I highly recommend the potent and much needed expose of doctors and psychologists involved in gov’t sponsored torture. Read Doctors without Morals by Rubenstein and Xenakis.
Archive for February 2010
My father, a WW II army medic, died this past December, still wearing his dogtags, a full 65 years after his war. He carried to the grave the moral weight of his war. And he never allowed his family to share the burden.
Our soldiers today, in Afghanistan and Iraq, fight inner moral wars that most of us never hear about. And they wage the battles even when they have done nothing wrong by war’s best standards– and even when they wear their most stoic faces.
My experience with my dad led me to interview 40 soldiers who opened their hearts to me about the moral weight of war they carry everyday on their shoulders. They talked about the terrible anguish they feel when innocent children are caught in the crosshairs of war, or about the awful sense of guilt in cheating death when their buddies were far less lucky.
As a public we desperately need to hear these stories in order help our soldiers carry the moral burdens that come with sending them to war. Their burdens shouldn’t be private. They are ours as well.
I wrote The Untold War to start a conversation in America about the wars that soldiers bring home with them and that can haunt for a lifetime. We know our soldiers come home with the trauma of war, both visible and invisible. What we haven’t yet recognized is how they wrestle with deep moral questions about what they did or didn’t do on their watch. These are questions that their families and friends, neighbors and coworkers may see glimpses of on their faces, but never really understand. These are troubling questions, hard for all of us to even ask and hard for soldiers to talk about. The Untold War starts the conversation that we must have and that soldiers desperately need.