You really want a culture clash, attend the next time some TV reporter interviews a soldier. Chances are you’ll hear an exchange like the following:
TV Head: So, you’re flying out again tonight?
TV Head: How do you feel? Are you apprehensive at all?
Pilot: No. I’m ready to go out there and do my job.
TV Head: Are you ever worried that you’ll, uh, drop a bomb on the wrong target?
TV Head: No?
Pilot: We’ve got a job to do and we’re well-trained to do it. We don’t release until we have 100% target acquisition. And when I aim at something, I’m gonna hit it.
Now I’m speaking here as a member of the culture consumed by fear and doubt. You want 100% target acquisition, don’t send me. And there are martial vices as well as martial virtues. But when I watch an interview like this, I can’t help feeling that these soldiers are, in important ways, my moral superiors, and I hope the TV journalists feel the same way. Somehow I doubt it.8 Comments