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Violence is the last refuge of incompetence

Veterans are people who have been robbed of the ability to live in the fantasy world of their choosing. We know what the real world is and we have to live with it.

I am a decorated veteran of the gulf war; which means that I sat in an air conditioned space aboard a ship and repaired the electronic systems on a helicopter. My bird had a really good radar and that radar was used to guide other smaller helo's that fired wire guided missiles at their targets. The wire guided missiles actually had a long wire that spooled out after the missiles as it flew through the air and connected a video camera in the nose of the missile to a monitor (and a video recorder) in the helicopter. The bombardier used a joy stick to send singles down that wire to the missile's fins and he or she would guide the missile to the target like a virtual kamikaze. The video recorder was capture all this and then switch back to a camera in the helo after the one in the missile was destroyed. We were able to watch some of these tapes when the aircraft returned.

We could see the target approach and then watch from the distance as the target exploded. Tanks and trucks would make small explosions, ammo dumps and fuel depots would make huge "secondary" explosions. In one of those tapes, there was a teeter-totter clearly visible in the right corner of the picture, going up and down as the missile approached. The secondary explosion indicated that an ammo dump had been placed next to a school.

So... how does a Unitarian Gulf War veteran deal with the knowledge that he helped to kill Iraqi children? Some times I have nightmares. I've battled Alcoholism, Rage, Depression and now I'm battling Workaholism. I have been robbed of a fantasy world where every problem has a good solution. A solution that does not involve killing someone.

I've learned how incompetent we are at finding good solutions for problems. Even when we have no idea that the result could be horrible, we stick our pudgy fingers in and muck around with things we don't begin to understand just to try and make it come out the way we want, they way we think it should be. Missionaries go to the far ends of the earth and vaccinate children without any idea that overpopulation will result in a famine that will kill off the next generation. Reality is that which, even when you don't believe it, remains. In the end, we are left with the reality. In Viet Nam, some of the more friendly villagers were given the favor of vaccination for their children by the US Medic's. When the North Vietnamese realized this, they started looking for the villages where the children had the vaccination scar and they would destroy the village to make an example of those who cooperated with the enemy. In the remaining villages, the parents chopped off the arm of their children to save their lives.

Mark Twain said "If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it."

You see, the American people would not take the bus, in fact they just HAD to drive 10MPG SUV's. And the Scientists had all kinds of ideas for other power sources for cars, but they and the engineers couldn't find a way to make them as safe or inexpensive as gasoline. And the Politicians knew they wouldn't get elected next year if we had a gas shortage like in the '70's so when they heard that Sadam Hussein was going to invade Kuwaiti, they were very worried and they couldn't think of anything else to do but send the diplomats and they tried to convince him that this invasion would be a really bad idea, but he said "We are a poor country and we need that oil for our programs to educate and build for our people. The Kuwaities were drilling sideways over the boarder and stealing it" and the President said, "We must stop Iraq from invading Kuwait" but the generals said "But sir, he has placed all his ammunition and fuel right next to the baby formula factories and the churches and the schools." And the generals and the president and the diplomats and the politicians and the engineers and scientists and the American people all threw up there hands and said "We give up. We can't find a good solution to the problem" Then they all pointed there fingers at me and said "Mr 18yo W. Guninhand, you are our last hope, you must go and KILL THOSE CHILDREN"

...and god help me, I did.

Also:

See also:

Does the USA enforce OPEC prices? +


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