Such a prescient, beautiful sentiment.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Human Rights.............


It is my opinion that war, per se, is a failure of human beings to reach a consensus on existence itself. Just consider the adversarial venom of the left and particularly in the UK right now. Coalition Government is bad, terrible, dreadful, awful and horrendous, is their constant whine. There reasons? Just one, it is that they are not still holding the debased and corrupt power they unleashed on us ALL these past 13 years. With such blind and spiteful nastiness there is little hope for my human rights being considered by such people, so what chance when fighting their war? The judicial ruling on troops in battle and their "rights" is partly related to their volunteer status and my view is that that changes dramatically when relating to conscripted troops. Additionally if an individual faces a kill or be killed scenario, humanity is swamped by the survival instinct. A moral maze indeed!


  1. 'Additionally if an individual faces a kill or be killed scenario, humanity is swamped by the survival instinct'

    Not sure there OR. There have been many cases of soldiers who could not bring themselves to shoot at another person even when that person was shooting at them.

  2. OR, there were many cases at Normandy of ordinary rookie Allied soldiers who found they just couldn't shoot directly at the enemy. It was something that had been overlooked in their training by those who just assumed that they would at least shoot back when shot at.

  3. OR,

    'Junior Boarders' post here:

    Covers the point I'm referring to -as she says:

    'On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society' by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (ISBN 0-316-33011-6).

    Grossman is 'a former army Ranger and paratrooper, taught psychology at West Point and is currently the Professor of Military Science at Arkansas State University'.

    He is very organised, uses hundreds of clear examples, and seemingly has done exhaustive research into other psychologists' work on this subject and into written accounts by veterans, not to mention conducting personal interviews with countless other veterans.

    Grossman, using documents and research assembled by SLA Marshall and many others, says that 98% of the soldiers who are in a continuous combat situation for 60 days will suffer psyhcological damage, breakdown, exhaustion or what have you. They basically go insane. He goes on to say that the other 2% of the soldiers, the ones not affected, were mostly insane to begin with in terms of modern psyhcology, already having shown 'agressive psychopathic tendencies'.

    He quotes research that says only 20% to 25% of the soldiers in WWII were aiming their weapons to kill or even fire upon their battlefield opponents. He says the USAAF found out that 1% of its fighter pilots accounted for about 40% of the kills in air combat.

    This figure of soldiers aiming their weapons to kill increased to 50% in Korea and 90% to 95% in Vietnam due to modern training techniques.

    Grossman quotes further research to say that the Germans consistently killed 50% more Americans and British in combat than the Americans and British killed Germans. He says one reason for this is that the more rigorous training applied to the Germans prepared them better for the battlefield hate they would encounter, allowing them to overcome the extreme reluctance to kill other human beings. They were inoculated with hate. Another reason they were better prepared to kill was Hitler's conditioning that was applied on a national level: if in the minds of the German soldier he was a member of the Master Race, then everyone else was less than human and, therefore, easier to kill.

    However, Grossman says the German soldier still had to overcome a tremendous desire not to kill. Otherwise, the number of German kills over the British and American kills would have been HUNDREDS of times higher.

  4. Don't know about anyone else but I'm both heartened and appalled by what Jim has written. Heartened to think that man's "default setting" may be essentially benign and he doesn't really want to kill unless forced into the situation. Appalled to read that as little as sixty days of continuous combat may be so deleterious in the long term. I am so grateful that the little piddly bits of combat I have been involved in over the years appear to have done me no lasting harm. Apart from an overwhelming urge to grab politicians by the scruff of the neck and bounce them round the walls until my arms get tired.

  5. Jim, great research and absorbing, as highlighted by my Ancient warrior, Caratacus. Christian feelings to the fore? As Mrs OR is fond of quoting, "There are few atheists in battle"! Thank you for the Grossman work, Jim.