Blood like Water

I met a girl at work who wanted to join the reserves. When I asked her why, she talked about why it was good for her. Why she would enjoy the challenge. Why the skills would be useful. She never once mentioned serving the greater good. I told her that by joining she could be called into active service at any time, as many were during the Iraq war, and required to kill or die. She hadn’t considered it.

Looking back, what’s shocking is not the lack of thought and research that went into such a serious decision. It’s the amorality. Being a soldier means being a warrior. It means taking life. Even in a non-frontline role, what you are doing will kill. Translate the right enemy communication and an airstrike hits a house with enemy fighters. Give your troops better intelligence and they kill the enemy better. What’s chilling is the amorality, the fact that the decision to kill was made so lightly and based entirely on self interest.

I can understand people with different morals. I can respect them, even if I find their ethics objectionable or even evil. What I can never respect is a person without morals. Anyone willing to spill blood like water without a second thought, without any consideration of the moral weight of that decision, is a person who is not just.

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