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Shadow's taxicab reports: The Institution of War

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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:25 PM
Original message
Shadow's taxicab reports: The Institution of War
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 02:34 PM by shadowknows69
How do you keep the endless war chugging along and feeding the military industrial complex? How do you keep an army that is seeing ever increasing horrors visited upon it because of the obvious incompetence of its leaders loyal and effective? You make your soldiers so used to being at war that theyd rather be fighting than at home. Sound too incredible to fathom? Ive been hearing this disturbing language from some soldiers all too frequently lately. Some of it said in obvious jest like the group I had in my taxi that joked theyd rather be back in Iraq, as opposed to the small city surrounding their base, because there were more fun things to do there. You have to have lived here all your life to appreciate the truth in that statement. I joked that they should put that on our Chamber of Commerce brochure and try to attract the tourists. Come to our fine city! Only 3 out of 4 soldiers prefer Baghdad to it!

That first exchange was obviously good humored but I have talked to more than a few that really mean it. One soldier put it this way.

I get stressed being back in the states. Things are so much smoother over there.

Bewildered I said, Smoother? Man, youve got people trying to kill you on a regular basis, how do you mean smoother? I guess I understand if you mean your priorities are simpler, basically stay alive and kill the enemy

Thats it. Your day is structured. You always know where youre supposed to be and what youre supposed to do. None of the daily drama, It bears repeating that this soldier had been fighting with a female companion earlier in the ride and the argument got heated enough that she actually left the cab to get away from him.

Ive heard this same sentiment from several. It goes beyond the understandable impatience Ive seen in some soldiers who havent done tours yet. They display an eagerness to exercise skills theyve been taught. The veterans are truly institutionalized to it. Some of the men and women at our base are on third tours and theyve been told to expect more and some have been told that number is indefinite. Most are back five or six months before redeploying. Many of them use the phrase its not bad when describing their previous tours until you dig deeper. Many will admit its hell on earth then announce they just volunteered to get deployed again. Ive met guys who put in to get back earlier than they need to. Some dont even spend much of their down time with families.

Soldiers of the same unit that in peace would be talking about the latest movie or drunken club adventures now reminisce about That attack in Sadar City that one time, or, The time your platoon lost three guys in Kabul or wasnt your unit the one with the most casualties in Fallujah? Fairly grim small talk between friends but we talk about what we do right?

Ive covered this theme in earlier reports but it keeps coming back to this point. Our fine fighting forces are being groomed for endless war and it is working. It is now routine to spend more time in a combat zone than in your own country you are being led to believe youre fighting for. The institutionalization of long interred criminals has always fascinated me. Specifically how some long term convicts who finally get parole will actually turn right back to crime with the intention of violating parole because they find it impossible to adjust to the unstructured world of their freedom. The restlessness some soldiers display awaiting another deployment is haunting. Some are afraid, some are anxious to the point of relief. They know war better than they know peace. The old adage is turned inside out. No longer do we prepare for war but hope for peace. The plan is to continue the war because the machine loses momentum when it is at rest. Always tip your cabbie and pray for our troops.
Shadow out.

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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. book
This book was the first complex reading material ever for me. I think I may have read it when I was 11 or so and its message has never faded:

Escape from Freedom
by Erich Fromm




Cher
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks Cher
have to look into it. Similar themes I assume?
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radfringe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R shades of stockholm syndrome?
variation? you adjust to the stress...
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Indeed
Just look at the stop loss going on and the debacle of cutting off the homecoming of that Stryker brigade. I talk to guys who are completely against the war who go back when they don't have to. It can't all be the money. There are some large bonuses but its something deeper than that. I go back to that one woman I met who actually was weighing the decision to go to war with staying in the states for a few years to raise her young baby, and it was a hard decision for her. For those of us that have never experienced war, I'm sure there is no way we can really understand the reality of it. I may need a good chunk of therapy just trying to see it through these guy's eyes. I can only shudder at what they must be going through.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
5. One more vote - this really needs to be on the greatest page.
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. One kick for the night crowd
n/t
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I was pleased to see your journal pop to the top tonight
while your stories range from sad to infuriating, I always look forward to them

thanks again Shadow :hi:
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