The soldier

If I could, I would look into the hearts of soldiers and try to know their stories.  Why are they fighting? Who will tell them (if the reasons exist) who is going to kill them, or who they’re  going to kill?

To understand a soldier’s life is to find out what he’s looking for — when he kills another man, who would kill him in return, which makes it useless. Pity is a word that has no meaning in war, it is as simple as, you’ve got a gun, he’s got a gun. You shoot and he shoots — the quicker one hits his target. When he kills you, it is as if you killed him.

When reporters describe people dying in encounters, are they helping abolish war?

What makes a man choose to be a cop or a soldier? Very often, he is young, looking for excitement, to shake him out of boredom or for a purpose that he did not have before.  But soldiers are kind people. A respectful son, an affectionate father, a faithful husband, an honest citizen who loves his country, and accepts it as a duty to defend it. He wears his dog tag with a religious medal on his proud neck, carries a snap shot of his aging parent, or wife and his  children, if not a sweetheart he left behind.

But why do we accept war like some inevitable evil? Because it has always been like that. The violent Renaissance Age, the Roman Empire, the Golden Age of Greece…name a civilization that has been able to stop it.  It dates back  to the marvelous Christian  civilization based on love, but produced  more wars, than the others put together. Books  tell us, weren’t Christian priests bless flags  and troops before a battle?  However, no priest has ever tried prevent an execution or a battle. There is no principle, philosophy or religion that can stop war (the hippies rejected war with flowers and LSD).

I asked the Heart Companion, a heart surgeon about how fair is it that the world rejoices when a heart substitutes one for another, but accepts the fact that thousands of strong people with healthy hearts are slaughtered like cattle for the sake of a flag or a hill?

We see photographs of soldiers, cops with faces blank with sadness and resignation. They try to convince themselves that they kill in the name of justice and freedom. what justice, (I’d like to  ask) young soldiers, with so much longer life to live. Instead of coming into the world, they are more likely to die at twenty, in an encounter. You come into this world to die in bed, when you’re old, where around there are green trees, clear river, and singing children.

Instead, they become a cult of killing and being killed. Why has no one ever explained why killing to steal is a sin, but killing if you’re wearing a uniform is the height of glory?

War, it is said, is basically something structured in which armed people shoot at other armed people. It has almost a shameless fairness — you kill one or I kill you. And as bullets speak, happiness vanishes, the holidays, milestones and the flowers are gone. The only thing left are rubbles, twisted metals and the putrid smell of death…as it fled.

Back home today, as they collect the dead, you know  there are no surgical wars. There are no benign wars. How can you wage for peace without killing and maiming people—  soldiers, cops and civilians, whether by accident or design? It’s a part of the pains of war, just as dying seems to be the destiny of every soldier.


E-mail Mylah at [email protected]

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