• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds


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    Monday, March 14, 2005


    I take military history from a professor at the US Air War College and soon to be at the US Army War College (teaches all the big wigs). Anyway, we were discussing the US involvement in Korea--the first limited war America fought since the Philippines--and he said Marshal stated the US goal as a free, independent, and democratic Korea.

    Another student asked what the difference was between the Philippines and Korea--why were we successful in the former, but not in the latter (or Vietnam)? He replied that one reason (among many) is that the US army used unmediated violence to subdue Filipino rebels and bring order back to the islands.

    So that made me think: Paradoxically, American limited wars/inteventions for the expressed purpose of protecting inalienable human rights, self-determination, and democratic principles are doomed to failure by the relatively new desire to hold the military to the same moral standards that peacetime civilians follow. Imposing society's moral standards on our military neuters it from protecting those moral standards in other nations around the world.

    Granted, this thought is popping into my head, so I haven't developed it into a full fledged argument, or found the numerous flaws it may contain, but ask yourself this question: Why would you think that someone who's profession is to kill would easily convert back to civilian life or want to do it in an inefficient manner? It's a lifestyle that fosters cold, calculating killers, an uncaring attitude to death, destruction, and suffering. Yet we expect them to behave like christian ministers or Amnesty international volunteers. Perhaps this expectation also puts undue pressure on our soldiers, causing more to "step out of line" than might have done so otherwise.

    As this line of reasoning matures, I will add more.

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