FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

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

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
August 23, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Notes on Inauthenticity in a Creeping Fascist Nuthouse
Andrew Levine
Recession Now, Please
Rob Urie
Mr. Trump Goes to Kensington
Jeffrey St. Clair
Deep Time and the Green River, Floating
Robert Hunziker
Earth 4C Hotter
Kenneth Good
Congo’s Patrice Lumumba: The Winds of Reaction in Africa
Pete Dolack
The Realism and Unrealism of the Green New Deals
David Rosen
The White-Nationalist Great Fear
Kenn Orphan
The War on Indigenous People is a War on the Biosphere Itself
L. Michael Hager
What Netanyahu’s Travel Ban Has Revealed
Ramzy Baroud
Jewish Settlers Rule the Roost in Israel, But at What Price?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Is Environmental Protection Possible?
Josue De Luna Navarro
What It’s Like to Grow Up Hunted
Ralph Nader
They Don’t Make Republicans Like the Great Paul Findley Anymore!
Gary Olson
Whither the Resistance to our Capitalist Overlords?
Dean Baker
On Those Downward Jobs Revisions
Rev. William Alberts
Beware of the Gun-Lover-in-Chief
Helder F. do Vale
Brazil: From Global Leader to U.S. Lapdog
Laura Finley
Educators Actually Do “Work” in the Summer
Jim Goodman
Farmers Need a Bill of Rights
Tom Clifford
What China’s Leadership is Really Worried About: Rising Debt
Daphne Wysham
Saving the Planet Means Fighting Bipartisan Corruption
Tierra Curry
Amazon Fires Put the Planet at Risk
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir: Decentralize Power and Revive Regional Political Institutions
John W. Whitehead
American Apocalypse
George Wuerthner
How Agriculture and Ranching Subvert the Re-Wilding of America
Daniel Murphy
Capital in the 21st Century
Jessicah Pierre
400 Years After Slavery’s Start, No More Band-Aids
Kim C. Domenico
Finding the Comrades: Maintaining Precarious Sanity In Insane Times
Gary Leupp
“Based on the Fact She Won’t Sell Me Greenland, I’m Staying Home”
John Kendall Hawkins
The Chicago 8 Trial, Revisited
Rivera Sun
Tapping into People Power
Ted Rall
As Long as Enemies of the State Keep Dying Before Trial, No One Should Trust the State
Jesse Jackson
The Significance of the “1619 Project”
Thomas Knapp
“Nuance” in Politics and Public Policy? No Thanks
Christopher Brauchli
Trump and Endangered Species, Wildlife and Human
Mel Gurtov
China’s Hong Kong Nightmare, and the US Response
Ron Forthofer
Sick of Being a Guinea Pig
Nicky Reid
Why I Stopped Being White (and You Should Too)
Jill Richardson
As the School Year Starts, I’m Grateful for the ADA
Seth Sandronsky
Rethinking the GDR
Adolf Alzuphar
Tears / Ayizan Velekete
Stephen Cooper
General Jah Mikey: “I Just Love That Microphone, Man”
Louis Proyect
Slaves to the Clock
David Yearsley
Moral Cantatas
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail