September 23, 2008

Honor the Solider, Betray the Veteran

I am going to center a paper on the four marines who are being charged with war crimes, the one being Ryan Weemer who confessed to the FBI interviewer. I want to write this paper and do not think I can do so without the motivation of a deadline and a grade. I feel like it can be therapeutic for me as I have some issues with what Ryan said to get himself and his battle buddies charged with war crimes.

But, I can definitely see how his self-condemnation could have happened. I think that he had not even considered the actions and ramifications of his actions fully until the question was put to him.

How can this be possible you ask?

There is disconnection between everything human and what has to be done in combat. Imagine being in an unimaginable situation and having to do the unthinkable. How can this be done? A detachment between everything human and having to do the inconceivable resounds in combat.

Normal processes of everyday functioning operate at a higher level where not all stimuli remain in the processing centers. This input filters through the cognitive mechanisms placing the components of combined senses input to form decisions. This higher level conscious interactions in the mind can be circumvented in combat through defensive mechanisms triggered by the flight or fight response severing rationale.

An insignificant stimuli in the environment overlooked in combat because it was of no consequence to survival becomes a bit stored away as the filtering mechanism has been turned off. The presence of mind during heightened awareness from the engagement of the survival mechanisms bathes the neuropathways with neurochemical stress hormones causing the brain to register everything in the field of sight permanently etching the mind.

The mind receives all incoming signals and only responds to dangerous situations and dumps everything else into storage. The mounting messages become to much for the mind to handle so it creates divisions and compartmentalizes the information. Everything that does not register as a survival response including emotions, gets filed in the part of the mind that has been closed off. The attachments to emotions become detached this way and for some becomes more permanent than not.

Something about the conversion between Ryan and the interviewer triggered his confession. He broke and a flood of guilt driven remorse poured out of him seeking absolution, he could not stop until he had released the weight and magnitude of his actions.

Reading about all the second guessing of what constituents "lawful" warfare or "unwarranted" actions in a combat situation sickens me. To think that actions taken in THE most intensive combat engagement of the Iraqi War, are judging an incomprehensible situation. Imagine, your best friend has just been killed not to mention 93 of your fellow troops, three days of intense close-quarter combat, no sleep, do...ya think they ate much?

Now how do you think you would have reacted to the reply by way of radio,

"Are they dead yet?"


  1. woooow that makes me think more

    1. Keep reading and commenting after you think more, we need your input. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. This is very interesting, Im a 35yo NON VET and I quit my job and went back to school at William and Mary and Im im a senior seminar course called The Politics of Homecoming, we are exploring how vets are treated when they return and what it means to a democracy to treat them that way. Needless to say this article seems to abound with the sentiment that echos daily in our classroom. Im just searching the web for some ideas and found this site, Ill explore it more but just wanted to say thanks for writing.

  3. how can I get this I am vetienam vet


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