RANGER AGAINST WAR: The Disillusionment of Ranger: Once Bitten, Twice Shy <

Friday, February 07, 2014

The Disillusionment of Ranger: Once Bitten, Twice Shy

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The first thing learned in the Army is to adjust the declination of our moral compass. While in actual compass course we are expected to be precise, "close enough" will do on the moral course.

We learn to lie, cheat and claw our way to the top by any means necessary. The savages rise to the top, while the non-cannibals drop out of the competition. If one will lie for the Army then why not for ourselves? That is the question one faces after first losing our moral "cherry", especially while working in a system that values, consistency, order and repetition (predictability). Everyone is "One Each", so if he lies, then we all lie.

As with Infantrymen, once blooded, killing is often less difficult the next time. Special Forces are admiringly called "Sneaky Petes", but that duplicitous skill once inculcated does not turn off at the doorstop. Anyway, what are "truths" and what are "lies" when working in the fields of violence? Has anything truthful or life-enhancing resulted from killing human beings?

It seems primitive to hawk honor codes while sitting on enough nuclear weapons to destroy humanity many times over. Can we see beyond the speeches, the clutter of our everyday lives and banal beliefs? Do we realize that our priorities, our assumptions of reality and our lives are based upon folly, whim and uncontrolled emotion?

Leadership is not about greatness but rather disregard for humanity and the ability to manipulate underlings to do things that go beyond the bounds of reason. In for a penny, in for a pound.

We soldiers are raised in a liberal democratic, humanistic society, and are then expected to perform functions that are 180 degrees to these closely-held beliefs.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Brian said...

Yesterday I read that 15-30 per cent of the of the 40,000 soldiers in the Canadian Forces sent to Afghanistan will develop PTSD or at least need some kind of formal psycholgoical support.
I don't know how this stacks up against estimates for the much larger numbers for the US armed forces, for both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Certainly this is a rate of mental injury no one saw, or at any rate wanted to see.
Re your last paragraph, perhaps as our society loses its moral compass and becomes less liberal, less democratic and less humanistic this problem will address itself?

Friday, February 7, 2014 at 5:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Brian,
We really don't have accurate rates for previous wars b/c so many men wouldn't self report until they were so debilitated they were beyond the help and care of their squaddies.
I reckon you've read my essays on ptsd.The topic is extremely interesting. One doctor told me that the most common conditions coming from a battle field are ear damage and psychological.
One thing that i do know and which u can take to the bank is that neither get better with time , or with treatment.
jim

Saturday, February 8, 2014 at 12:05:00 PM GMT-5  

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