War

What do people think war is?

Heads on spikes at the city gates. Surrendering prisoners executed without mercy. Souvenirs made from the bones of the dead. Sweeping through farmland in the fall and burning all the homes and barns, killing the livestock, poisoning the wells. Raping the women, putting everyone to the sword.

War was so terrible that the Europeans made rules. Both sides agreed to those rules and everyone got together and signed those agreements. Technology changed and we got poison gas and machine guns, trench warfare that killed men by the millions. We made more rules. Technology changed again. Submarines torpedoing merchant shipping, aircraft firebombing cities, napalm, defoliants.

War is a miserable business, usually fought by very young men, and we’ve been at it this time for over 10 years.

Is pissing on corpses right? No. Should there be some punishment? Yes. But keep it in perspective. These Marines, good Marines, someone’s sons, got sent to do our dirty work. If this is the worst they did, I understand.

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