Brutal and Deadly…
Such are the words of General Thomas D. White. Some years ago, Stanley P. Lovell, a former government scientist who was dubbed “Dr. Moriarty” (after the fiendish professor in the Sherlock Holmes tales) revealed the diabolical workings of America’s World War II espionage. The initial order given him by his superior, Gen. William J. Donovan was: “I want every devilish, subtle device and every underhanded operation possible to use against the Germans and Japs.” In typical military response, “Dr. Moriarty” used his scientific knowledge to develop precisely the kind of “devilish, subtle devices” Donovan had requested.
Gordon Zahn, a professor of sociology at Loyola University, Chicago, tells us how this can happen. He stresses the military program is designed to systematically depersonalize the individual. The soldier can then assume the role of professional killer, performing acts which, under other circumstances, he would find unthinkable.
The training of the military is designed to brutalize the individual. A Mr. Edgar Jones, seasoned veteran of combat, described the atrocities which some American soldiers committed. “We shot prisoners in cold blood, wiped out hospitals, strafed lifeboats, killed or mistreated enemy civilians, finished off the enemy wounded, tossed the dying into a hole with the dead, and in the Pacific boiled the flesh off the enemy skulls to make table ornaments for sweethearts, or carved their bones into letter openers.”
Bro. Bill Paul writes of an acquaintance (a war veteran) who recounted to him how the Japanese soldiers on the island of New Guinea came, surrendering on their knees with hands clasped behind their heads. The veteran said his, and the feeling of other capturing soldiers, were so strong that they approached the kneeling captives and shot them, at point blank range, in the head. When questioned by bro. Paul as to how many he killed personally, he replied that he could not remember. The man was later treated for mental disorders resulting from these gruesome experiences. It is said even worse treatment of American soldiers was shown by the Japanese.
This brutal disposition can possess even the Christian. Bro. B. F. Hall served as chaplain to a regiment of Texas Rangers camped at Fayetteville, Arkansas just prior to the battle of Pea Ridge. Some visiting brethren were greatly shocked at the change in the brother’s thinking and behavior. It is said he rode a fine mule, had a splendid rifle, and expressly requested of all his friends that if a “Yankee” appeared, please let him get his share…The Texas chaplain told of a friend, Alf Johnson, who had gone over the battle field after the battle of William’s Creek and who, when seeing a wounded Federal soldier begging for medical assistance, instead ruthlessly shot him. Hall would tell this story and then laugh as though he thoroughly enjoyed and approved of such conduct…Hall advocated catching every Yankee soldier, cutting off their right hands and sending them back home with the hand tied to the saddle. Graham asked Hall how he could feel this way toward his brethren in the north, and Hall replied that he had no brethren in the North; they were infidels.
Such is war. General White was correct war IS brutal and deadly.
The Light, March, 2006 http://the-churchofchrist.org/