The first thing any soldier did in a combat situation…

( Chechnya.
Photo from the Russian website ‘No to War’ )

“The first thing any soldier did in a combat situation was learn to dehumanize the enemy. In prior wars we called them nips or chinks or gooks or krauts or slopes. In Iraq we called them… towelheads, ragheads, camel jockeys… Words that ensured that we didn’t see our enemy as people – as somebody’s father or son or brother or uncle.”

( from “Love my rifle more than you:
young and female in the US army”
by Kayla Williams )

( Photo from the Artofwar )

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12 thoughts on “The first thing any soldier did in a combat situation…

  1. yourothermotherhere says:

    That is very true. Doesn’t it say a lot about humanity that we train people not to think of others as people?

  2. […] This virus of the mind limits us, keeps us in perpetual cycles of fear and violence. We feel justified, even righteous in shouting down or shooting down “them”. Not surprisingly the ‘Us vs Them’ approach is commonly used in military training. […]

  3. […] This virus of the mind limits us, keeps us in perpetual cycles of fear and violence. We feel justified, even righteous in shouting down or shooting down “them”. Not surprisingly the ‘Us vs Them’ approach is commonly used in military training. […]

  4. This is so true … and now my significant others struggel with it … it´s one big part of their problems … and one reason they hate themselves

  5. […] The first thing any soldier did in a combat situation… […]

  6. Randstein says:

    It is absolutely necessary to dehumanize the opponent. Otherwise, the killing can’t continue. Young men and women cannot sustain violence without first embracing an all consuming hate. It’s that period of transition that creates the memories that haunt old men and women.

    • And once they return from war we forget to humanize them again. (Brainwashing is necessary for the purposes of war.). And then we ask ourselves why the suicide rate of our veterans continues to mount. When will we learn that every life is valuable? Sadly, I think it is incomprehensible and against our nature to do so. Part of our reality is that of instinct, the days of mere survival. We became aggressors in order to obtain: food, water, fire, etc., and we are locked in a cycle of life that was predestined, but we must try to overcome our arrogance and greed. There is much to learn from one another.

      We really must, “Give peace a chance.” (John Lennon)

      • Randstein says:

        I completely agree. Taking care of our veterans and service members, giving peace a chance while reaching across the aisle to one another is long overdue.

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