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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #21)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 05:53 AM

26. I blame a lot of it on the general misconception that a lot of Americans have about war

Most people aren't aware of or don't care about what really goes on in the wars in the Middle East. Mass media repeats over and over again terms like "surgical strike" and they glaze over civilian casualties. The government doesn't keep track of or report the full extent of civilian casualties and Americans go on believing that those deaths are minimal to nonexistent. Terms like "collateral damage" are used when discussing dead boys, girls, women, and men who are killed during an errant drone strike and it further sterilizes our actions and makes them palatable to Americans.

Much of America grows up playing war related video games and watching movies that doesn't capture the full nastiness of war which further makes war a more palatable action. You shoot and kill someone on the game, the pile of pixels falls off the screen, and you don't see the end result and you grow numb to the experience.

The flag waiving veterans that you do see are mostly veterans who haven't actually participated first hand in combat. Those veterans seem to preach or suggest that there is glory to be had in war and that combat is a patriotic function. Meanwhile, combat veterans who are broken by the war and their experiences remain quiet, battling their demons in silence. Americans who don't know better mistaken this silence for a withheld story of valor or heroism an believe, wrongly, that this silent veteran is just humble and modest. At least in my case, much of my actions in the war left me with feelings of shame and guilt.

In a semi-anonymous forum like this I let a lot of my thoughts and emotions run freely, but aside from the Doctor's at the VA, nobody I actually talk to know much about what I did when I was in Iraq. Nobody that I interact with regularly has any idea of the full nastiness of war and ugly it can be or what I did. And I do realize that my silence is feeding the American misconception on war. I've posted one of my combat award certificates on this forum before, but I've never shown anyone that I really know some of those details about myself.

I do realize that much of my opinions on war are contradictory. I'm not proud of what I did, yet I make sure everyone knows that I'm a veteran. I sport an avatar on this forum for a Bronze Star Medal and I proclaim that I served as an Infantry Platoon Leader in my signature yet I'm ashamed of what that actually entailed.

I kind of lost the point that I wanted to make with this post, but I spent too much time writing it to just trash it. The two things that I wanted to try to work into this was:

1) In the 20th century, for every 1 Soldier killed in war approximately 10 civilians were killed. This number was compiled by the red cross.

2) It is estimated that between 100,000 and 1,000,000 Iraqi civilians were killed in the war. The number is so vague because the DOD doesn't bother to keep track of this number itself. How many people are aware of that?

War is a criminal action. The politicians who wage it need to be held accountable for it. However, as a society, we all need to take responsibility for it as well. The American people step back and allow our politicians to wage these wars. How many protest have you seen demanding a stop to the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan? I do realize that I'm just as much of the problem as anyone else is (if not more so because of my silence regarding what I saw and did in war myself). I need to get more active and I need to demand accountability for our politicians actions in starting these wars.

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Arrow 44 replies Author Time Post
Horse with no Name Dec 2012 OP
JI7 Dec 2012 #1
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #5
JI7 Dec 2012 #6
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #11
JI7 Dec 2012 #19
bluestate10 Dec 2012 #17
green for victory Dec 2012 #24
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #39
graham4anything Dec 2012 #28
spanone Dec 2012 #2
RobertEarl Dec 2012 #3
ForgoTheConsequence Dec 2012 #4
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #7
grantcart Dec 2012 #13
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #41
ForgoTheConsequence Dec 2012 #15
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #20
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #21
LineLineLineLineLineReply I blame a lot of it on the general misconception that a lot of Americans have about war
Victor_c3 Dec 2012 #26
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #40
Victor_c3 Dec 2012 #27
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #30
Victor_c3 Dec 2012 #25
graham4anything Dec 2012 #29
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #35
graham4anything Dec 2012 #38
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #42
graham4anything Dec 2012 #44
BlueCaliDem Dec 2012 #8
BlueCaliDem Dec 2012 #9
MotherPetrie Dec 2012 #12
ForgoTheConsequence Dec 2012 #18
grantcart Dec 2012 #10
Rowdyboy Dec 2012 #14
Horse with no Name Dec 2012 #16
quakerboy Dec 2012 #22
grantcart Dec 2012 #34
Grey Dec 2012 #23
vi5 Dec 2012 #31
Iggy Dec 2012 #32
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #33
truebrit71 Dec 2012 #36
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #43
mmonk Dec 2012 #37
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