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Is there no end to hate? - Greg Gelpi

Stealing pieces of flesh from dead soldiers and dangling the head of an American civilian.

Hate. There's no other explanation.

Scour the Quran, search the Bible or Torah and survey the political landscape and you'll find no other answer.

Blood lust spawns more blood lust. Hate breeds more hate.

A roadside bomb killed a group of Israeli soldiers Tuesday. Like scurrying rats, a few of the Palestinian extremists desecrated their bodies by grabbing pieces of their flesh in hopes of trading them in.

Body parts used as bargaining chips. Neighbors turned into more than enemies and little more than savages and wild animals.

It's old news now that American soldiers brutalized Iraqi prisoners, but these acts pale in comparison to beheading a young American civilian and ripping apart dead bodies. I am in no way excusing or downplaying the Iraqi prison scandal.

I'm always quick to offer my opinion and interject my thoughts and beliefs. Witnessing the images from the Iraqi prison, I stared blankly at the television unable to speak.

Why? What defense did lawyers and officials toss out? Initial explanations, reasonings, rationales say that the soldiers were improperly trained and were simply following orders.

I don't have to remind anyone of the defense offered by guards in Nazi concentration camps.

I'm not a military veteran, but I can appreciate the importance of the chain of command and of following orders, yet I ask why?

Why would a human being demean fellow human beings in acts that are beyond words? What order or command would trump a person's basic sense of right and wrong?

What kind of training would tell a soldier not to listen to his or her conscience?

The waters have grown murky. The world of black and white has given way to the world of gray.

To be newsworthy means that something is out of the ordinary. The continuing violence in Israel and the West Bank is a mere blip on the radar screen in the Middle East, yet atrocities as those committed by American soldiers are out of the ordinary and so claim such attention.

There is little public outcry or international condemnation for the beheading or the savagery of the Palestinians involved in the roadside bomb. The International Red Cross won't launch an investigation into these acts, and the United Nations Security Council won't have a resolution speaking against these acts.

These acts, regretfully, are all too common place and the world has come to expect and accept these actions.

Amidst all this, one thing remains certain.

Give the extremists, the murderers, those filled will pure hate all that they want and ask for. They will still want more. They will still hate. They will continue to kill.

"War is hell," Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman said. "You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will."

What's most disturbing, though, are the actions taken against those not part of the military action of the war – the prisoners, the civilian contractors and the people of the Middle East.

Greg Gelpi covers education for the News Daily. He can be reached at ggelpi@news-daily.com or at (770) 478-5753 Ext. 247.