Sunday, February 19, 2006
Long Distance Warriors
I find something about this very disturbing, although my significant other justifies it by saying the goal of the warrior is to simply kill without being killed. Still.
An article in TIME MAGAZINE, written in December 2005 by Sally B. Donnelly, describes how a modern warrior named Shannon Rogers "kisses his wife and two young kids goodbye and wheels his battered 1989 Chevy Cavalier out of the driveway of his suburban Nevada home ... But Rogers will end up in a place far different from that of his fellow commuters:when he arrives at work, he will be at war in Iraq." Rogers is part of an "elite" group. He sits at his computer in Nevada and controls a Predator drone that flies over Iraq, tracks down insurgents, and kills them as they flee. "For us, it's combat," says Rogers. "Physically we may be in Vegas, but mentally, we're flying over Iraq. It feels real."
At the end of the day, he rushes home to jump in the pool with his kids, eats dinner, and sleeps in his own bed. The article describes the "stresses" and "demands" of this job, including problems in the personal lives of these warriors. I don't wish him any misfortune, I think he is probably a nice guy doing a job. But something in me keeps thinking: What's wrong with this picture?
War, the killing of one's fellow man, ought to be a passionate occupation, one driven by the heart as well as the intellect. The insurgents, despicable as they and their car bombs and rigged vests that blow so many innocent people to pieces might be, at least were passionate about their cause, however foul and monstrous and atrocious it may be. They gave their lives for it. They didn't go home and "jump in the pool" with their children.
What does this mean? I really don't know. I'm just thinking that there is something here that doesn't feel right.