Christopher Cooper, Common Dreams, posted this story on Sott.net.
I have already posted one personal “rant” about the horrors of war this week (Cancer of the Spirit: On the Bridge review), but this pulls no punches and is a story of real human anguish.
The whole thing is regrettable, really. Shocking, truth to tell. And so sad, I’m sure, for those people, those blanket-wearing, beard-growing, false-god-worshiping, probably-related-to-terrorists, citizens of Afghanistan whose wives and children and babies were gunned down in their beds, shot, murdered, slaughtered, and then burned by one of America’s finest Sunday morning. But hey, what are ya gonna do? These things happen.
It seems the soldier in question was not, in fact, representative of our brave fighting men and women. He was just another in the continuing series of lone gunmen who have been shooting up the world here and overseas for as long as any of us have been reading the newspapers. David Cortright, the director of policy studies at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, tells us “This may have been the act of a lone, deranged soldier.” I saw a headline that said he was a rogue. OK; rogues do as often as not, “go rogue” as no less an authority than Sarah Palin would have us know. So given time to reflect a bit, I guess I’m sorry I impugned our noble troops.
My kid has annoyed me a time or two today. Loud, wild, antagonistic here and there. (He’s seven.) I told him to stay off the rotten ice on the pond inlet stream while I was cutting bushes, but there he was, “I’m cold!”, up to his knees in slush and muck and icewater, and we quit early and repaired to the woodstove to dry him out. (He did agree he ought have listened to my wise counsel.) Then again, he told me a dozen times he loved me. And when he just couldn’t possibly get to sleep on his own, he had not the slightest trouble when I let him lie on the couch in my office as I wrote my little letter to you all out there.
And there he sleeps. And you could bomb my house and blow up my car and take away a leg and an arm and I might take your compensation check and relocate and regroup and nurse my grievances in the barroom. But if you or you or you or anybody came in here and killed him, I don’t care if you’re Christian or Jew or Mohammedan or a pagan suckled in some creed outworn, if you hurt him accidentally or on purpose, under orders or because you snapped under the pressure of your third deployment. I’d just want to kill you. And I don’t doubt I might kill you slowly and abuse your damned corpse in some ugly way. You and the guy behind you and the army that comes after that. I’d open you up and I’d nail you to the porch floor.
Oh, I’d be a bad person for doing so. Why, you might even say I’d become a terrorist, I suppose. And killing you wouldn’t bring back my wonderful boy, because whatever God you might pray to or believe in only ever made one of him, and you killed him, and there could be no joy, no purpose, no happiness in my life after that other than getting to you and grinding you up and making you pay. You’d compensate me with your flesh for forty-two pounds and forty-four inches of boy. And if I went crazy enough (and I might, and anybody might), I might need to kill a whole lot more who seemed to me to be pretty much like you. And there we would be.
Instead of us, the general public, in the US or Australia or wherever, shutting our eyes to the realities of war, why don’t we, as Christopher has done, put ourselves in the place of the invaded, and just imagine what it is like and how we would feel?
I believe everybody should read this story, linked here.
- Sixteen dead as ‘rogue’ US soldier opens fire on Afghan villagers (smh.com.au)
- Afghan villagers tell of U.S. soldier’s deadly (sfgate.com)
- David Cortright: No Time to Abandon Afghan Women (huffingtonpost.com)
- UN Official: Manning Subjected to ‘Cruel Treatment’ by US Govt (2012indyinfo.com)
- I Scream (walkinginshadow.wordpress.com)