That soliders main goal was not to over there to shoot and kill civilians and that's what you're implying. Absolutely failed logic comparing to a terrorist here. I'm sorry, can't disagree with you more. It feels awkward and weird that that's what you are actually implying he did.
Absolutely no double standard. It's as if you guys are making up failed logic just to disagree with me now...
The double standard is
indeed in full force - not just by you DV, but by thousands of other people - public, private, gov't employees, military employees, many in the press (and here at work around the water cooler). Many
people are looking for and grasping at any information that can be used as mitigating/reducing/explaining what is simply mass murder of innocent, unarmed civilians
While I personally
have a different take on what 'free will' and choices mean in this context (read Sam Harris's small booklet he just released on free will for more background), the label
of terrorist is being applied based on his actions
- not anything else. As far as the dead children are concerned, they are just as murdered if they were killed by a jihadist utterly convinced he's following his religious dictates , and who expect to be given a bunch of virgins as soon as they're martyred...
(I never did understand all this islamic excitement over virgins - personally, I prefer a relationship with a woman I don't
have to train from scratch. What about instead of 72 vigrins they actually get 3 well trained 'ladies of the evening' ?)
Back to the subject at hand. What, DV, do you think is the actual difference
in terms of being labeled a terrorist (and appropiate punishment based on that label) between the following 2 individuals:
1. A young islamic man, brainwashed from birth to believe he must kill westerners to protect his religion, who's personally witnessed his parents or siblings blown to bits by bombs supplied (or sent by) western powers - who's therefore completely
convinced he's doing the right thing by mowing down 11 American children as soon as he has the opportunity.
2. A young American man, who joined the military voluntarily (in part) to avoid massive legal judgements, who chooses
to drink far too much, who chooses to grab a gun and mow down 11 innocent women and children.
In my view, both
of the above were subjected to highly stressful situations beyond
their personal control, both
of whom additionally made choices to use a gun/bomb (whatever), both
of whom may have some kind of brain alterations (whether from brainwashing as an infant, or being exposed to violence on his friends or relatives, and both
of whom killed innocents.
Should not both of these 2 people either be punished (based on their actions) equally, or somewhat forgiven/given a lessor sentence/un-brainwashed/committed to psychiatric care/whatever (based on those things beyond their control that affected their brains) ?
I don't see much difference, myself - and as to whether either person can actually
make choices based
on free will - or whether their actions are mostly
a function of cause/effect beyond the persons individual control - that's a more complex (and slightly different) subject I may go into a bit more in another thread. Again, I'll plug Sam Harris's latest booklet for an excellent
read on whether or not free will exists (I don't think it does, myself), as well as the difference
between making choices - and free will.
My logic may be faulty (it usually is!), and I welcome criticism (and will undoubtedly get it in spades), but that's my 2 cents worth for the moment.