What War Does To Soldiers

Andrew Exum is appalled, but not shocked, by the video of Marines desecrating the corpses of Taliban soldiers:

Just look at the official propaganda from the Second World War, a conflict most Americans have seen only through a sanitized Spielbergian lens. Look at the lengths to which the United States and Japan went to dehumanize the other. Now imagine how that translated down at the platoon and squad level in heavy combat. One big difference today is the diffusion of camera phones and other media allow the ugly dehumanizing effect of war to go viral. In a way, I am glad. Since so few Americans actually fight in our wars, it's good that Americans see the effect war can have on other people's sons and daughters.

Ackerman wonders why the outrage to date has been greater in the States than in Afghanistan. Debra Cassens Weiss compiles evidence suggesting that the episode qualifies as a war crime.