A US soldier who raped and killed a girl, 14, said he “didn’t think of Iraqis as humans” in a chilling interview before he died.
War criminal Steven Dale Green, who was convicted of raping and killing a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and killing her family, had described the terrors of war and how the circumstances he was in dehumanised him.
He said it drove him to commit sick atrocities in Iraq before taking his own life in 2014.
In interviews he gave after returning to the US, he described the profound and devastating impact war has on individuals and the trauma and psychological effects that soldiers experience.
101st Airborne soldier Green said that he did not think of Iraqi civilians as humans after being exposed to extreme war zone violence.
Green said that his crimes were fuelled in part by experiences in Iraq’s particularly violent “Triangle of Death” where two of his sergeants were gunned down.
The deaths intensified Green’s feelings toward all Iraqis, whom soldiers often called by a derogatory term.
“There’s not a word that would describe how much I hated these people,” Green said. “I wasn’t thinking these people were humans. I was crazy. I was just all the way out there. I didn’t think I was going to live.”
He also cited a lack of leadership and help from the Army and said that he and other soldiers at the Baghdad checkpoint felt abandoned and had turned to alcohol and drugs.