Mad dogs and servicemen

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Few could have remained unmoved by the recent story of a teenaged girl savaged to death by a pack of pedigree dogs in Wigan:

‘Jade (Anderson) is believed to be the ninth child killed in a dog attack since 2005. Her death has intensified pressure on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to speed up changes to dog control legislation. An estimated 210,000 dogs attacks involving people take place each year’ (Independent, March 30, 2013)

Dogs are dangerous. Is this really news? After all, we’ve been here before: many times…

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This story about a whistleblower inside the allied military force in Iraq (trigger warning: rape) caught my eye in last week’s Guardian. The infantryman reported to his superiors, details of the so-called Mahmudiyah killings in Iraq in 2007, resulting in the prosecution of specialist Steven Green and several colleagues for rape and murder.

A US soldier was sentenced to 100 years in prison yesterday for one of the worst known cases involving US troops in Iraq – the gang rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl and the killing of her father, mother and sister. The horrific slaying of Abeer Qassim al-Janabi and her family happened in Mahmoudiya, around 20 miles south of Baghdad, on March 12 [2007].’

Soldiers are dangerous. Is this really news? After all, we’ve been here before, many times…

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The violent deaths of two 14 year-old girls, a half-decade and thousands of miles apart, savaged by a pack of wild animals, conditioned for aggression.

‘Pedigree’ animals are over-represented in attacks on humans. Banning this breed or that breed misses the point: inbreeding is immoral and causes innumerable health problems in animals (including a heightened predisposition to aggression?) but is only seen as problematic when it results on adverse effects to people (as if animals only exist for the convenience, pleasurement and service of humans…) Punishing individual owners misses the point too: highlighting these ‘problem’ cases perversely serves to obscure the systemic nature of the underlying immorality.

Forces and ex-forces personnel are over-represented in violent crime, homelessness, substance abuse and mental-health (including PTSD, Schizophrenia and so-called Gender-Dysphoria) statistics. Proscribing particular acts of violence, or against particular groups misses the point: violence is immoral and is the root cause of innumerable health and social problems in humanity. Making examples of individuals is all well and good, but by presenting their behaviour as aberrant, ultimately serves to obscure the systemic nature of the problem, or even what the problem really is.

A capacity for violence (hu)man and animal, is innate: selectively breeding for it isn’t. How much ‘collateral damage’ must we endure before our military/patriarchal/capitalist (frame it as you will) authorities are forced to confront their immorality?

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