Thursday, November 16, 2006

On Being a Soldier

People can put any spin they want on words to defend war and those who join the military — willingly or otherwise. They can call them freedom fighters or defenders, and imply they had a choice by saying they make sacrifices. The one that gets me is when they refer to them as peacekeepers — calling black white and expecting people to accept it. However it's phrased, a soldier is a trained killer, pure and simple, a person who has been taught to take the lives of other humans, efficiently and without qualms of conscience, in the belief that they are doing it in the name of some cause not of their own origination, but which they have been induced to support — again, willingly or otherwise. Ironically, the soldiers they are trying to kill are exactly the same as they are and have had pretty much the same experience. In other circumstances they could be best friends. It makes you think, doesn't it? No? Well, it should.

1 comment:

C Matthew Curtin said...

It's a funny thing about war: it has long been regarded as avoidable only if threat of it is credible. Or, as Flavius Vegetius Renatus had it in roughly 375, "Qui desiderat pacem, bellum praeparat." The sad truth is that if we refuse to wage war ourselves we must do so with the understanding that reciprocity is unlikely.