“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.” “It is sweet and right to die for your country.” The line, in Latin, is from Horace’s Odes, 3.2.13. It is a memory from Miss Lovering’s 8th grade Latin class at the Beaver Country Day School. Everyone said Miss Lovering was a truly great Latin teacher, mostly because she was old enough that she was surely there in Rome when it happened. She was one of the older living Radcliffe College alumnae and had, it was said, found marriage a pale alternative to the glories that were Rome. I remember the above quote as the moment I started thinking Romans were simply not very nice guys. The “lie,” apparently often quoted to soldiers at the beginning of World War I — ostensibly to give them courage — was nicely incorporated into a poem by Wilfred Owen that expresses what yucky stuff war really is. People die of a lot of horrible things, and anyone who has seen combat veterans or lost family has probably figured out that death is just as ugly, if not more so, when it is for your country.
In the poem, he cites, “vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues.” Our friends at the Center for Disease Control show — avoid this page if you are faint of heart — a syphilis sore on a tongue, which is what this sounds like. An attempt to get sexy prior to combat is my guess. Soldiers have tried to use the “I could be in combat and die tomorrow” line on me; it never worked, obviously. Opening combat to women might be good in some ways. Good for military rank climbing or professional climbing. If a woman feels compelled to do this, I guess she should be allowed to. Read more on Women in Combat…
I happened to be watching CNN when Mr. Buckley, the father of an unarmed Marine killed in Afghanistan, was sharing his story. He was fighting tears and so was the CNN reporter. I was not doing too great myself.
I started the American Natural Health Initiative because I think American social behavior simply does not value human life. It’s not hard to find instances that support this — ridiculous profits for big corporations, the sorry state of our healthcare system, industrial toxins that persist despite knowledge of their danger, or genetic engineering that puts profit above human health. I am and will continue to be against all of these nefarious anti-human forces. These concerns are dwarfed, however, by the urgency to fight my own country about what the military is doing. As I say this, please remember that I am an honorably discharged veteran.
First, I openly send condolences to the family of Lieutenant Buckley of Long Island. I applaud his father’s courage, for it was obviously difficult for him to come forward. I must thank him for doing so and assure him that his son’s death — which his son saw coming — was not in vain. Lieutenant Buckley was gunned down in the heinous manner of an execution. An Afghan soldier, armed with an AK47, shot him on a basketball court where there were witnesses. The Afghan soldier had informed Lieutenant Buckley — as he apparently had in the past — that he did not belong where he was. For all intensive purposes, the perpetrator has “disappeared.” The stated purpose of the Marines – the unarmed ones in Afghanistan — is to help train our “ally” in police and military operations. As far as I can figure, the unarmed Marines are supposed to be doing things like playing basketball with our Afghan friends — who are armed. They even share a barracks. Read more on Marine Killed — But Was It A Casualty Of War?…
What this man did was wrong.
We all know that killing civilians during war is wrong.
Does it happen? Absolutely, all the time. Unfortunately, punishing one officer will not stop it. It will continue as long as we train and send soldiers into war.
If you or I were sent to a place where terrorist and guerrilla type warriors wanted to kill us, we would be scared. Moreover, we would be deemed “crazy” if we were not scared. Read more on Thrill Killers In The Military…