Violence is the last refuge of incompetence
5 min read
Violence is the last refuge of incompetence
Veterans are people who have been robbed of the ability to live in the fantasy world of their choosing. We know what the real world is and we have to live with it.

I am a decorated veteran of the gulf war; which means that I sat in an air conditioned space aboard a ship and repaired the electronic systems on a helicopter. My bird had a really good radar and that radar was used to guide other smaller helo's that fired wire guided missiles at their targets. The wire guided missiles actually had a long wire that spooled out after the missiles as it flew through the air and connected a video camera in the nose of the missile to a monitor (and a video recorder) in the helicopter. The bombardier used a joy stick to send singles down that wire to the missile's fins and he or she would guide the missile to the target like a virtual kamikaze. The video recorder was capture all this and then switch back to a camera in the helo after the one in the missile was destroyed. We were able to watch some of these tapes when the aircraft returned.

We could see the target approach and then watch from the distance as the target exploded. Tanks and trucks would make small explosions, ammo dumps and fuel depots would make huge "secondary" explosions. In one of those tapes, there was a teeter-totter clearly visible in the right corner of the picture, going up and down as the missile approached. The secondary explosion indicated that an ammo dump had been placed next to a school.

So... how does a Unitarian Gulf War veteran deal with the knowledge that he helped to kill Iraqi children? Some times I have nightmares. I've battled Alcoholism, Rage, Depression and now I'm battling Workaholism. I have been robbed of a fantasy world where every problem has a good solution. A solution that does not involve killing someone.

I've learned how incompetent we are at finding good solutions for problems. Even when we have no idea that the result could be horrible, we stick our pudgy fingers in and…
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