War can be an Experience of both Heaven and Hell

Many combat veterans have a love/hate relationship with their wartime experiences. They love the profound sense of purpose that their liv...

Radio Interview on KQED San Francisco

Wow, I just endured a frustrating interview. The anti-military assumptions and leading questions of the host, Michael Krasny, were the most biased I've ever encountered.

I was just waiting for him to begin a question with, "Given that killing in war is immoral and the war in Iraq is wrong and that the only psychologically healthy people in the military are those who apply for conscientious objection, a process that the military makes unnecessarily difficult, what do you think about...."

Is he that biased on every topic?

The other people on the program were:

Gary Weimberg, the co-director of Soldiers of Conscience, who in the beginning of the interview played along with Krasny's line of questioning but later on challenged some of the host's assumptions;

Aiden Delgado, who is marvelously articulate and a genuine, Buddhist conscientious objector (CO). I'd want to talk war and morality with him over a beer, except that his Buddhist views are ulimately irreconcilable with my core values. He'd let someone be killed, even if he could stop it, so as not to diminish his own life. To the Judeo-Christian worldview, that's plain selfish. To a Buddhist, that makes sense.

J.E. McNeil, executive director of the Center on Conscience and War, a CO advocacy group. She thinks she knows a lot more about war than she does. Her knowledge of warfare comes from conscientious objectors she helps and mass-market books, yet she claims to know what it's like in combat units in war. Ignorance+bias = a waste of the listener's time.

My favorite caller was a psycotherapist who treats veterans with PTSD. She says that EVERY patient she has suffers from the effects of war. From that, she generalized that EVERY veteran of war suffers. Talk about generalizing from a skewed sample. Healthy veterans would have no reason to see her.

I hope my participation did some good; if nothing else, I interrupted a left-wing chatfest against the military.

Slides I use to discuss the moral justification of killing in war

Several folks have asked if I have a paper or presentation I can share that would help them lead a discussion with their Soldiers on the moral justification of killing in war.
I have intended for months to write a concise paper, or at least put notes to the slides, but alas I haven't. So, I post these slides, knowing full well that bullets don't tell the whole story...but I hope that these are at least helpful. Talking openly about the morality of killing with our Soldiers accomplishes a lot on its own. I know that someone out there will take this discussion to the next level. Please share back with me the insights you discover.