Sunday, February 24, 2008

New Warriors

I just watched "Valley of Elah" with Tommy Lee Jones. Great film.
Cried along the way, thinking about families of our warriors and my own warrior ancestors (Campbell/Taylors have fought in most of the big 20th century wars: WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam). Brother in law is an Iraq II vet, thought about him and his family.

Thought about the current warrior class and what they think they are about, what might drive them forward to sign up. I think we need some new metaphors beyond good (us) against evil (them). We need more than "Army of One" rhetoric. We need these warriors, alright. But the kind of warrior that is ready to respond, not excited to kill. I don't have any desire to fight/die/kill, but I do think I owe my life to this world and if needed, I would give my life back for the world that gave it to me in order to further the values I espouse. Justice, Peace, Love, Equality, Liberty, Human Rights are these values I would sacrifice my smaller life to uphold if need be. Would I kill? No, but I would die.

I don't really know what the new warriors would end up being, how they would be trained, under whose power they would be, but we need to get back to the drawing board on soldiering, and who gets to say when we fight and kill. The Congress is supposed to have that sole responsibility (according to our pesky Constitution), and they should not be able to abdicate that responsibility. I oppose the general idea of warfare, but I do think we need to ensure we are all as safe as possible. Maybe we need to phase out the need to go to war in the first place, thinking about how NOT to go to war rather than how to win it all the time. Department of Peace indeed, Dennis.

There is a need for proper policing of the population, for protection and safety. A national guard that guards ourselves from ourselves. But we spend so many resources on the warfare side of it all, and we don't even prepare the warriors fully before we send them out into harm's way. Perhaps the best way now to reduce the incidence of war in the world is for the USA to just lead by example rather than by weaponry. Take care of our own issues, our own internal battles with crime and poverty and racism and injustice. Who will do this? Who are those people? How are they to be trained?
Can they be non-violent and still be warriors?

1 comment:

  1. Jake recommended an excellent book, "On Killing". Since I know you don't read books, I'll summarize it for you: Most warriors don't want to kill. In WWII, only roughly 20% of infantry armed with rifles actually fired theirs. Now, this said, the Army responded by enlisting the Operant conditioners, and they've been able to override people's natural aversion to killing---but, that's just it: They have to bury it. It's innate, and they have to quash it to get people to kill.