…because he loves those People Behind him.
I saw this misleading poster on line and I would have to disagree.
For one human being to kill another there must be, in most instances – hate.
Thinking about killing in the military prompted me to write a little bit about Dehumanization.
The Soldier generally must hate or at least think of the ‘enemy’ he is shooting at as not human.
That is why the military dehumanizes the enemy and gives them names that are not considered human…something our species has been doing through-out history.
Jap, Towel Head, Chink, Kraut, even The Red Coats are all words we are familiar with and which take the Human out of Humanity.
This is of course de facto racism.
The average Vietnam Vet (and we all know a few of them) called their ‘enemy’ Dinks, Gooks, Slopes/Slopeheads and Slants – after all, the enemy to many of these soldiers & marines were just little bastards that lived like animals in the jungle – thus it was ok to treat them accordingly.
The Soldier/Marine has been indoctrinated, brainwashed (not unlike a cult; which the military has all the hallmarks of) and there is a seething hate that takes years and conscious effort (as it did for me) to reason away why we should not hate others for no reason other than the government and its Propaganda Machines told us to.
And while I’m on the subject… here is a quick little digression:
Governments sometimes present “Enemy” civilians or soldiers as less than human so that voters will be more likely to support a war they may otherwise consider genocide.
Such efforts often depend on preexisting racist, sectarian or otherwise biased beliefs, which governments play upon through various types of media such as CNN or Fox News. They present their “enemies” as barbaric, undeserving of rights, and a ‘threat’ to the nation. We see this perpetuated on these moronic media outlets (mentioned above) and other Idiotic ‘News’ sources (that the rest of the world calls propaganda).
Alternatively, states sometimes present the ‘enemy’ Government or a country’s way of life as barbaric and its citizens as childlike and incapable of managing their own affairs. We see this happening in the Middle East in countries and cultures that are far older than young, ignorant Amerika.
Such arguments have been used as a pretext for colonialism… which we see happening in Iraq (which now sports the biggest US Embassy in the world… no, The US is not pulling out of Iraq anytime soon).
Most soldiers love their friends and family ‘back home’ and want to help them… BUT most soldiers are not thinking, I am protecting my family who are safe back home by killing these people I do not hate in this country where my family does not reside (sounds absurd when you move the words around a bit, eh?).
The average American soldier, whilst in another country, shooting at people that did nothing to him personally (but who is shooting at them non-the-less), is thinking, I want to get the fuck out of here and in the meantime just follows orders and waits out his time so that he will (perhaps) get his GI Bill – IF he makes it out – and a shiny piece of metal to put on his chest (rats also like shiny things – we find a lot about humans by studying rats – don’t we?).
The military goes to great lengths to instill in its soldiers a willingness and even eagerness to commit violent and brutal acts without question… and if they do question then they are UNPatriotic and may even get a court martial for refusing to go against their Conscience (Muhammad Ali – who was not even in the military got his Championship Belt stripped from him for refusing to go to Vietnam to kill people that never called him a nigger – another dehumanizing word that slave owning whites and other bigots used so they could keep treating blacks inhumanely).
What the military does NOT do is spend any time or effort to debrief or UNtrain this mindset once the troops leave ‘Enemy’ Land. Treatment for those who suffer depression, guilt and may even develop suicidal tendencies for what they have seen and done is woefully substandard.
Military training, is an extremely effective method of changing the mindsets of the newly enlisted, often teenagers, so they are ready, willing (and even eager!) to spontaneously kill other people.
Consider how intense this training must be in order to turn a normal, fun loving, teenager with hormones bursting from his every pore into a killer – who does not question authority - in a matter of weeks.
I should know, I spent almost a year training for one of the Army’s Elite Divisions.
A critical part of this training involves dehumanization. The idea here is to make trainees think of the enemy, not as opposing soldiers but as less than human. Animals. There is far less of a possibility that an Amerikan soldier will shy away at the order to kill when he believes that what he is killing is not a Human Being at all, but a lower form of life deserving only loathing, disgust and hate.
A soldier fights and shoots at others because he was trained to obey orders without question, and has been brainwashed to think the enemy is less than human. His family back home barely works into the equation… and the hate (mixed with fear and ignorance) he feels in the combat zone is very real and very dangerous.
Peace in the Middle East.