Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Banality of Evil

Wretchard comments on the story linked to below by the Dude (Can this be true?)
...One of the reasons Armies were invented, with their uniforms, insignia and badges; with their elaborate rituals and insistence on discipline is not, as some have ignorantly argued, to gratify some fantasy to play out a boy's adventure story. This machinery was created from the necessity to keep armed young men, recruited from all walks of life, often far from direct supervision, inured to violence and frequently stressed beyond normal endurance from going off the deep end. Yon's story reminds me of one I have frequently told. I met a veteran of the Second World War who told me that he entered the Bayview Hotel on TM Kalaw Street in Manila just after the US Army had driven the Japanese from it. This hotel was about three hundred yards from the location of the current US Embassy. And in it, the Filipino veteran found the walls smeared with the jelly of hundreds of human eyeballs. As a child my uncles had told me about how the Japanese, in the last extremity of despair had kidnapped thousands of young women and gang-raped them before killing them horribly. What the veteran described was one of the places it had happened, at the Bayview Hotel...

I had no doubts whatsoever about the Bayview Hotel story. And even though I don't know for a fact whether the al-Qaeda baked an 11 year old boy and served the carcass to his family, I have no doubt that it could happen. If the Japanese can do it, the Arab can. There but for discipline, culture and force of habit can go anyone at all...

Read it all.

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