Monday, May 28, 2007
i encourage you, my friend, through and through:
Lake-Ackerman diavlog on Iraq. Eli refers to this as the Care Bears edition, as you could be forgiven for thinking we have a crush on each other. Fancy a treacle?
--Spencer Ackerman
Interesting discussion re: your Washington Monthly piece.

Last year, bad weather detained me at Philly International for a long while and I made myself at home in the airport bar. The terminal (and the bar) were full of military personnel returning from tours in Iraq.

I most remember one Marine I met who specialized in disabling land mines and other explosives. This he would do on his hands and knees with inadequate protective gear. It seemed to me, frankly, to be the shittiest job on planet Earth.

And yet this man was eager to return to Iraq and not at all excited to see his parents and fiancée (in Texas I think). He found the United States strangely disconnected from the war he was fighting on its behalf and he was not eager to fill-in his friends and family on his war experiences, which he did not view as particularly interesting or heroic. He wanted, instead, to go back and do his job - keeping his friends and comrades from being blown up.

I assume this man is back in Iraq now and I believe he should be brought home as soon as possible...for his sake. The fact that warriors become invested in their wars and estranged from their home lives is neither surprising nor new. And the alienation of soldiers from the civilian world is simply part of the tragedy of war.

I was troubled by Eli Lake's apparently approving description of the troops and eager and cheerful killers. War is what you do when a man comes at you with an axe. There exist no positive martial values, and there is no nobility in violence.
War may sometimes be unavoidable but there is nothing dulce et decorum about killing a man. To take a life cheerfully is, in a clinical sense, symptomatic of psychopathy or sociopathy and the cheerful killers Mr. Lake observed will pay a lifelong psychic and emotional price for their actions.
Blogger The Special | 2:56 PM