These US soldiers in Iraq present such an excruciating paradox.

These US soldiers in Iraq present such an excruciating paradox.
On the one hand, we have seen how, with the right (i..e., wrong) people and setting, the slippery slope of prisoner abuse plummets deep into the abyss.
But then there is the astonishing generosity, altruism, self-sacrifice that can show up, something that they almost take for granted. They are young, really just older children to me now, but they have spouses and children, which sadly is the accepted, routine, cover for every kind of craven selfishness.
When I see something like this, it moves me:
“Gutierrez said he was scared the first time he went back out looking for bombs after his Humvee was hit. But when the Buffalo patrol found three IEDs, two of them were detonated without injuries.
“‘Now I’m not scared,’ Gutierrez said. ‘I”m angry. If I’m not going to do this, who is?’”
It is straight out of Rabbi Hillel’s famous dictum:
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
If not now, when?

I don’t think I have ever seen this kind of decency, moral responsibility, anywhere in the business world, nor in academia–though I have seen it in The Movement, notably from the imprisoned draft resisters (who have yet to receive our proper acknowledgment, respect, and gratitude).
And here it is in people who are making war.



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