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May 12, 2010
Too Weird For Words

The military is considering issuing a medal to soldiers who don't kill people?

Does that make actual sense? No, it does not.

Yes, civilians get killed. They get raped and murdered. They get kidnapped and tortured--our own government was in the business for a while and hasn't actually shut down the program yet.

War brutalizes soldiers. It always has. That's a lot of what the "horrors of war" are all about, people. War brutalizes the soldiers and they pass it along.

You want to stop civilian war casualties?

Stop making war.

Posted by AnneZook at 04:27 PM


Well, that is odd. Would this be a kind of end-of-career thing, giving the medal to soldiers as a kind of consolation prize?

Posted by: Ahistoricality at May 12, 2010 07:35 PM


Sorry, kiddo. You didn't win the body count lottery, but here's a small slab of gilded steel, to thank you for playing!


Must. Rant.

I honestly don't know what's worse--putting young people in situations where these choices have to be made, or the DoD's current development of soldier-free killing machines, so they can make war all clean and tidy and prevent all of this liberal breast-beating over the poor soldiers.

I can't help but remember the Trek episode where the two planets had been at war for so long that all it took was for an alarm go to off and people willingly filed into death chambers--the computers had declared them dead, so they suicided. Is that where we're going?

Personally, I hate long-range missiles and machine guns and sniper rifles and air-dropped bombs. I don't even think soldiers should be given guns. Just knives.

Or maybe rocks and big sticks.

War should be as personal, as ugly, and as hard as possible. At least it's human that way. Making it tidy and sanitary is just--that's evil.

Posted by: Anne at May 14, 2010 03:01 PM

This is the arc of human history: I talk about this in my world history class. For at least the last thousand years, and arguably for longer, we've been developing ways to kill more and more people at greater and greater distances: spear, bow, crossbow; arquebus, musket, rifle, repeater, machine gun, automatic weapons; catapult, trebuchet, cannon, artillery, airships, airplanes, missiles; gunpowder, TNT, incendiaries, C4, atomics. The nuclear warhead-equipped ICBM is one of the highest human achievements, though the targeted drone is arguably going to surpass it, by being actually useful.

We need to develop ethically as we develop technologically. Gen. Bradley said that "Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants." We need to change that.

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at May 15, 2010 01:24 PM

I had NOT heard that quote before. That's excellent.

Posted by: Anne at May 21, 2010 10:47 PM