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[Watch this space for: Pentagon and Petroleum, The Media is only as Liberal as the Corporations Who Own Them, Wash Down With, and Recalcify]


Wednesday, July 17, 2002



"Hi there! I'm Paul Palubicki. I write this crap. I think up most of this stuff while rebuilding engines or changing out hydraulic pumps. If you like what I write, great. If you don't, that's fine. It's a free country. However, I reserve the right to ignore your bullshit should you feel inclined to provide an in-depth analysis of why I'm such a jackass."

Well, I have no idea whether you're jackass in person, Sargent Stryker, but your analysis of the "Depersonalization of the Enemy" from July 7th was right on. I'm reprinting part of it here, as an active military person's reality check for the armchair pundits on all sides.

"Unless you're seriously fucked in the head, killing a person is an unnatural act, so you need to dehumanize the people you're about to kill in order to climb over that wall in your mind. Normally this is done by referring to the other side as "The Enemy" or any other generic term that does not aknowledge the fact that you're about to take away the only thing a person really has. All their hopes and fears -*poof*- gone. Everything they were, all they had seen and done and learned is gone a few seconds after you eliminate something vital to the continuance of their life. You've also taken away a person someone loves. They're not going back home because of you. Congratulations, you've successfully destroyed someone's world.

You can't have all that on your mind if you intend to go out and do your job, so it's easier to think of the other side as some generic "other" that must be eliminated so the mission can be completed and you can go home. It's the nature of the beast as far as war is concerned.

A similar thing takes place with the apologist crowd. In order for them to validate the act and propogate their beliefs, they have to get past that messy mass-murder thing. Any excuse for a terrorist act quickly loses validity once you aknowledge the fact that a lot of people were killed. "The U.S. Had it Coming". Did each of those 3,000 people have it coming? Were each of those lives expendable so somebody could make a point about their grievances against the U.S.? It's easier to think of it as just "The U.S." or "The Government". The problem is it's not the U.S. or the Government that's being murdered. It's people who are going to do their jobs. Normal, regular people who've never invaded a South American country, never killed an elderly Arab chap, never bulldozed somebody's house or locked the family in a barn and set it on fire. But I guess they all had it coming, right? They had to pay the price for their nation's wrongs, real and imagined. Ah, but we can't say that. Let's side-step that bit of unpleasantness and just say the generic entity is to blame for whatever ills befall it.

It's really easy to demonize a whole group of people to the point that they cease being human and just become "the other". It's easier to rail against some faceless construct than to aknowledge that there are living, breathing humans, each with their own hopes and fears, living under that big tent you're throwing rocks at. It's intellectually lazy and it happens far too often. Everyone does it from time to time and we need to be on guard against falling into that trap."

• • • • •

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