watch your best friend die. You too might become just a little bit barbaric.

I’m not saying, in any way, that tossing the dog off the cliff was right, justified, or defensible. I’m also not saying that he should be excused, nor that he should avoid responsibility for his actions. Compassion =/= arguing for his innocence.

I am saying that the internet pig-pile on Motari is unfair. Imagine just how psychologically damaged he had to be to do such a thing. If we looked at a veteran with his legs blown off, we would be full of compassion for him, wouldn’t we?

But when we see a psychological wound like this, we hate the suffering victim?

I may be a minority of one here, but I call for an end to Motari’s crucifixion. If anyone is guilty of sadism and a lack of human feeling it is us — collectively. We cheered when our bombs started dropping on Iraq. We screamed “support our troops.” We re-elected the criminals who started this whole thing. Those of us who didn’t cheer or vote for the pigs, did we really do enough to resist? We all could have done more.

Yet we want David Motari to suffer for killing a dog?

The man is wounded. Instead of trying to hurt him more, lets show some compassion for him. I know it is difficult, but showing compassion for someone who might not deserve it — that is true compassion.

I have gotten a lot of hate mail for this post. I hope that everyone can calm down long enough to understand my point… it isn’t that what he did is right, excusable, nor that he should evade punishment.

But failing to find compassion for him diminishes us… not him.

Don’t be compassionate for him *for his benefit* be compassionate for him to the benefit of everyone else. Hatred for Motari only increases the pain. Compassion for him is a great start to a world where compassion, and not cruelty, reigns.

Be the change you want to see in the world — Gandhi

UPDATE – the soldiers in the video have been disciplined, and Motari is being kicked out of the Marines. (source). I support this decision. Despite what the uneducated commenters keep suggesting, I have never argued for Motari to evade discipline nor to evade responsibility.

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