Replace Madness with Character

Be Accountable

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I’m reading Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent into Madness in Iraq, by Jim Frederick. In this case, members of an American Army platoon, after a devastating unraveling of events, murdered and raped an innocent Iraqi family of four. The entire book is about Character. As you read it the Character Triangle lessons seep through every page. Black Hearts is about the most serious decay of character; when the moral compass is lost in every way. Throughout the book Frederick points out the confusion between accountability and blame at every level.

Even if you haven’t read the book…listen to the following quote from Sergeant John Diem after a blaming session between brass and troops, as captured by Frederick… “If Colonel Kunk got up and said, “I *****d too. I have allowed you guys to turn into monsters. And I have completely forsaken you when you needed the support that only I had the power to provide. But I lacked the Character to do it. All of you failed. Me, and we as a family, as a 1st Battalion, Bravo Company, 1st Platoon, all the way down the line, have failed, …but nobody’s got the grit to say that. Everybody wants to say, “But it wasn’t my fault.””

With Character,

Lorne