Ugly war should not be sanitised

Linda S. Heard; 8/9/09

War is dirty, bloody and indiscriminate. It is nothing more than officially sanctioned murder perpetrated as part of a strategic end game. There is nothing uplifting about man’s attempts to burn, dismember or torture his fellow kind. Can there be bravery in pressing a button at 30,000 feet in the foreknowledge that innocents – politely deemed ‘collateral damage’ – will die? Can the remote-controllers of a military drone be considered as honorable as those who fought hand-to-hand in muddy First World War trenches or on the beaches of Dunkirk? There is certainly nothing noble about fishing for vulnerable young recruits barely out of school, shoving guns in their hands, indoctrinating them that the enemy is less than human, and telling them that killing equates to heroism.