When The Missile Has No Heart — Drones, America, and The Invisible Trauma of US.
The terms ‘humanity’ and ‘war’ are often juxtaposed within civil dialogue. They are on opposing ends of the spectrum. On the left, there is the pacifist, head firmly in the ground or up above the clouds. To the right, the hawks, using bullets as disciples and might without excuse or moderation.
Humanity should never be vacant from war. Though the word itself seems to have no place within the mind of the soldier, it is perhaps the single most important aspect of any armed conflict besides winning. We should strive to integrate humanity intelligently and justly into all acts of violence — Government sanctioned or otherwise.
Drones are the perfect weapons for the new America. “What’s better than a war without any casualties?” I can all but hear the Joint Chiefs of Staff asking the president early one morning. Nothing comes to mind.
As a nation we’ve been shielding the horrors of the soldier from that of the citizen for as long as we can muster. It only makes sense that we would begin to do the same to the soldiers themselves. There are few sights worse for patriotism than the growing number of homeless and psychologically traumatized veterans sprawled out on sidewalks and corners alike. Drones are a remedy to this issue.
But the casualties of war are not only American. And they are not always immediate. The casualties of war are global and they are far beyond the time in which the life or lives are taken. The United States of America, my country, has been at war since I was in the 4th grade. No let up. No easement. No pulling our boot from the pedal in order to catch our breath. Like a runaway train, we’re going to the end of this track whether we can see it or not.
I haven’t known peace in my lifetime. I suspect I never will. If our long-time presence in the Middle East has taught me anything, it’s that war and by extension trauma, does not end after the bombs are dropped. There is a consciousness to history. Far greater than any man, leader or otherwise, could ever hope to write or recall. The Middle East, and the many people who call it home, know this. The Japanese know this. As do the Vietnamese, Cubans, and citizens of Europe and beyond. The only ones who don’t seem to know are us. For this, we have no one to blame but ourselves.
The above piece was inspired by the following video. Pass it on.