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Sociological Warfare?

May 19, 2009
Societies respond to war differently. In America, we might make films about war or record songs. In Afghanistan, one way the culture is responding is by producing War Rugs for decoration.

In Afghanistan, one way the culture is responding to war is by producing War Rugs for decoration.

American fighter jets have apparently killed a large number of innocent Afghan villagers in response to calls for help from the Afghan military. The preliminary military report said Taliban terrorists used villagers as human shields at military positions in two different villages in Farah, Afghanistan during an air strike.

Some sociologists might argue that American values, which hold that innocent life should be protected, are being used to hobble a war effort and turn the public against the war—that this is a form of sociological warfare.

Would you like to respond to this topic? If so, tell me what you think with regard to one of the discussion points below:

1. Who do you think made the mistake? Who should be held responsible for the deaths of those innocent people: the terrorists who used them as shields or the pilots? Why?

2. From the same selections above, who do you think the terrorists think you will blame? What insights does this afford you into how a person might use sociology in conflicts?

3. What do you think could be done to prevent America’s values (or another society’s values) from being used against her in similar situations in the future?

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