The cost of war seems infinite. There are the obvious casualties with loss of life and injury, and the huge sums of money spent, refused to us for welfare needs at home, as well as abroad. What occurs in terms of psychological damage is not brought forward. It is well known and has been in recent debate about people shot during World War 1 for those labelled cowards and deserters, but today the military and political leaders particularly are still a state of denial.
In today’s Washington Post (4/7/2007) a former interrogator talks about the cost to him in terms of his inability to function normally now he is back in the U.S., and the dehumanising process which allowed him to carry out torture when he witnessed fear and dread experienced by his victims.
State terror is not, conveniently, classified as “terrorism”. The state can define, and the media frequently follows and amplifies. “Terrorists” on the other hand often turn out to become humane and acclaimed leaders, Mandela being a recent and notable example. When ordinary people are required to carry out outrageous acts, ought we not say clearly “enough is enough”. Our reactions today to those who operated the gas chambers in a Nazi occupied Europe are ones of horror and disbelief, but this is suspended when it is applied to ourselves and our “allies”. What makes it acceptable for the U.S., the U.K. or Israel to get away with beatings, killings and terror when in Nazi Germany it offended our very being, today increasingly so. What happened 50-60 years ago is beyond our reach, except, of course, we can learn its lesson. What is happening today is not.
NOTE: a legitimate comment was left regarding this article. I’d be grateful if the sender would resubmit. It was deleted among a torrent of junk comments which are currently plaguing this site. I apologise for that! I can assure those who send them that they will not be published, so why bother!