Nearly two decades of global war. Two decades of training impressionable young minds to kill, or to support and supply killers. Two decades of making hundreds of thousands of young people immune to the sound of rifle fire, to the roar of the Phalanx cannon, to the scream of jet bombers; two decades of making them blind to the faceless aggression of the drone bomber, deaf to the thunder of artillery; two decades of hardening them against the cries of wounded children, the screams of mothers and fathers, the defeated weeping of grandparents.
Is it any wonder many come back indoctrinated in the philosophy of death? Is it any wonder they dress as “operators,” even if they themselves never made it past PFC? Is it any wonder that they drive vehicles designed and modified to look like MRAPs? Is it any wonder they walk into the grocery store tense, prepared to assault, to terrorize, to lay waste to the peaceful people around them, the people they are convinced could never understand their experiences?
Is it any wonder the men and women that wanted that life but never served seek to duplicate it in their own? Now we have thousands, hundreds of thousands, if not many millions of people who think a peaceful, free society requires the presence of armed “operators” with plate and rifle and Oakleys and white male menace on every street corner. They think that a peaceful, productive society includes armed killers patrolling it, ever ready to pull the trigger, to kill. They think peaceful protest includes the threat of death.
War has come home, completely, for good, for ever. No country can wage war on the rest of the globe for two decades and not come away with its very heart and soul utterly defiled and corrupted.