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"He did not know the soldier or his family..."

This is just a very short note to express my bafflement on reading this Guardian piece on the American soldier who massacred 16 villagers in Afghanistan.

–Bafflement? you say, –Yes, it is shocking and bewildering that someone can do that to innocent people.

But that is not where the article surprised me. Pressuring people to go into war-zones and keeping them there for years and years and years is not a good idea, and I am not really that surprised that horrible things come of it. It is terrible, and very sad, and I wish it had not happened. But I am talking about something rather less grave and more bemusing, namely this paragraph right at the end of the article:

Beau Britt, staying at his parents' house across the street from the Baleses' home in Bonney Lake, east of Tacoma, said he did not know the soldier or his family. "It's not the sort of area where you just walk up to a house and start talking to them," Britt said.

Here is a picture of the paragraph for posterity's sake (in case the original is changed):

Who is Beau Britt? Why is the fact that Beau Britt does not know this person, despite his parents' living across the street from him, at all interesting?

I am aware that journalists will often try to get comments from people who only have a tenuous connection to a person in the news. But surely reporting that a person who has nothing to do with it knows nothing about it is a bit silly?
Karoline likes this


Are,  17.03.12 10:11

My interpretation: The journalist is hinting that the cold society, in which people do not know their neighbour, is what's really to blame here. :p
News commentary
Last edited by
Camilla, 17.03.12 09:26