This young Marine lost his soul in Bush's Hell

Joe Crews
INSIGHTS - by Joe Howard Crews
This young Marine lost his soul in Bush’s Hell

Feb. 20, 2007

The trials of Pendleton Marines for atrocities in Hamdania and other parts of Iraq have headlined local papers for months now. I have been a peripheral reader of these reports, shutting out most of them as too painful and distressing to digest. Finally, a headline in last Friday’s North County Times shocked me. A 21 year old Marine on trial, Lance Cpl Robert Pennington, committed an act which clearly demonstrated how he had been transformed into an sadistic monster. I read the story and cried.

I went back, researched many articles on Pennington and the atrocity at Hamdania last April. I wanted to know how this happened to him. I tried to place myself in his shoes. I was drawn into his uniform and his soul. I reached this conclusion: This normal, all-American boy had been transformed into a monster by Mr. Bush’s War. This young man lost his soul in Bush’s Hell. Many other young men have also.

Soldiers who lose their arms, legs, faces and body parts are considered heroes, until the memory of that war and its glory fade away. But soldiers and Marines who lose their souls in war, as did Cpl Robert Pennington, suffer most. A young man who loses his core being, his soul, has lost far more than a body part. No body part is worth the sacredness of the soul. Bodies die; souls do not. Souls remain part of universal consciousness for eternity, and shape destiny. The shattered souls of these men are shaping America’s destiny.

The little guy takes the fall for his commander in chief, who created the war. He is judged a murderer, while the commander, responsible for the death of a million, goes free. The Marine faces an eternity of pain, while those who profited retire in comfort and esteem.

All wars are evil; almost none are necessary. They are generally instigated by men who have not seen combat and do not understand the demonic nature of war. Initially wars are popular, especially with the gullible and patriotic jingoists, the profiteering military industrialists and the unscrupulous demagogic politicians, who maneuver in every war. It is these racketeers who collude to blame “the few rotten apples at the bottom of the barrel” to deflect the eye of justice from their own far greater crimes. The truth is, most of the criminal actions by those in the lower ranks are never exposed. More tragically, almost none of those in the highest echelons are brought to justice - unless they lose the war ignominiously. This war is about to be lost, and this is making the White House conspirators very nervous.

Nothing is served by the imprisonment of Cpl. Pennington, except to deflect from the sins of the unscrupulous men who created this war. If Pennington deserves eight years in prison, the evil men who marketed and contrived this criminal war deserve a punishment so demonic that no civilized society would deign to mete it.

What Pennington does deserve is the best psychiatric care and rehabilitation, no matter what the cost. He did not start this war. He entered this war a good kid, was sucked into Hell, engaged it and used its forces to bring retribution and justice as he saw his duty. In hell we are not the masters of our fate. War is a moral black hole where the laws of moral gravity are inoperative. Judges outside the event horizon really cannot comprehend this.

Pennington could have had a bright future, were it not for the Bush War, and were it not for the military which instilled into him the glory of war and the esprit de corps to seek revenge for the killing his buddies. This is what the military is about, of course. And that may be acceptable in a necessary war. This is not a necessary war, however. It is a war for the benefit of the powerful, the greedy and the vainglorious. The ignobility of leaders transce

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