Saturday, 21 April 2012

War Trophies from Afghanistan: A Clash of Morals

The awful pictures, published in the Los Angeles Times, show US soldiers posing with the remains of dead Afghans. For sure they have an audience in their military bases and back at home; such people must be consumed with immense hate to take pleasure from such macabre images. Similar pictures have also surfaced earlier, including a video showing US Marines urinating on dead Afghans. Then followed the Anders Breivik like killing rampage, by a lone US soldier; 17 innocent and defenceless civilians, including women and 9 children were murdered in cold blood. All these examples show an underlying trend; deep contempt for the Afghans, which correlate with the xenophobic and racist culture that runs deep within US history. 

There is a history behind the ‘art’ of collecting parts of mutilated dead bodies as war trophies. During the Vietnam War, some U.S. soldiers collected skulls of Vietnamese soldiers. Similarly in World War II, teeth and skulls of dead Japanese service personnel were commonly taken and sent home. Their ancestors, who migrated from Europe, engaged in taking scalps from dead Native Americans as trophies.

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