Friday, February 04, 2005

Tin Soldiers

by AJ/Skald

During the summer of 1996 I worked as a security guard in Athens, GA for the olympics. I was paired with a National Guardsman or Reservist and we guarded Sandford Stadium... which hosted soccer games.

I learned a lot about the military mentality from that experience. The folks I worked with were some of the most aggressive morons I have ever encountered. They regaled me with tales of "shooting ragheads", beating up "fags", getting drunk, etc. They talked glowingly of murdering people and "kicking ass".

Actually, I think most of them were full of shit and had never been close to combat... but the mentality was illustrative. These are the types of folks that fill our military. These are the people leading the invasion, shooting civilians, torturing prisoners, and the like. After Abu Ghraib, I had no problem believing that Americans had done those things. Im sure they are doing much worse. These are vicious people who glorify violence.

Sure, there are many who are not sadistic bullies. But are they human beings or wooden soldiers? Must they blindly do as they are told like small children? Do they have no conscience or self-reliance? They do have a choice. I don't share Micheal Moore's sympathy for them. I've known too many. Rather than kill people on someone else's orders, they can refuse. They can choose discharge or jail instead. But most, apparently, believe that obedience is more important than the lives of the people they kill. Obedience is a good trait for a dog. But one would hope that human beings would aspire to something more.

1 comment:

Callan said...

AJ,
I think this incident (a Marine general saying "it's a lot of fun to shoot people") demonstrates what you're writing about all too well:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61672-2005Feb3.html
and
http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/02/03/general.shoot/index.html
Thanks for the post. You're putting up a lot of good material lately.
Callan