Losing our humanity

I am absolutely disgusted by the news report I saw this morning of more of our soldiers posing with the corpses of those they killed on the battlefield. As a Desert Storm Vet I am ashamed. As an American I am mortified. As a human being I am without the words to accurately describe the level of disgust I feel about their actions. The more we, the human race, advance in technology, science and culture, the farther we move away from our caveman origins, the more we seem to lose our humanity and reverence for life. I thought evolution meant improvement. Our paved roads and skyscrapers, our cars, smartphones, and designer clothes have insulated us from the world around us. We are cracking and breaking the circle of life, and just don’t seem to give a damn.
A friend of mine posted on his FB page that the media was villainising our soldiers, that war wasn’t neat and tidy. I posted that the soldiers villainized themselves. He’s right, war isn’t neat and tidy; but taking another life shouldn’t be funny or entertaining either. Even in war, even in self-defense the ending of a life should have meaning because that life had value. . . even if it was only to whatever higher power you believe is playing puppet-master to us all.
The article is correct in stating that there has been a breakdown in the leadership of our soldiers. Yes, it is their job to train our troops to go into battle, take the lives of others, and hopefully come home. And yes, it takes tapping into a very dark part of human nature to prepare someone to end the life of another; and to “turn off” that part of their humanity that is able to feel empathy and compassion for those lives that are to be ended. I can only imagine the mental state that has to be developed to survive the environment of war. My eight years of hospital work gives me a small sliver of understanding of the mental trickery needed to face death and trauma on a daily basis. There is a lot of dark humor and a sort of walling off of the ability to connect with others, just so you can do your job and not completely lose your mind.
But those out there who say, “well, war is nasty, and nasty shit happens in that environment”, they need to remember that at some point, these soldiers, these trained killing machines come home. They live next door to us and shop in the same stores as us. They drive the same roads and visit their children at the same schools as our children. They don’t stay on the battlefield forever. They come home, and apparently, haven’t been trained on how to turn their humanity back on. Then our news media is filled with stories of war vets killing their spouses, or walking down a busy boulevard with guns a blazing. Or maybe we read about an altercation at a school or a shopping center between a soldier and a person of middle east origins that ends up with a school or neighborhood in locked down, because the soldier’s PTSD was triggered; now that death and carnage is no longer restricted to a war zone.
And let’s not forget the responsibility of every one of our soldiers to protect the safety of their fellow soldiers. The actions of a few have consequences for everyone over there. Blame the media if you want, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that word doesn’t get around locally even when stuff isn’t reported internationally. Every time one of our soldiers disgraces the uniform the choose to wear, someone else is held accountable. That too is just a fact of war. We need to think about the end result of our soldiers exposure to the environment of war and what they will become.
Do we really want them to find so little value in the life of others? Isn’t that what Al-Qaida has done? Isn’t that what that guy in Norway did? How about Timothy McVeigh or Charles Manson, or Jeffery Dalhmer, or any other mass murderer or terrorist or dictator of a nation leveling carnage on anyone with a different religious, political, or cultural view of life? Aren’t we, as a nation, and our soldiers supposed to be more than those base animal instincts? Aren’t we supposed to represent something better than that? Maybe that sounds idealistic and frufru to some people; but you know what, I refuse to lose my ideals or my humanity. And I expect those that choose to put on a uniform and represent me and my country to refuse to lose their ideals and humanity as well.

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About goddessofglitter

I like to laugh
This entry was posted in commentary, in the news. . ., life's whispers, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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