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View Diary: Mercenaries, war, and my childhood (368 comments)

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  •  After the deaths of Udai and Qusay (none)
    I wrote Safire an e-mail saying I thought it was wrong to take pleasure in the death of anyone.  Someone good and kind loved even them (mother perhaps?), I am sure, and was hurting because they were dead.  All untimely deaths are tragedies.  I hate that we have the kind of country where some people can only support their families by taking a job in a war zone.  I am sure that some of them (private contractors/mercenaries) are absolutely horrible... there to take advantage and suck out all the money they can.  But most of them are probably just working people who couldn't find decent work at home.

    I don't pretend to know what you've been through.  A friend of mine (from Rwanda) has a daughter who took a forensic medicine internship.  None of the other kids could stand it.  She just shrugged and said she'd seen so much death in Rwanda, it was nothing to her.  I can't imagine how that affects you when you are young, but these people didn't deserve to die.  Alot of them are veterans whose benefits aren't what was promised.

    •  At least one of them (4.00)
      Left a business of his own in SoCal (doing Navt SEAL type training) to go do this work. He had a job, but chose this one.
      •  Fair enough. (none)
        I still think humanity as a whole becomes less than it could be every time we start killing each other.  I didn't cry any tears for Udai and Qusay.  I didn't feel sorrow when Timothy McVeigh was executed.  But I didn't jump up and clap my hands either.  Death at the hands of others is nothing to celebrate.  We have the ability to grieve for the soldiers and the contracters... it doesn't have to be one or the other.
    •  It's not always about the Money (none)
      My uncle left his job as a deputy sheriff to go on one of these "mercenary" gigs.  He made some pretty good money -- more money than being a deputy sheriff, to be sure.  I have the impression, however, that he did it for the thrill.

      Focused on moving GWB to the ranks of the unemployed

      by mndemguy on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 03:58:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And therein... (none)
        lies the revulsion.

        The pay is only a clue.

        If we paid soldiers $100k to risk their lives and trained specialists $250k, we'd be valuing their lives and skills, I suppose.

        It's the off-the-reservation quality of mercenary service that I recoil from violently.  Gun for hire, there for the wad of bills and the thrill.


        The penalty good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves. -- Plato

        by ogre on Fri Apr 02, 2004 at 05:30:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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