I found my tape recorder recently, the one I used to take to combat with me. It gave me a chance to hear the words, cadence and inflection of my past; it was wierd and wonderful at the same time.
It was a very formative time in my life, in that I was moving away from my willingness to be a soldier, losing my faith in the military (well, actually the civilian bosses of the government) and their willingness or ability to place me only in a moral fight, and grokking who the enemy was better than I ever had.
You see, I was learning the language of the Albanians, and plus the translators were A: babes in their own right and B: highly intelligent and C: more than willing to talk to me, and I was more than willing to listen. Great accents, great beauty, great minds. Plus, I am in combat and get to spend time with these goddesses I would have given up a weekend pass to disneyland to be with; hell yes.
You learn a lot about a people when you learn their language. I was also always taught (and took it further than I was taught) to learn everything I could about an environment that I was going to fight in or fight through or attack. Know what you can, and make a plan to deal with any other situation that may come up, and practice the most likely courses of action. I learned a lot about these people.
These are the people that I was completely willing to blow up from a distance just a short time ago. They were from a Communist bloc country, grok? They were where I used to AIM, for christs sake, and I grew to love them. All the people there; even the Serbians. They were fighting because they had always been fighting; they knew no different. But they couldn’t see it; how silly it was, and that the buck had to stop somewhere. But it is not stopping. The Albanians are taking their revenge. The tide goes in and out; can we change the tide? Only if one changes the primary cause. The Prime Factor.
But how to determine that prime factor? That is a good friggin question. Maybe Jimmy Carter can see it, I can not. Maybe just a way to get them to be satisfied with stopping long enough for dialogue; Jimmy is good at that, also. I am not.
But, the important thing is that it gave me wonderful insight into the working of my mind at a critical time. I applied for consideration as a conscientious objector a short time later. I did this against the advice of my best friend, and priest. He had told me to just go with the flow, not rock the boat, it would destroy my career. He said that the chances there would be another war were so negligeable as to not count. He advised me to be untrue to myself, and to pose as a false warrior. How could I do that? I did no longer believe in the use of war as a reasonable alternative.
There will be wars, and rumors of wars, and all manners of wars. That is a no brainer and it don’t take a revelation to figure that one out. We are a violent race; we have the capacity to love one another, but we rarely explore that option with as much gusto as we try to take which is not ours, or govern that which not ours to govern, or try to control others ‘for their own good’.
The Constitution is being raped, I think. Gang raped, to be exact, and the American people are holding Her down. Shame on you! And for those who say they are doing nothing to assist in the rape, what are you doing to stop it? The only thing evil needs to flourish is the inaction of good people! If one is not part of the solution, one is part of the problem.
I know not any longer what to do to stop the fall. I see which way the tree will fall much sooner than some who are not paying attention to the forest, because they are so caught up in their little leaf.
Perhaps I am hypocritical, since I have withdrawn; but I think I am merely preparing to reseed after what I see as inevitable. I shall not hasten the decline, as John Galt did, but I shall no longer stand in the way.
It was odd hearing my first thoughts from years ago on this subject, and the frustration with which I was dealing with the situation. I think I dealt with it OK. I don’t know. I am afraid I let some people down, because I did so well, after the CO packet was denied. I told them I would be just as hard charging as I could be. I did go out with a bang; which is as it should as a Redleg, by God!
I always pick at my scabs, to see if, as Rudy asked, “Have I done All I can?”.
I loathe failure, but that is perhaps what spurs me on. I don’t give up in the face of hardship. I WILL accomplish the mission, because failure is not an option. I thought it was important enough to reinforce it on many levels. Whatever I had planned for myself in the Summerland, I hope I am true to it still.
Try journaling into a tape recorder, sometime, and then just put it away for a few years. Wie das Geist den Wienachten Vorne.