Tom, imagine for a moment you have a child and that child tragically dies when they stick a fork in a light socket and are electrocuted.
Tom, imagine for a moment you have a child and that child tragically dies when they stick a fork in…
Benjamin Sledge

What does a child dying have to do with this story? Why, nothing at all. Nothing in the slightest.

A child is innocent. But this is a story about professional soldiers who met during a war.

All the people discussed in your participated in a great crime, one that killed hundreds of thousands of innocents, and yet you don’t even discuss this.

The story itself is partly set with a backdrop in the very country that is being trashed.

Indeed, the person being discussed is so emotionally attached to this killing machine that he flies right back to participate it in after recovering from cancer.

This isn’t some irrelevant detail — it’s the very heart and soul of your story.

Perhaps a little empathy for our fellow humans is in order.

“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

I have a huge amount of empathy for the people of Iraq. As a New Yorker, I understand somewhat what it’s like to have a hostile force attack your home, though of course 9/11 was tiny, tiny fraction compared with the terrible damage that America inflicted on Iraq.

I have absolutely no empathy for the people who participated in the invasion of that country, an invasion based on lies, and yet who refuse to take the slightest moral responsibility for the horrible results.

If you had empathy, you might have stopped and thought at some point, if not at the time then at least in the writing of this article, about the people whose lives you were destroying.

This isn’t like Vietnam, where hapless draftees were given the choice between a long jail sentence and the war. Anyone serving in Iraq had a choice — was a paid professional. If you are going to take money to go into a strange country and kill people who have never offered you any harm, it is your moral responsibility when it turns out that those people were innocent.

The US has been fighting continuously for over seventy years. For two generations, it’s been one war crime after another. I’ll bet you can’t even name all the countries where the US has killed someone in the last twelve months.

It is your responsibility to deal with the moral consequences of your acts. To write a story about Iraq without even contemplating the moral issues surrounding it shows a moral deafness and a completely lack of empathy for those who suffered the brunt of the war.

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