I was thinking, fairly randomly, about my time in the military this week

and the moment I realized that I really didn’t belong in the army. It wasn’t all the times all those people asked me, incredulously, “What are you doing in the army” whether because of my general attitude toward military things or because they thought I had other talents (not bragging, just saying). It was the moment the Iraq war looked inevitable. We were, of course, already in a war with Afghanistan, but my reaction was “Jeez, not again,” while all the people around me were actually excited.

All the people in my unit didn’t seem too worried about it, and some even saw it as something positive in some way. One person asked me why I wasn’t keen to use the skills I’d been taught.

I got this weird vision that the chicken salad he was calmly eating was actually made of human babies. So I said, “How can you possibly want to use the skills you’d been learned? Do you realize what that even means?”

Servicemembers should be the last people willing to go to war, not the first or second. I was the only person around me that felt this way.

I mean, not that I was going to reenlist anyway, but sheesh.


One response

  1. I think that there is no such thing as an absolute and that it all boils down to a simple truth that humans are by nature competitive ( isn’t that the way of nature?
    There are several strategies involved in human survival and it has many facets both physical and ideological and there is only the playing out of their interactions that decides the morality validity of any one of them. War and physical combat are no less an options than the making of laws and discourse although the latter ones would seem to be progressive on the surface there is sufficient evidence to place the physical solutions above the later two because of their role in enforcing and giving teeth to the ideological and legal foundations. There have been many attempts at societies entirely founded on pacification but none have proven to be self reliant without alliance with some support from a society willing and capable of martial defense.
    If for no other reason than that they survive in the present world after so many generations of evolution, combatants and their ilk must be a successful humanoid type of no less importance than poets, scholars, and law makers. Therefore it is understandable that some people are basically cut out to be military types and whether their presence is essential to the survival of the species is no less in question than the presence of any other genealogical type. Humans are after all a social species and the survival of their colonies depends on many specialized humanoid types. On the other hand maybe anyone or all of these are also a critical part of the efficient entropy of the universe? Perhaps to see the situation from the standpoint of nature the only thing that matters is that we all progress toward our doom by what ever means necessary while we delude ourselves into believing that we are making a lasting mark on the cosmos.

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