Friday, January 23, 2015
Hero Or Coward
Normally I steer away from political statements here. I have my own views on everything. I do not completely agree with any person I have ever met or seen on television. But I feel so strongly about this that I have to say something. If you do not wish to be caught up in my rant now is the time to run.
The Sniper is a new movie. It is a true story about a soldier whose position in the military is as a sniper. A sniper is a person who lies in wait to catch the enemy and shoot to kill that enemy.
I will not see the movie. My brother was killed in Viet Nam. Even after all these years the pain is still too close to expose myself to watching people kill each other. I had no plans to see the movie when they first began to advertise it.
However... there are people who are loudly branding the soldier as a coward. Others are calling him a hero. He was trying to protect other soldiers.
I personally know the person who began all this nonsense. He has narrow views about this. And I strongly disagree. This person and I are not friends (or enemies) but I do know the person.
War is a violent confrontation usually between two countries or large groups. The idea of this "game" is kill as many of the enemy as possible until one side gives up and a "peace" is proclaimed. Usually there is not a winner.
War is not nice. But when a war is declared each side must play to win. Each participant in the game wants to emerge with his life intact and his/her body whole. Most are not successful.
There must be a place to have this war. There may be innocent and not-so-innocent people who actually live in that area. Unless they can remove themselves from that area they are likely to be hurt or killed. It is not right but that is war.
Many combatants from each side contribute what they have been trained for. If we are totally honest some are trained (whether they know it or not) to be casualties. But casualties reduce the number of combatants so those in charge try to keep the numbers low.
One of the ways to do that is to train some who show a talent for accuracy to place themselves in a spot where they are not readily seen by the enemy. They can then watch for single enemy soldiers or civilians who might cause harm to his own soldiers. His job is to kill them before they can cause damage.
Does the sniper enjoy killing people? I doubt that most of them do. But they feel as if they are protecting their fellow soldiers.
War is a dirty thing. Most people who participate would rather be home with their families. Most do not want to kill other people. Most do what they can to help their side win.
In our country we enjoy certain rights. They are guaranteed by The Constitution which is our law. Military personnel work hard to protect us and our rights. For this we should be grateful to each and every one of them.
We have the right to agree or disagree with the reasons our country has for being at war. We have the right and responsibility to see that we follow the rules set up for conducting these awful confrontations. If someone breaks the rules that person should face whatever consequences are for the infraction. If our country breaks the rules the same applies. We also have the responsibility to support those who work at keeping those rights alive.
I support every individual's right to have an opinion about war. War is a nasty thing. Innocent people suffer. That is the nature of war.
But to call a soldier who is assigned to protect his mates a coward simply because he does not stand out in the open as a target is wrong, wrong, wrong.
Name-calling is not a right. You have a right to your opinions. You have a right to state your opinions. You do not have the right to hurt another person. As the old saying oes, "Your right to swing your fist ends where the other person's nose begins." You do not have a right to besmirch another person's character.
I know that our soldiers are heroes. Their families are heroes because they sacrifice at home to allow us to be free. No more of this coward nonsense.