Friday, August 31, 2007

Supporting the Troops, Killing the Troops

by Dr. Craig Greenman

(400 words)

Seventeen years ago, just after the U.S. began its war with Iraq, I encountered a Vietnam veteran in jail. He cried, “If somebody asked me to kill my mother, I wouldn’t do it! I would not do it! He stood there naked and threw his feces against the wall.

“Messiah” is a song about him. It goes like this:

I am the Messiah – I’ve come to save the world

Sometimes I think I’m Satan, ‘cause I killed that little girl

Jehovah, won’t you come down and set your poor boy free

I’m just an ever faithful, crazy Marine who fought for his country

The Marine was a “Messiah,” teaching us to end bad wars. His insanity would end other insanity. Far from making his sacrifice meaningless – as the hawks argued, even then – it would make it supremely meaningful: He would be the last soldier to go nuts for nothing.

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Dr. Craig Greenman is Assistant Professor of Humanities at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire. He teaches Philosophy and Religious Studies.

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