Saturday, December 09, 2006

The irony of War

While reading what seemed to me a heart felt cry of anguish from a man trapped in hell, A Soldier's Story, I came across the passage reproduced below. I wonder if the author intended the irony? For is he not also a victim of deception? Are there not greedy and immoral men who kill for money while pretending to be religious, skillfully manipulating people's anger at each other, on both sides of this war?

Last night the Iraqi Army captured Ibrahim's cell leader and brought the two together in the same small room. For Ibrahim, this was a very traumatic moment, for he saw that the pious Muslim man, whom he followed but had not met, was in fact a 27-year-old tattooed common criminal. Ibrahim began to weep when he realized he had been deceived. A greedy and immoral man who killed for money while pretending to be religious had skillfully manipulated Ibrahim's anger at Americans. Before Ibrahim was turned over to the Iraqi authorities, I saw him teaching soldiers to use their new office computer. He was helping them to type up his own written confession. But Ibrahim's transformation is an anomaly. Such a confluence of peaceful events does not often turn an insurgent away from the insurgency. Most insurgents continue to fight the hated American soldier whom they have never met. Their hope is that the American soldier will just go away.

In Greek mythology, one of the followers of Ares, the God of War, is Oblivion (along with Pain, Panic, and Famine). Many who discover they have been used to commit atrocities will seek it.