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Every once and awhile I check the videos posted by active military soldiers on the Military.com site. They are all about blowing up things, killing and attacking people. One I saw the other day, 8,000lb Air Strike on Building in Iraq was typical. You can hear soldiers using foul language and cheering while viewing s an 8,000 lb. completely destroys a building with people inside. Most of the killing shown in the video is by plane, bombs, drones, tanks etc. You seldom see the ‘enemy’ that is killed.
The film Soldiers of Conscience which we have unsuccessfully tried to have the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking show on campus vividly displays how soldiers in the Army are trained, even in ROTC courses on campus, to kill reflexively, without conscience just at the plans and drones do in the Military videos.
However, once and awhile soldiers take their training seriously and kill without conscience and without thought and without orders, killing innocent civilians, the very people they are suppose to protect. This happened today in Afghanistan when one or more soldiers when on a killing rampage in two villages killing 16 innocent civilians, 9 children. Of course, the soldier or soldiers will be arrested but the military officers who trained the men to kill without conscience or thought or the military and political leaders who command and authorize this kind of war will not be held responsible. We are trained to kill.
I was thinking of making the list of all the actions that on in the direction of war and killing that President Obama has initiated and authorized since he was inaugurated president and won the Nobel Peace prize. A few are, authorizing the first new plant to build parts for nuclear weapons in thirty six years; the intensification of drone warfare; legitimizing the use of computer warfare with the first major attack by the USA; signing a bill that would allow the detention of Americans with due process of law. The list could go on and on. In fact when Americans were asked what President Obama was noted for many said it was the ordering of the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Killing of people for play, by direct methods or by technology have become sadly common in our country. We train men and women for childhood to use guns and violence. When someone does what they are trained to do, not under orders, we blame them for doing what they are trained to do. Killing is something we do for play and for real.