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Teja Tanchangya

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Can we not develop strategies that would enable soldiers to interact among themselves and create peace among themselves and others?

Leaders decide on matters of war and peace; Soldiers are merely the instruments of war. They face several ethical dilemmas: kill or live. Besides creating dialogues between leaders to create peace, what if such dialogue is also created among soldiers!

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    Feb 26 2012: I know of American veterans of the 1990 Gulf war who were taught the Iraqi word for animal. They would say this word when shooting at the Iraqis. This helped them mentally get over the fact that they were killing a human and think of it more as hunting an animal.
    Its ironic that when you ask an American about Middle Eastern people and they will say that they look and act so much different. Yet, ask them why they are Christian and not Islamic, Hindu, or Buddhist and they will say because it is the religion of "my people". And what they mean is that Jesus supposedly is part of "their people". But they do not put 2 and 2 togethor to realize that this Jesus they talk about IS a Middle Eastern and is more like the people they are shooting and less like their European ancestors.
    Sorry for swaying the topic into religion, but on a positive note things are changing. People are more open-minded thanks to the internet. And you can see the change because so many soldiers coming home from Afghanistan or Iraq are experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am hoping they realize that these people, when raised in America, look and act JUST LIKE THEY DO.
    But how can you get a soldier to fight for a cause when he knows the person he is fighting is just like him or her? Quite a dilemma.
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      Feb 26 2012: Hello Kevin, Thanks a lot for vitalizing the conversation. your mentioning of the "American veterans of the 1990 Gulf war" is a nice start. you talked of internet exposing "so many soldiers coming home from Afghanistan or Iraq are experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder", and i believe that even the "American veterans of the 1990 Gulf war" would have faced such traumatic disorder even if such was not immediately visible.

      As to swaying the topic into religion, it's ok as long as religion can help us to create peace. If we know of our inner goodness, we can argue from any field. In fact, the question that i have asked arose when i was at an International Buddhist Conference. A presenter has cited the Buddha saying that "soldiers who fight in war go to hell." Unfortunately, i didn't get a chance to ask my question and raise the issues, since several professors felt into heated debates.

      When we combine both of our conversations we have two issues 1. soldiers "experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder" and 2. soldiers going to hell. Both issues are ethical and both of them show that, besides many innocent people, soldiers are the ones facing most dreadful repercussions of war. And yet, yet in the battlefield life seems more preferable to such seeming metaphysical speculations as being born in hell or being empirically cursed by the leaders and masterminds behind war.

      Soldiers are taught the strategies of war, yet rarely the strategies of peace, although the term "peace' seems ironical here. what if they are not merely trained to fight but also to develop their mind in a way that their purpose becomes "peace in actual sense"?

      Sorry, if my words are too rude! regards!
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        Feb 26 2012: "Soldiers are taught the strategies of war, yet rarely the strategies of peace"

        That´s a very interesting and curious point that we can apply not just for soldiers but for everyone!
        That´s a really great idea!

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