Friday, July 30, 2010

Wrapped in The Flag,
Carrying A Cross & A "Warrior Ethos"

Can't be arsed (ever, for anything, really) but we've at least a vague memory of having bitched about this "warrior" garbage that's been going on the last few yrs. A stark example:
Here's an excerpt from the new Airman's Creed (2007):

"I am an American Airman.
I am a Warrior.
I have answered my nation's call.

I am an American Airman.
My mission is to fly, fight, and win.
I am faithful to a proud heritage,
a tradition of honor,
and a legacy of valor."

The Army's Soldier's Creed (2003) makes the same point about the need to be a warrior first and foremost.
Just how much "honor" & "valor" is there in bombing civilians from 30,000 ft., or in playing a video game that involves actual meatspace death & destruction of wedding parties & the like, or "collateral damage?"

A retired USAF LTC agrees w/ us, & has a bit of history to back it.
The historian (and retired citizen-airman) in me says "no," and I'm supported in this by a surprising source: An American army pamphlet from World War II with the title "How the Jap Army Fights." After praising the Japanese for their toughness and endurance, the pamphlet, citing a study by Robert Leurquin, makes the following point:

"The Japanese is more of a warrior than a military man, and therein lies his weakness. The difference may be a subtle one, but it does exist: The essential quality of the warrior is bravery; that of the military man, discipline."

In 1942, our army cited the "warring passion" of the Japanese as a weakness, one that inhibited their mastery of "the craft of arms." Yet today, our army and air force extol the virtues of being a "warrior" to young recruits.

Today's cult of the warrior, as represented by these new "creeds," may seem cosmetic, but it cuts to the core of our military's self-image. That most Americans have no knowledge of it speaks volumes about the ongoing militarization of our language and even of our country.

After nearly a decade of war, we don't need more "warrior ethos." What we need are disciplined citizen-airmen and citizen-soldiers who know their craft, but who also know better than to revel in a warrior identity. We knew this in 1942; how did we come to forget it?
Oh, we'd assume pants-pissing-&-pooping cowards who've decided that the best way to defeat "America's enemies" is to become just like those enemies. Not unlike our honorable & valorous warriors developing interrogation techniques from the field manual advising Korean "police action"-era service members how to resist dirty Commie interrogation techniques. In other words, we now use North Korean/ChiCom torture methods. How much more honorable & valorous can a warrior get?

(Makes us want to start a little war ourself, if you know what we mean. Wonder if the recruiting station at Sunset & La Brea is still there? Not for long, as we like to say.)


Title reference (Or not, whaddya know?) & vaguely related musical interlude:

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