Wednesday, November 10, 2004

THIS gives me nightmares.

Last night, I was on my way home, listening to our local public radio station. I'm not sure what show it was (I think it was "The World," but I wouldn't put money down on it), but they were playing this report that included interviews with this troop of Marines as they were about to invade Fallujah. The troop leader was only 25. The soldiers under his command were all younger than he was, and none of them had seen live combat before. He was describing how the Marines had gotten this green crew of soldiers prepared for the invasion. I'm paraphrasing, but here's what he said:

It's not in human nature to kill other humans, so to get the guys ready, we recently switched to lifelike targets (rather than just paper ones) during target practice. The same shape and size as real people. And we play this music while they're practicing so that it makes it more like a video game for them, and makes them more able to kill someone without really thinking about it. [While the soldiers are in battle, a Humvee with speakers mounted on it, plays heavy metal music in their midst. They speak to a young soldier who says, "As long as they keep playing this music, I can keep going."]

My God, this is terrifying. While the "moral values" folks bitch and moan stateside about the toll that violent video games are taking on our kids by desensitizing them to the damage that actual violence does, our government is purposely using the violent video game approach to make these young men numb to taking lives.

It's like saying rape is wrong unless you're really horny.

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