Veterans For Peace

Learning To Kill

LearnIng To Kill/Combat Training

FACTS
Humanity, in general, is averse to killing another individual.

A study of soldier/marksmanship effectiveness after WWII affirmed that only 10% to 15% of our “combat troops” actually shot at the “enemy” in that war.

Military training began to be revised such that by Korea that “effectiveness” figure was (supposedly) up to about 80% and by Vietnam (again supposedly) somewhere in the mid-90s.

A key aspect of this training includes seeing ”the enemy” as vastly inferior, dehumanized and summarized with a one-word label, such as krout, hun, jap, slant, raghead, etc., as well as incorporating sing-along marching chants (such as Ref. #1 and many others).

The definitive work on how the military achieved this feat in described in “On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society” by Lt Col. Dave Grossman, a West Point psychology professor, Professor of Military Science, and an Army Ranger.

Medically, it has been established that our brains aren’t fully formed until somewhere in our mid 20s, yet our military accepts and trains anyone as young 17. (Hmmm, so what might such a derogatory, strongly aggressive environment do to a still-forming brain?)

Newton’s 3rd Law states: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. A spiritual equivalent is something like “You provide energy to that which you oppose (i.e, merely by focusing on that concept, you are providing energy to it… recognition and emotion).

============= References ===================

Example Military Training Chants
Some of the chants [aka 'cadences' or 'Jody calls'] used in military Army & Marine training
The people doing this 'training' are being paid by the U.S. government -- by your tax dollars!
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----
I went down to the market where all the women shop
I pulled out my machete and I begin to chop
I went down to the park where all the children play
I pulled out my machine gun and I begin to spray.
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----
See the kiddos playin in the playground
Lock and load a .50 CAL round
And as I gently pull back on my trigger
I see their skanky bodies hit the ground
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----
What's the spirit of the bayonet?
Kill, kill, kill without mercy!
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----
What makes the green grass grow?
Blood! Blood! Blood!
Bright red blood makes the green grass grow!


Personal Interview Differences in Middle East Military Field Operations

A few years ago, I was fortunate to help sponsor a couple Iraq/Afghanistan vets, one ex-Army, one ex-Marine, as they were accomplishing an across-the-U.S. bicycle ride to protest these Middle East wars. Each branch had their own way of dealing with being on the receiving end of the dreaded Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) that were used by the local “enemy” against our daily vehicle-transported patrols.

An Army patrol, no matter how sharp-eyed or careful they could be, would trigger an unseen IED and at least one vehicle would be “taken out” with one or more dead and others experiencing often horrendous injuries because of the inadequate armor (shattered legs and genital injuries) of those vehicles. Typically, the Army response was an almost automatic command to “light it up”… opening fire and destroying anything and everything that moved, no matter age, gender, human, or animal…. Remember, these guys had been through the post WWII/post Vietnam training to overcome their natural-born resistance to killing. The ex-Army vet of this little group confirmed this process, but, in violation of the post WWII enhanced training program, had managed to add to the racket and remain in apparent compliance of the order, but by firing slightly higher or into open, dusty areas. The next day and the day after that, etc., were all repeats of the same process.

And so, we have an example of Newton’s 3rd Law: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction “ with a blur of action/reaction cycles

Unit rotation time… a Marine unit moves in to take over these patrols as the Army unit pulls out for a different area to patrol. The Marines dread this as they know they’re going to get hit. And, yes, they do.

BUT, they’re working under a different paradigm. They get hit, but gather their dead, tend to their wounded, and move out again, back to base camp to tend to their injuries! The next day they go out again and nothing… no IEDs! The local opposition/local enemy couldn’t goad them into acting like barbarians to feed that recruiting mantra, so why waste the IEDs? So, the cycle of action/reaction is, at least temporarily, broken.

Personal “Interview” patching a story together –
As the #2 man in the newly-formed Veterans for Peace chapter, I initiated a “training/qualification” process for veteran counselors to high school students. In our first meeting we went around the group, to state what our military experience consisted of.

One individual choked up and couldn’t say much of anything, 40-plus years after his Vietnam experiences. Eventually, I pieced together a “pretty close” story. He was on many remote mountain patrols and he couldn’t verbalize the sort of assignment he was forced to accomplish.

According to the CIA (this was a CIA-funded and run program), “the premise of the (Operation Phoenix) pacification program was that if peasants were persuaded that the government of South Vietnam and the United States were sincerely interested in protecting them from the Viet Cong and trained them to defend themselves, then large areas of the South Vietnamese countryside could be secured or won back from the enemy without direct engagement by the US military.” That’s the ivory-tower/official ideal.

Observing a middle-age ex-Marine crying, not about an immediate family situation but about what he had participated in so many years ago, which to believe… the iv ory-tower/official ideal above, or a potential real-world “other accounts, below?

According to “other accounts,” the actual practice was dirty, immoral and illegal “wet work” (using CIA terminology). It, according to these “other accounts,” amounted to rooting out the Viet Cong informants, but often wiping out a whole village in the process, man, woman, child. The hidden “threat” to the participants under orders was “you have to go along to get along”… you’re deep in the hinterlands and if you don’t “go along,” there’s the constant “danger” of hidden snipers, sudden ambushes, or even “friendly fire” occurrences on the way back.

Speaking of “friendly fire”…

What REALLY happened to Pat Tillman?
Pat Tillman Murdered? Posted on Jul 26, 2007

Defense Department documents handed over to the Associated Press under a Freedom of Information Act request raised the possibility that the “friendly-fire” death of soldier and former NFL player Pat Tillman amounted to a crime. 

Doctors examining Tillman’s body after he was killed in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators that the three bullet holes in his head appeared to have been fired by an M-16 from less than a dozen yards away rather than the 100 meters or so that the military has claimed.

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