combat writing badge C O M B A T
the Literary Expression of Battlefield Touchstones
ISSN 1542-1546 Volume 02 Number 02 Spring ©Apr 2004


"Politics is an arena for scoundrels only because honorable men refuse to enter it. War is an arena for savages only because good men refuse to enter it. Life is an arena for dissatisfaction and disillusionment only because no one will change it. Philosophy is an arena for principles and ideals only because no one will live it."

Amnesty for draft-evaders, war-resisters, and peace-protestors? Certainly ... when those dead and maimed in the same war are restored. If a pampered and indulged resister deemed the legal decisions of this government to be unsuitable at one time, then why would later decision be sought and valued? I would not silence the protests, nor deny conscientious resistance, but I do ardently object to an attempted evasion of the liability for that protest, the responsibility for that resistance. I suspect the integrity and motives of anyone anxious to escape the consequences of their alleged convictions, as just another egoistic exploitation. No soldier wants to die, but some always do; and their sacrifice is betrayed by a government which lacks the moral fortitude to demand equitable justice for all its citizens. To be compelled to choose between an immorally venal government and an irresponsibly idealistic Counter-Culture is no choice at all! Grant diplomatic recognition to a quondam enemy and normalize relations by paying reparations? Certainly ... whenever they extend complete accountability for the dead and missing, whenever they institute human rights for their own people, whenever they reform their civil and legal procedures, whenever they refrain from ethnic eugenics, whenever they cease attacking their neighbors, whenever they stop lying about the war. We offered to export The Great Society and give them the equivalent value of military expenditures in civic action aid, but they weren't interested at the time ... and now, after the agenda for nation-building has changed, they are wanting our largess. Tendering us an apology would be a suitable introduction to such unreasonable negotiations. While we're busily repairing their society, we might want to restore our own riddled infrastructure and discredited superstructure.

by Pan Perdu
... who is a former soldier and VA counselor; this work has been excerpted from Fragmentations, a book in progress.