One of my articles spurred a comment, a question really, asking if I could be wicked, which
I took to mean could I kill. I can indeed, and have. With Veteran's Day coming
up perhaps this might be a good
time to talk of such things.
My primary job in the Air Force was ensuring pilots and their equipment reached a target safely, delivered their ordnance successfully and returned safely. With any luck the equipment could be used again. The second part
of my job was as an accomplice
to murder. Not just one person, but many people
all at once, people I had never met and really had no personal grudge with, beyond putting me in the position I was in by their actions. I helped plan targets, helped prepare the best way around the enemy's defenses, and in some cases aided in the decision of the best weapon solution for the particular target, knowing full well that there would be
people on the deadly end of that weapon.
Though I never saw them die I could well imagine what
be like. Most would
die never knowing
what had hit them. Weapons, particularly GBU
or Guided Bomb Units have really limited what is destroyed and have gone a long way in not leveling schools and old age homes trying to hit a bunker or manufacturing plant - a long way form the 12 o' clock high days were we made up for a lack of accuracy by dropping lots and lots of bombs at one time with the thought that if you dropped enough eventually
some of the bombs would
destroy what you were actually after. Better than the Strategic Air Command days were we prepped to drop
"Canned Sunshine" on a city, levelling blocks and blocks and thousands of people in one shot, making thousands of others sick from the after affects.
The two major factors in killing someone or destroying some thing with
a bomb is blast and shrapnel. I have a fragment of a French 2000 pound bomb. It is roughly eight inches
long, an inch and a half wide, weighs about two pounds with razor sharp edges. Picture, if you will, hundreds
of these fragments flying in all directions powered by the blast of roughly 2000 pounds of explosives. If you add a "daisy Cutter" Fuse, the bomb will detonate
three feet off the ground, sending this steel frag in all directions - woe to anyone caught in the open, say advancing
troops if subjected to this particular
weapon. There are many ways to configure these weapons for maximum effect and I know most of them as it was part
of my job.Another
part of my job was to look of photos
taken before and after the weapons were deployed. One target
stands out, a hardened aircraft shelter or "HAS" in Kuwait. The picture after the strike showed a small hole in the roof, a scorch mark in front of the HAS and the steel doors, weighing several tons, lying about 50 yards
out in front of the shelter. I got to see this one first hand when deployed to
Kuwait in 1998. The picture hardly
did the damage to the structure and its contents justice. There were undoubtedly people
in the shelter at the time the weapon pierced the roof and went off inside.
Then there are the weapons that don't work as advertised. As with anything man made
, or parts of it wouldn't explode. Cluster Bomb Units scatter bunches of tennis ball sized bomblets
over a wide area. Not all of them explode, right away. Years later some unsuspecting
find one of these small steel spheres - explosives don't
tend to age gracefully and the chance encounter can prove fatal. I have heard reports of French farmers plowing
up old Mustard gas shells from WW I and having them go off, the gas still as lethal as the day it was put in the bomb.
I am telling you this for two reasons. The first so you know I am indeed wicked and have no compunction against killing animals to include my fellow humans when the circumstances dictate. Not to say I would
go out and just randomly shoot people, but if called upon by my country to go back to my old job I would not hesitate to answer the call. If an animal I was after
a proper permit for wandered
into my sights I would drop it like a bad habit with little or no remorse. I view this a privilege
granted by my place
in the food chain. Anyone who eats meat does the same thing, if you buy ground beef at the market, it simply means you have hired a hit man
to carry out the dirty work for you. Plant eaters are not exempt. There has been research that plants can
feel things to a certain degree, so when you kill them to obtain their fruit it, on some level, is the same thing.
The second reason I am telling you this is to demonstrate that warfare is inherently wicked. You don't just kill combatants - there are
actually rules against this, established rules of war. We had briefings regarding the Law of Armed Conflict regularly. We could not target dams, hospitals, civilian targets, historic
monuments or churches
unless being used by the enemy for shelter to fire upon our own troops. The enemy we face in Iraq and Afghanistan feel bound by no such rules and there have been cases where our own troops have violated the rules and been prosecuted for their actions. Despite any established laws, innocent people
get hurt, caught up in the pain and suffering
. Any nation considering waging war best do so very carefully
. No one person, President Bush comes to
have the power to commit
forces against another people. It behooves you as a citizen of your own nation to reign in those
who would allow those
like me to be unleashed against a neighbor
or some other Nation
we feel ins't doing
things the way the government
feels they should.
Finally, to all who voted to make the current war possible, democracy has to be learned, it cannot and should not be forced.
So, How Do You Know, you are correct in assuming I can be wicked when situation
calls for it and there is blood on my hands if only by association. I do not expect your understanding or forgiveness, I do not apologize for
what I have done or may do to put venison in the pot or aid my nation, but I do hope you will continue to visit despite the stain on my heart, for I respect your ideas and opinions. I believe
you have a keen intellect and will strive to foment change to make the world a better, safer, and more prosperous place. You are a special person and I admire you for your convictions