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Let's Get Real About War and Our Reactions to It

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September 23, 2019
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Oh man...war crimes again. But this time, it's in Australia. Thank goodness it's not us again. But, it provoked thought. When I first saw the article mentioned about Australia's Ben Roberts, a recipient of the Victorian Cross, it was shared by a friend who had this to say on the matter.

"Yep, because kicking a handcuffed terrorist off a cliff is so much more barbaric than the air force JDAMing a house with thirty people inside..." - David

The investigation is ongoing and Ben Roberts has denied all allegations. What I'd like to focus on is the quote by David though. He brings up an interesting point. We have as a society this hyperbolic ideal of war and how it is fought. Now, I'm not going to say that in every single circumstance you should do what Ben was accused of doing, or even in any circumstance that you should do what he is accused of doing. Kicking handcuffed dudes off of cliffs...but...we hardly bat an eye when people talk about airstrikes.But...how is that lacking in morality and our sense of rightness more than a JDAM being dropped on the house of a known terrorist and the accompanying collateral damage? How? Guess what, it actually isn't. I don't know how many times I have to say it with people before they get the hint...maybe you guys should share my shit more so people can read good again, I digress. Look, I'll spell it out one more time.War fucking sucks and is the most horrible of human inventions.Wanna know who dies in war? All types of people. Heroic soldiers, innocent bystanders, conscripts who are there so their family doesn't get killed, evil men...War honest to god doesn't give two flying shits who or what you are.So when we see things like Ben Roberts getting accused of kicking a detainee off a cliff, and we find that action revolting, yet when a JDAM hits someone's home and kills thirty, and we don't have that same revulsion...maybe we ought to suspend this naive belief that war isn't horrible. It's not what is on TV, it's not even what is on the news.Now...now that I've painted war as the bane of humanity that it is, I'll say this.It can be necessary.But I for one, will not believe for one second that it isn't what it is. Grossly destructive to every single facet of humanity. The physical, the emotional, and the spiritual aspects of our life, all take a hit during war, whether you kick a dude off a cliff, or drop a bomb from thirty thousand feet.Whether a certain war is necessary or not, that could be debated on all sides for eternity, but one thing we can do is we can stop pretending that war isn't what it is: entirely, abjectly, horrible.

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