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Sgt. Bergdahl and the Fog of War

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BY SHELDON RICHMAN The Future of Freedom Foundation

 

The “fog of war” is a reference to the moral chaos on the battlefield as well as the rampant confusion. Individuals kill others for no other reason than that they are ordered to. Things deemed unambiguously bad in civilian life are authorized and even lauded in war. The killing and maiming of acknowledged innocents — in particular children and the elderly — is excused as “collateral damage.”

No wonder that some individuals thrust into this morass sometimes act differently from how soldiers behave in romantic war movies. The hell of war is internal, as well as external.

We might remember this as the story of Sgt. Bowe Robert Bergdahl unfolds.

Bergdahl volunteered for the U.S. military and was apparently a gung-ho soldier. Americans have not been conscripted since 1973, but young Americans are propagandized from childhood with the message that time in the military is service to their country. Few question this narrative; fewer seek rebuttals to it. You have to want to face the facts that governments lie and that the service is to an empire having nothing to do with Americans’ security.


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