Yesterday I was at home watching the news when an updated situation in New Orleans was inevitably aired. The authorities were conducting forced evacuations in that devastated city. Soldiers were prepared for a possible shootout with some stubborn residents. They entered into houses with their weapons in readiness posture, prepared to shoot to kill if necessary.
What struck me was one soldier saying to the camera crew:
“Hell, I don’t like doing this to our own people. I feel bad and strange about this.”
I have to admit I cannot guarantee the above statement has been copied verbatim, but as far as I could recall, the message went like that. The soldier was obviously referring to his combat posture with a readiness to shoot-to-kill, but his possible threats were actually fellow Americans. He didn’t fancy killing his own countrymen and women.
That piece of TV news should have flashed across the USA. I hope Americans would remember what the soldier said, and how he felt as he walked into house after house, emotionally overwhelmed with the dread of killing another American.
Why do I wish so? Because that’s exactly what US soldiers are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I want Americans to be aware of that.
Yes, over “there” the folks US soldiers could possibly shoot (or have shot) aren’t Americans, but like Americans they could well be innocent civilians with a family too.
America, think about that!
(1) A Touch of Iraq in New Orleans
(2) A Touch of Iraq in New Orleans (2)
(3) Iraq Involvement Haunts New Orleans