Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.
-- Benjamin Franklin

What some people consider fun

From CNN:

\Lt. Gen. James Mattis, who commanded Marine expeditions in Afghanistan and Iraq, made the comments Tuesday during a panel discussion in San Diego, California.

“Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot,” Mattis said, prompting laughter from some military members in the audience. “It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.”\

I have nothing but respect for those who serve in the military out of a sense of duty or honor or patriotism. I may not agree with their decisions, but I respect and honor them for living their convictions. Having said that, I think there is a name for people who “think it’s a hell of a hoot” to shoot people.

We call them psychopaths.

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I have a number of conflicting thoughts on this, which I’ll have to spell out quickly:

1. In a necessary war (assuming such exists), I suspect such syndromes may be prevalent, and even encouraged.

2. Is this better or worse (vague question, I know) than a technology-driven warrior, one who destroys property and lives either from high above or from a remote location, using video-game-like controls?

3. Are such people necessary to successful military action, assuming the action is necessary?

4. Is such a sentiment common? Is it identical to what (some) soldiers have felt in wars all throughout history?

The utterance was frightening and poorly thought-out, and of course the war itself is tragic. And it’s horrific to hear such things. I just wonder whether they’re cause or symptom of some of troubles…

- erk

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