RANGER AGAINST WAR: Have Yourself a Non-Warrior Little Christmas <

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Have Yourself a Non-Warrior Little Christmas

--A Charlie Brown Christmas 

I got to keep my image
While suspended from a throne
That looks out upon a kingdom
Full of people all unknown 
--I'm a Man,
Spencer Davis Group

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight 
--Merry Little Christmas 

He who, conscious of being strong,
is content to be weak,
He shall be the paragon of mankind
--Lao Tze   

I've got to leave before I start to scream
But someone locked the door and took the key
You feelin' alright
I'm not feelin' too good myself 
--Feelin' Alright, Joe Cocker

As an extension of the previous post (God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen), the labels and identity of our soldiers -- both external and internal -- is a confused matter, adding to the fragmentation that many feel after their service.

The U.S. Army's Soldier's Creed morphed into a Warrior Ethos creed in 2003, and the oath is now a confused amalgam of the two concepts. A dialog on the topic began at the now-defunct site, "IntelDump", and Ranger will attempt his own definition via comparison now. (We also invite original participants and friends FDChief and Publius to continue in the discussion):

A soldier is conflicted by his wartime memories; a warrior exalts in them.

A soldier is shamed by violence; a warrior takes pride in and is defined by his violence.

A soldier fights to end wars; a warrior revels in them.

A soldier fights for humanity, and a warrior, for glory.

A soldier fights for country; a warrior, for his master and/or profit.

A soldier suppresses his memories; a warrior revels in them.

A soldier is self-effacing and humble; a warrior, brash and prideful.

A soldier values life; a warrior, only the life of  his leader.

A soldier fights as a team member; a warrior fights solo [this idea is confused in the 2003 Soldier's Creed, which states, "A warrior fights as part of a team.]

A soldier fights for duty; a warrior sees the fight as the end game.

A soldier's job is discrete and ends with the completion of the mission; a warrior accepts endless war as a way of life.

A soldier retains his humanity; a warrior tortures, takes hostages and assassinates.

A soldier is repelled by the suffering he inflicts; a warrior glories in carnage.

A soldier kills to fulfill a realistic objective; a warrior kills for no purpose beyond the kill.

A soldier tells his story with regret and humility; a warrior composes odes to the violence.

A soldier is mission-oriented, his acts conscribed by law; a warrior is lawless, unbound by civilized thought.

A soldier is committed to his community; a warrior, to his violence.

A soldier's life is not war; a warrior's life is war.

A soldier's death is lamentable; a warrior's death is meaningless.

A soldier acknowledges his weakness; a warrior destroys weakness.

A soldier respects law and authority; a warrior operates outside of the law, and has no restraint.

A soldier mourns the death of his enemy; a warrior kills sans remorse.

A soldier seeks to protect women and children; a warrior inflicts suffering on all, without discretion.

A soldier gives; a warrior takes.

A soldier fights in spite of his leader's lies; a warrior fights for his leader's lies.

A soldier does not endeavor to be a warrior; a warrior may never be a soldier.

Soldiers love; warriors, hate.

A democracy needs soldiers; an autocracy needs warriors.

Soldiers want their children to never know war; warriors raise their children to fight.

Soldiers bury the dead; warriors defile the dead.

Soldiers have sympathy; warriors extinguish their sympathy.

Soldiers defend civilization; warriors destroy civilization.

Historically, those sent into battle were kept apart from the general population for varying periods of time. The Greeks saw the fighting class as unfit for family life. After a probationary period as a soldier, some of these men could then enter the political arena. The Japanese Samurai was the prototypical lone wolf, an entity removed from and unruled by the constricts of his society.

Our Native American societies performed rituals to allow those returning from battle to become eligible to re-enter society. Reader MinstrelBoy, of White Mountain Apache background, explained that process here at RAW. Upon his return from serving in Vietnam, he partook of such a ceremony to assist him in his transition, and felt that the lack of such a passage for most soldiers leaves them with an open psychic wound.

This is not comprehensive, and your views are solicited.

Merry Christmas.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

before going into battle the raven soldiers (note: native americans knew the difference between soldiers and warriors. the ravens are always referred to as soldiers) say to each other:

ahn biil antcho biyi (forget your heart)

do lah dosilah i'do (I have none)

we know, as soldiers, that to do our job for our fellow soldiers and our people that we need to discard those precious things that make us human. once having entered that other than human state we need to perform our ceremony so that we can become fully human again and fit for the society of others.

kishmesh jooni (merry Christmas) y'all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014 at 2:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is excellent, Jim.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014 at 2:59:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Rez Dog said...

Call me a soldier.

Merry Christmas, Jim and Lisa

Thursday, December 25, 2014 at 12:24:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Merry Christmas to you, too, Rez Dog.

Friday, December 26, 2014 at 1:45:00 PM GMT-5  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home