The Reality of the War Zone


I am watching a special on the Holocaust. I have seen many before. This time, however, it’s striking me differently. I’m realizing how many German soldiers involved in it apparently didn’t consider the reality of what they were doing. They couldn’t have believed they were killing real people. I’m reminded of stories I’ve heard from US war veterans who tell of things like playing soccer with the heads of dead Iraqis. At the time, it was “normal.” But then they returned home, and the reality of what they did kicks in. They wonder how they could have done such a thing.

Many people believe the only men who would do this have a predisposition to this kind of horrific action. I do not believe this. I believe there is something about the war machine that changes the soul of a human being. In the US, part of basic training consists of de-humanizing the enemy. When a soldier can be convinced that a “gook” or “raghead,” or whatever disgusting nickname our current enemy is called, is not a human being, it is easier for the soldier to kill. Basic training is really a hate training camp.

The latest version of this mindless killing mentality involve drone operators, who drop bombs on the other side of the world, from the safety of their office in Nevada. They probably go out to places like Applebee’s for lunch, and maybe are on a bowling league at night. During the day, while doing nothing more complicated than playing Pac Man, they are killing people tens of thousands of miles away. We all know they are killing civilians. Part of them must know it, also. Whether a person is a German soldier, or a drone “pilot,” it’s all about dehumanization and murder. I’ve already heard about drone “pilots” developing post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD). I say – good – it means they have a conscience. It means they realize what they did. It is their soul screaming out for healing. I think this whole train of thought of mine started when I started wondering if any German soldiers developed PTSD after the war. I suspect, since they, too, are human, a certain percentage of them must have. I can only hope.

I believe the only way of ending wars is for people to truly understand what goes on in a war zone. Although I was spared that experience, I have read many personal accounts of war, and have spoken with many veterans who revealed the horrific things they were involved with, and the pain they have had to live with their entire lives ever since. They didn’t understand what they were involved with, until it was too late.

I believe an understanding of this should be a requirement for anybody in a position to wage war.

I think if Americans understood what we subject our soldiers to, they’d stop the platitudes about thank yous and yellow ribbons, and actually do something to stop it.

Diane Rejman is a Army veteran, and a lifetime member of Veterans for Peace. She holds a MBA in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and her biography has been listed in Who’s Who in the World. She can be reached at: yespeaceispossible@gmail.com

November 25, 2015
Jeff Taylor
Bob Dylan and Christian Zionism
Dana E. Abizaid
Provoking Russia
Oliver Tickell
Syria’s Cauldron of Fire: a Downed Russian Jet and the Battle of Two Pipelines
Patrick Cockburn
Trigger Happy: Will Turkey’s Downing of Russian Jet Backfire on NATO?
Robert Fisk
The Soothsayers of Eternal War
Russell Mokhiber
The Coming Boycott of Nike
Ted Rall
Like Father Like Son: George W. Bush Was Bad, His Father May Have Been Worse
Matt Peppe
Bad Policy, Bad Ethics: U.S. Military Bases Abroad
Martha Rosenberg
Pfizer Too Big (and Slippery) to Fail
Yorgos Mitralias
Bernie Sanders, Mr. Voutsis and the Truth Commission on Greek Public Debt
Jorge Vilches
Too Big for Fed: Have Central Banks Lost Control?
Sam Husseini
Why Trump is Wrong About Waterboarding — It’s Probably Not What You Think
Binoy Kampmark
The Perils of Certainty: Obama and the Assad Regime
Roger Annis
State of Emergency in Crimea
Soud Sharabani
ISIS in Lebanon: An Interview with Andre Vltchek
Thomas Knapp
NATO: This Deal is a Turkey
November 24, 2015
Dave Lindorff
An Invisible US Hand Leading to War? Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness
Mike Whitney
Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire
Walter Clemens
Who Created This Monster?
Patrick Graham
Bombing ISIS Will Not Work
Lida Maxwell
Who Gets to Demand Safety?
Eric Draitser
Refugees as Weapons in a Propaganda War
David Rosen
Trump’s Enemies List: a Trial Balloon for More Repression?
Eric Mann
Playing Politics While the Planet Sizzles
Chris Gilbert
“Why Socialism?” Revisited: Reflections Inspired by Einstein’s Article
Charles Davis
NSA Spies on Venezuela’s Oil Company
Michael Barker
Democracy vs. Political Policing
Barry Lando
Shocked by Trump? Churchill Wanted to “Collar Them All”
Cal Winslow
When Workers Fight: the National Union of Healthcare Workers Wins Battle with Kaiser
Norman Pollack
Where Does It End?: Left Political Correctness
David Macaray
Companies Continue to Profit by Playing Dumb
Binoy Kampmark
Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security
Dave Welsh
Defiant Haiti: “We Won’t Let You Steal These Elections!”
November 23, 2015
Vijay Prashad
The Doctrine of 9/11 Anti-Immigration
John Wight
After Paris: Hypocrisy and Mendacity Writ Large
Joseph G. Ramsey
No Excuses, No Exceptions: the Moral Imperative to Offer Refuge
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS Thrives on the Disunity of Its Enemies
Andrew Moss
The Message of Montgomery: 60 Years Later
Jim Green
James Hansen’s Nuclear Fantasies
Robert Koehler
The Absence of History in the Aftermath of Paris
Dave Lindorff
The US Media and Propaganda
Dave Randle
France and Martial Law
Gilbert Mercier
If We Are at War, Let’s Bring Back the Draft!
Alexey Malashenko
Putin’s Syrian Gambit
Binoy Kampmark
Closing the Door: US Politics and the Refugee Debate