I felt emotionally drained after reading the biography, “Unbroken” written by Laura Hillenbrand. Louis Zamperini and thousands of POWs (Prisoners of War) have endured horrific acts in the hands of the enemy. So much suffering, so much death, and the physical and mental aftereffects of war. Torturing another human being is unconscionable. Sometimes it is worse than demise.
I cried when the book described the flight engineer sacrificing his life to deploy the rafts just before the plane hit the water. That is how my uncle died. I never even got the chance to meet him. I grew up with a depressed mother, upset aunts, sad grandfather, and an angry grandmother as a result. One time grandma said to me, “You should have died, not your uncle.” I ran from the room and refused to speak with her for a year, I was 12.
My family can trace its military involvement back to at least the Civil War. My great-great-grandpa was a Union Captain. My dad was in the Air Force, uncles and cousins are veterans of every branch of the military, including the Marines, Coast Guard, and National Guard. My niece and her hubby were recently in the Navy. My nephew and nephew-in-law are in the Air Force. I have two cousins who are active duty Army, one of whom just returned from yet another tour in Afghanistan.
I am passionate about the military and have written about the topic many times before. I almost joined but I become sassy when orders aren’t logical. Plus, my mother made it very clear that she didn’t want any of her children in the military. Of course, my sister married a guy in the Army so all her kids joined up or married a member of the armed forces.
I fully support the members of the military as long as they adhere to the Geneva Convention and Protocols. They need to follow orders and I sincerely hope that the commands are rational and seek the least amount of harm. Officers and the entire Chain of Command go all the way up to the Commander in Chief, the President of the United States. The command personnel are responsible for the action of the troops and must ensure that civilians and POWs are protected.
Geneva et al must be upheld at all times, if not exceeded by all components of the United States Military and auspices of the Department of Defense (which includes contractors). Any company that receives money from US Government coffers must comply fully with International Humanitarian Law. Period. End of discussion. If not, it creates a direct threat to members of the US military as well as American civilians. My family! We must eradicate all the “enhanced interrogation” which is torture. We must close all “insurgent retention camps” regardless of location because they are POW torture prisons, not just Guantanimo. They must be banned forever.
The United States is supposed to be a role model of democracy for the entire world. We become evil incarnate when we violate the Geneva Convention. It is reprehensible and will cause harm for generations. The people who violated the rules need to be punished at The Hague. They are responsible for war crimes. It doesn’t matter what their title was or is, they must be held liable and it must go up the chain of command. Yes, I mean G.W. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and their minions.
All soldiers must be held accountable for their misdeeds. Their punishment must be at least as severe as civilian court. I am disgusted when a soldier rapes or murders a non-military person and doesn’t do any jail time. A military court cannot be lenient. I don’t believe in the death sentence; just let people rot in a humane jail. The commanders must take some responsibility when they deploy a soldier/sailor who is clearly showing signs of stress. They should be severely reprimanded, too.
Gender equity will reduce some of the command problems in the military. Women need to be fully equal in the armed forces. Young women need to register for the draft at the age of 18 just the same as young men. Either the draft registration must be eliminated or applied to both genders. Females must be eligible and promoted into every job description in the military. They must be safe from verbal/physical harassment, and sexual assault by co-workers, commanders, and civilian employees. We need to have female Four Star Generals, Joint Chiefs of Staff, key Pentagon personnel, and leading the Department of Defense. Women will still make mistakes but it has to be better than the “boys club” atmosphere.
No More Camouflage Ceiling!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing