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A Side-Effect Of War - Trained Killers In Our Midst

By James Donahue

The atrocities reported by some American soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts . . . the gunning down of innocent families . . . the torturing of prisoners . . . are products of war. It happened in Vietnam, Korea and Europe. The difference is that reporters weren't there to witness such crimes, and if they were, the stories somehow did not get pushed before the public eye with the rapidity of contemporary satellite feeds right into your home television sets.

This behavior should not be surprising. After all, we are taking kids right out of high school, sending them to boot camp where their morale is broken and they are put through harsh training that skillfully implants an alternative mindset. Thus they emerge as trained killing machines. Some are given additional training in what is known as the special forces, an elite group of soldiers trained in advanced arts of deadly tactical combat. These guys can use their hands to kill with a single jab to the body of another person.

When we train young boys to kill like that, and then send them into months of combat in a place like Iraq, where they are on the front lines of war both day and night, never getting a chance to return to a relatively safe place "behind the front lines" for a beer and a good night of rest, we should not be surprised at their eventual change in behavior.

What is even worse about the Iraq conflict is that we have been understaffed for the job at hand. Rather than institute a national draft to supply the number of troops needed, political powers in the United States chose to continue this war with the regular volunteer army and national guard, sending these people back for as many as three tours of combat. The soldiers are tired, battle-weary, and mentally affected by years of intense street fighting and dodging deadly booby-traps. The pressure becomes a constant way of life.

Also peculiar about these so-called “wars,” there is no line of combat. There is no clear view of an enemy. Anybody on the street could be the enemy, be it a man dressed in rags, a pregnant woman with children, or even the children. They are strapping bombs on themselves and then detonating themselves when they get close to whatever target they choose.

Expect the impact of this war to affect the American culture for years after the fighting ends. As it was in Vietnam, many soldiers returned home mentally broken, addicted to drugs, and angry because they were not given a hero's welcome when they arrived back in the states. Like Iraq, Vietnam was an unpopular war, fought for the profits of big industry, fought for too long, fought with no prospects of our winning it, and ending with American forces withdrawing in general defeat. The men that came home from that conflict were bitter. They did not forget what was done to them. They still remember.

Iraq is different from Vietnam in that the fighting is up close and personal. The war continues daily in the streets of the cities and on the desert roadways. Fighting in Vietnam was mostly a jungle warfare. There are similarities in that they are both forms of guerilla warfare. And we are training our troops to fight a guerilla war, even though it appears to be getting us nowhere.

The frightening concept here is that once the fighting stops, these trained killers are coming home. They are leaving home as young boys, still green around the ears. They are going to come home as skilled fighting men, trained to strike at anyone who makes a wrong move. And they can kill with swift precision using any instrument they can grab, be it a paring knife, a stick, or their bare hands. While many of these men will eventually adjust to domestic life and go on to live productive lives, many others will return mentally scarred. Some are bound to be insane killers in disguise and living among us. How do we deal with them? How do we know which is which?

We are headed for hard financial times. Between the out-sourcing of industrial jobs to countries where people will work cheap, the dying American automobile industry, the Gulf oil disaster, the climate changes that are affecting our economy, our crops and the cost of just about everything, many of these young soldiers are going to find themselves in the streets, unemployed, and choosing crime just to stay alive. They can either do this, or remain in the army and live a life of continual combat.

There is another option. Our police departments would do well to hire as many of these guys as possible. It is best that they go to work on the side of the law rather than turn to a life of crime.

Consider what kind of criminals men with tactical military skills like this can become. Consider what will happen when our police confront a group like that in the midst of a robbery of a store or perhaps a bank. The men trained in street combat are going to have the clear advantage over even the armed police officers in situations like this.

Consider a mentally deranged and trained killer going berserk in our society. Be it a domestic quarrel involving a wife and children, or a guy with an assault rifle shooting up a public building, these men are going to be deadly killers for the rest of their lives. If they can shoot up an entire family in an Iraqi home without conscience, think what they might do when they return to the states.

They will be a gift from the Bush and Obama Administrations. We will be dealing with this pack of psychopathic killers for many years to come.