Saturday, January 24, 2015

New research shows killing bad for the killers

PTSD is one of those things that gets the same kind of debate as climate change. Is it a new thing resulting from IEDs and frequently deployments?

The more you look the more obvious it is that it has been around for a long time. The return of U.S. veterans from Iraq produced an explosion in case numbers.

Research showed the U.S. Army had known about it since at least World War 1. Then it was learned that other armies had known of its existence since the first world war.

Researchers at Anglia Rusking University recently confirmed that it had been around during wars fought by ancient civilizations at least 1300 years before Christ.

The researchers looked at translations of accounts of earlier battles. Soldiers reported seeing “ghosts they (had) faced in battle.”

“The condition was likely to be as old as human civilization, the researchers concluded,” according to the BBC.

This raises a basic question about humans. Are they evolving to the point that it is no longer acceptable to kill other humans. Or have they always been that way.

If the latter, then military historian John Keegan’s 1976 warning, in “The Face of Battle,” is even more of a threat to commanders willing to send soldiers off to die or be wounded or to disappear entirely.

Keegan writes that even with all the tools society has to make soldiers fight there is increasing evidence that “make the fitness of modern man to sustain the stress of battle increasingly doubtful.”

Thus, the development of drones, and even robots.

It is not that soldiers can’t kill, it is that killing hurts them in ways that are difficult to measure but obvious.

Art is the best way to capture the essence of this quandary. Even NAZI commanders realized it that the millions of executions made their soldiers weaker.

Who better than “the man with no name,” Western star Clint Eastwood to show this on the screen. His “American Sniper,” far from glorifying the man considered to have killed more people than any other single marksman, shows it rips him and his family apart.

Those who live around military posts around the nation have seen this in robberies, rapes, drug abuse and murders.

But the ultimate question is does the world need a cushion of religions to stop humans from killing, or as some primatologists have found, are humans born not wanting to kill. And if that is true are religions really teaching us to kill in many instances.

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