12 October 2006

AWOL around his heart

Sorry for the pun, but this:

A Soldier Hoped to Do Good, but Was Changed by War - New York Times

Is a wonderful piece from the Times about one soldier's story that must be just as true for a significant percentage of his comrades. And while it will make you sad and angry at Bush and Cheney, it will make you proud that we have young men of conscience over there doing Cheney's dirty work. Or at least we did have, before they all felt compelled to go AWOL and the Army lowered it's recruiting standards to include criminals and the mentally ill.

It's hard for me, stateside, to believe that any soldier should have to be told, "I said to him, you're not crazy or a heretic for having difficulty reconciling Jesus' teachings with what's going on in Iraq." But even after hearing it repeatedly, it was hard for this soldier (the subject of the article,) to accept. And by the way, he had to go outside the Army to hear that. His army chaplain "showed him in the Bible where God sent his people to war." Then an army shrink "said he could get out of the military by claiming he was crazy or gay."

Before Bush/Cheney, vets and the military used to admit, "war is hell." On their watch that little slogan seems to have been replaced by "War is a hell of a good investment."

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