Sunday, August 13, 2006

It's scary... think that there are people who really believe this.

I worry quite a bit when I read something like this article. (Snippet only)

I REFER to the article, 'Another generation of Israelis goes to war' (ST, Aug 8), where an Israeli family sends off their youngest son, Lieutenant Yair Cohen, in celebration, not in tears or in anguish.

Though the motives behind the Israeli attack on Lebanon are questionable, and the violence extremely undesirable, we should take a moment to reflect upon the patriotism shown by the Israelis. Not only are these brave young men willing to die for their country, but they are also proud to have been called upon to fight for their country.

The immense joy that Lt Cohen displayed when he was called to join his commander clearly showed his patriotism. His father, who fought in the 1967 and 1973 wars, gave him advice, while his brother promised to join him soon in Lebanon.


Having read the article, we should pause for a moment to find out the truth about ourselves. In a similar crisis, how many of us would bravely sling on a rifle and head for the front line, smiling happily at the thought of fighting for the red-and-white flag that was flying so proudly in the sky at our recent National Day celebrations?

What worries me is the sentiment behind this person's obvious sense of patriotic fervour. Happy to fight? Really? I can't imagine there being any joy of the knowledge that one is going to war, much less in the fact that war basically means having to kill other people. Now, as a human being, I would fight to defend the ones I loved. I would. But to say that I'm going to be happy about it kind of assumes that there is a sociopathic streak in me that enjoys shooting other people in order to defend a flag, an ideal or a country. It's disturbing that in the age that's seen Saving Private Ryan, Full Metal Jacket and Hamburger Hill, we still have people living the delusion of seeing war as a glorious thing. War is bloody and terrible. No one should feel happy about going to war.

I pity the man who honestly thinks we should.

The main reservist feeling about going to war would probably be more akin to:

"Nah beh. Called up for resorbist kena war. Bleddy hell. Can get excused or not? Neh mind. I call my kang tow in Malaysia ask them to stop bombing us can already..."

Beng diplomacy. Works much better than dangerous patriotic fervour.


Blogger rook said...

scary indeed.
somehow I got the mental image of a redneck itching for some double-barrel pump-shotgun action after reading that snippet.
and somehow, after re-reading the sentence directly above, I feel like I've coined some bad innuendo.
never mind XP

Tue Aug 15, 11:47:00 am 2006  

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