The entire time we’ve been talking about the Abu Ghraib prison scandal I have thought over and over again, “If I could only hear their conversations.” If we could hear what they were saying, the jokes they were making, the songs that were stuck in their heads… anything to make them seem a little more human. Not justified, but human.
I go back and forth, I keep telling myself “You don’t know what war is like, you can’t imagine that kind of life.” It’s a natural self-preservation method to be able to separate yourself from death if you must be surrounded by it. If it wasn’t, thousands of doctors would quit their jobs everyday. On the other hand I always think of the movie the Titanic. I have seen the movie many, many times, and every time I cry. Every single time I get nervous that Kate Winslet is going to chop off Leo’s arm with the axe instead of cutting off his handcuffs. Maybe this time the boat won’t sink. But it does, every time it does. And although I know it will, there is still some part of me that causes my heart to race every single time I watch it. If this piece of me, this very human piece of me is so strong that it persists even though death is rearing it’s ugly head, doesn’t it make sense that in would persist in everyone else? What kind of person do you have to be to smother that human proclivity to hope for the best outcome?
People will always make excuses for bad behavior. I do not doubt the horrors of war are real, and more of a nightmare than I will ever understand, but what is the defining factor for those who can come out of it without committing heinous acts and those who fall short. Unfortunately, I don’t have any answers, but it helps me sleep at night knowing that I still cry every time Jack dies.
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