I was late getting home Sunday night from a show, and listening to the news on the radio, I heard a BBC report about how Russia was trying to pressure Syria to have a two-hour pause in their ongoing civilian slaughterfest to allow humanitarian workers to administer aid to the wounded and sick and—one assumes—walk around Damascus with the “bring out your dead!” cart from Monty Python And The Holy Grail.

…Because if you can’t joke about state-sponsored murder, what can you joke about? We’re off to a tremendous start here.

Anyhoozle, I almost drove off the damn road when I heard the story. And not just because it was three in the morning and I was falling asleep at the wheel. The whole idea just seemed so ludicrous, so patently insane to me, that I thought my head might explode. So you’re going to ask a government that’s killing its people wholesale to stop for a while so the Red Crescent can go in there and, what, sew faces back on? Are you kidding me?

How about a 24-hour ceasefire? How about, instead of saying, “Okay, everyone go back into their war-making hidey holes and don’t come out until you’ve had lunch,” you just end the fucking conflict? It’s so astoundingly absurd to think that the regime of Bashar al-Assad—which has spent a year now suppressing resistance that started as part of the Arab Spring—would just be up for taking a breather before going back to committing heinous war crimes.

It’s like asking a rapist to stop forcibly having sex with a woman to let her get two hours of trauma counseling. If the rapist is the kind of person who’s going to consider the need for the woman to recover from the trauma of the rape he’s committing, he’s probably not going to be a rapist!

What the hell did these people think war was? If you stopped to think about it, you wouldn’t do it. Who’s going to put down their automatic weapons after mindlessly mowing down their own countrymen and women, stew on it for two hours every day, and then go right back to it?

You know what the worst part is, I bet people totally would. God damn, I hate this species.

But speaking of completely ridiculous notions of trying to “humanize” what is blatantly inhuman—and thus completely human—this whole thing with Sgt. Robert Bales, who went apeshit in an Afghani village and killed 16 civilians, has got to stop. Not that it’s not heinous, and not that Afghanistan isn’t justified in their what-the-fuckery, but seriously, you’re going to bring this guy up on murder charges? He already had half a foot blown off in Iraq, got his brain all knocked around from an I.E.D., and then, after being specifically told it’d never happen, got sent to Afghanistan—which if it wasn’t before is certainly the asshole of the world now that we’ve been there for a decade—and all of a sudden everyone’s surprised when he goes nuts?

I’m not going to say that those Afghani civilians don’t deserve justice, but where’s the line between acceptable killing and unacceptable killing? Are you going to try and tell me there’s some murder that’s fine and some that isn’t? Because if so, you’re going to sound like a fucking idiot. You train people to be psychopathic murderers—i.e., those capable of taking a life without conscience; best case scenario for a soldier—by literally deconstructing their psyche, send them impossibly far away from their lives, stress them well beyond the limits of reason, and then step back and say, “Oh, well, this was an isolated incident” and offer placating condemnations for war at the same time you continue to wage it? What did you think was going to happen?

War has always involved killing civilians. If you’re going to condemn it, here’s an idea: End the fucking war. Or, at the very least, have a war that ends. When exactly will the War On Terror™ be over again? Oh, the same day as the War On Drugs? Yeah, let me just mark my calendar.

Well gee, maybe if Robert Bales had a two-hour break every day while humanitarian aid went in and picked up pieces of blown-out brains, he wouldn’t have massacred all those innocent people.

Just stop already. Really. Enough. Just stop.

The mind boggles.

JJ Koczan


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