Be All That You Can Be

beds
Texas Gov. Rick Perry visited the wounded and said the soldiers he met with were honored to serve their country.”What I heard time after time in those hospital rooms is they’re honored to be able to serve our country,” Perry said during a news conference.
I don’t know … It’s a complex issue. I find it courageous and admirable that any soldier feels honored to serve his or her country. On the other hand—or, same hand, different fingera—those who serve in the military are by far disproportionately drawn from the lower, less-advantaged (what the hell is the politically correct term) ranks of society. Rural kids, inner city kids, for whom the military is an uptick in their lives. A chance. One you’ll possibly die in taking it, and doesn’t that say a sad lot.

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Hurts

The pass of Salang, approximately 3800 meters ...

Karl Eikenberry On Afghan Troop Increase In this grotesque carnival, the US militarys contractors are forced to pay suspected insurgents to protect American supply routes. It is an accepted fact of the military logistics operation in Afghanistan that the US government funds the very forces American troops are fighting.

Which means, then … that our government … is paying people … to kill our own troops. Continue reading “Hurts”

Am I Supposed To Be Happy?

drone

WaPo: Saad bin Laden, 27, an al-Qaeda member who has been linked to terrorist bombings in Saudi Arabia, is believed to have been among the victims of a series of strikes by unmanned CIA Predator aircraft in the past few months, the officials said. If confirmed, he would be the closest relative to bin Laden killed by U.S. forces since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

There are some indications that he may be dead, but it’s not 100 percent certain.

Aw, what a pity. Continue reading “Am I Supposed To Be Happy?”

Not Quite Masters of War

… if the scrofulous old men who cause wars and declare wars allowed the citizenry to fully comprehend what actually happens–psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually–to the legions of young men they send off to fight their unjust wars, there might be a true anti-war movement, based not on politics but on horror and revulsion against war.

Also from Tom’s interesting, eminently readable comment.    carrot

What occurs to me is, this is exactly what television did for the Viet Nam War, brought it into our living rooms, and usually over dinner—the news was at 6:00, and there was not this over-saturation, this 24-7 dribble … or is it drivel …

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On Not Killing

World War One was the crucible of military psychiatry as it became clear that even the bravest and best soldiers could break down due to combat stress.— Mindhacks

Interesting idea. The discussion is of a report from the British Medical Journal, which includes this:

… at a time when we are much concerned with reducing PTSD in combat troops, it seems fairly plain that we could cut the PTSD rate by more than 50% simply by keeping the least healthy 15% … out of combat zones.

The two prevailing assumptions, here, are that the bravest and best—before they broke down—were the men most able to kill with equanimity and face the likely possibility of being killed with the same stiff upper lip.
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