Monday, November 15, 2004

Bing West would not agree with my conclusion, in the post below, that human beings were not meant to engage in the carnage that is part of war; or that when they do engage in it, they pay a psychological and emotional price that is so high it often destroys their lives.

Bing West is a former Marine who is gung-ho on what Marines do. According to West, Marines have a "keen appreciation for the sanctity of life and the tragedy of war" -- and yet simultaneously he maintains that Marines will do a "hard job" (meaning killing people in war) if America wants them to, and that "they won't lose their humanity in the process or any sleep over pulling the trigger." So ... no flashbacks or nightmares when they get home; no feelings of being dead inside or needing to subject themselves to pain to prove they are alive; no beating or killing the wives and girlfriends they used to get along with just fine; no need to take enough drugs "to kill an elephant" (see the Los Angeles Times article mentioned in the post below). West agrees with Patrick Graham in the Guardian that Marines are "the world's most lethal killing machine," and he adds, "That's what America needs in battle."

My question to West is: What happens to the "killing machines" we created to serve America's needs in battle when those killing machines come home?

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