Hawks Like Cotton Calling for Iran War Are Ignorant of Battle’s Human Toll
by Bryan Box
April 11, 2015
The Anchorage Dispatch News
“So you served in Afghanistan?”
“It must have been tough. I really think we should have turned the whole Middle East into a glowing crater.”
I’ve had that dialogue so many times I don’t even care to count. I’m still a little shocked every time I hear that sentiment. A “glowing crater” — it sounds pretty cool, but I hope most of the people who have said it to me while leaning in for that personal moment with a wink and some kind of knowing smile said it because they think it’s what I want to hear. A verbal celebration of savagery in response to an inhuman enemy.
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It’s a string of letters and numbers to you. I get that. But to me, it’s exactly where I was standing when I first shot at another human being.
Did I hit him? Who cares. I didn’t care at the time because I was in between the initial reaction of “Holy-mother-of-God-that-was-a-rocket-propelled-grenade-that-zipped-by-me!!” and the roaring adrenaline rush that comes to a paratrooper wanting nothing but to hear the blood-curdling screams of his enemy in the Afghan night.