tv [untitled] December 2, 2011 3:30pm-4:00pm EST
he's telling. dynamic. life in moscow this is our stories now this hour the u.n. human rights watch to send an investigator to look at abuse allegations in syria but russia votes against saying a report criticizing the crackdown is not the full picture and the international community is receiving. happening in the country. germany says there are no rapid solutions to the crisis and it could take years to revamp the eurozone and save the
single currency going to merkel believes the region needs a new financial union with stronger controls and debt regulations. the results of egypt's first post revolution elections showed the turnout was the highest in the country's history it's too early to have an official leader but the muslim brotherhood is already celebrating victory claiming to have gained forty percent of the vote. for me for the moment i'll be back in less than half an hour as the news continues in the meantime to kill or not to kill watch our special report on u.s. troops in iraq and the life changing decisions they have to take soldiers of conscience is on the n. stay with us for that. yes i join in. the. reason why i joined
army. i mean easy for my recruiter i say as why should a machine go and jump out of a plane he said side right here i was raised on american pie i was a cradle conservative i was voted most likely to succeed most conservative my nickname among a lot of my friends was g.i. josh and i wanted to defend my country i tried to listen the marines right out of high school that hurt playing football so join the national guard and then end up going to west point and the commission. put it bluntly i'm a patriotic son of a gun i love this country it's done some great things for me about some great opportunities both my grandfathers fought in world war one my father far to war to head off of korea because i was there for vietnam so there's been a family member in the military since there'd been a country. at
some point every soldier has to face the question while i be able to kill another human being. conduct. this film is about killing in war and about some u.s. soldiers who have chosen not to. the evidence is that far more soldiers refused to kill than we might expect. in world war two research by the official us army historian brigadier general s.l.a. marshall revealed that among the us soldiers in combat less than twenty five
percent actually fired their weapons at the enemy even with their own lives at risk seventy five percent did not try to kill the enemy marshall wrote the average individual still has such an inner resistance toward killing a fellow man that he will not take a life if it is possible to turn away from that responsibility. at the vital point he becomes a conscientious objector. what
is your duty as a soldier as a human being where you want to live with. you have to ask yourself and what situations would kill and be right. it's just not something you can put behind it stays with the you carry it in your heart. the. people are shots by how upsetting it is to kill another human being. or and it's not that soldiers are somehow different where it's not hard to kill. soldiers to kill. only because they've been trained to do that her dad had. heard of her was your.
forte and after her words are you sure. sure you think you are blue or quasi why was . that all right you're right you're white right here. no wonder bullets start flying about about got a question like that about the man right next to your left in your right and that's about it. was. you know what you want to know some people do they cope with it differently than i do it all that they don't talk about what they did over there with
a wife and probably the only time they get drunk. i told my wife what i did oh yeah. cause i got drunk but it does happen sometimes just have to let it out. again here thank you. so much room. for you today do you know are no harder than money. well i was over there. maybe i thought i had to go through a ten year old boy over there. going grenades in my squad if you do that grenada would have been maybe five or six
maybe the tire squad we've been either killed or wounded or just one kid and that's something that's something that you know that i made a decision because i was the person in charge at that time and i got no regrets about it but look at back at it though it's like the demons come back. that's. the. i'm not saying we're all we are doing the right thing over there. is. people just don't understand what it's like to be you. know we were crude people to serve their country and to kill we train them how to
kill we as officers develop the orders for them to kill. given awards or pats on the back a lot of times or you know credit them for being effective fighters and killers but we never explain to them why it's ok so that when they do what they've been trained so well to do they can be at peace with their consciences for the rest of their lives. has anyone heard of s.l. a marshall man against far as only a marshal was the army's first real the story he was the head of the history department for world war two one thing he noticed is that in most units only one in four people tried to kill the enemy. most people at the point of looking down in time to pull the trigger became conscientious objectors and there was a lot of once you reported that there was a lot of people coming out saying yeah you know that was my experience i just
couldn't kill. so the army decided well that's not good so the army said ok how do we help them overcome this. and they said let's condition people so the idea is reflexive fire training. or some other torn apart. and just conditioning conditioning conditioning charge to come out of each. cave shooting sure to. do. what they want people to do because they're so trained they just. dead all right where is the next target and that's good it becomes muscle memory you don't think about it you just do it. and you raise an issue as fast as you can. so. firing rates went up to like fifty to sixty percent during the korean war as introduces back to training eighty five to ninety percent in the vietnam war and
i haven't seen any numbers on the current war but i've talked to a whole lot of somebody who has two leaders and people say. people are more lethal than they've ever imagined. i own. the problem with reflexive fire training is does bypass their moral decision making process so as in previous wars before we had this kind of training a soldier would look at a target and think through you know thinking through should i shoot this person ok now i'm going to shoot well that takes time that's dangerous. when you train a reflexive lee don't they learn to make those decisions much more quickly but the price of that is they're not thinking through the great moral decision of killing another human being.
we sleep comfortably in our beds at night because a violent men do violence on our behalf when i first read that i thought to myself i'm the person who allows people to sleep comfortably in their beds at night but i haven't actually gone to do the violence yet. i grew up in an evangelical household an evangelical christian household i grew up hearing stories about the nobility of service. and war is not fought by or for ideas it is fought by individual persons who possess human will.
liberty and democracy were not necessarily in the forefront of my mind i was first told to lock and load my m. sixteen. i was the only person to raise my hand when a convoy commander asked who's never done this before. looked me in the eyes and he said. when you move your selector lever from say the semi you're shooting to kill. i stuck my m. sixteen of the bed a two ton truck. i was thinking about what's my field of fire. who's on the side of the road. who's that moving on top of a building. i was acting on instinct which is usually the mode that soldiers go into when they enter a combat zone. and
for a kid who grew up in evangelical christianity as much as we might be patriotic there's something doesn't quite sit right. i was thinking about the stories in sunday school of the gentle jesus in the gospels that says if a man strikes you on the left cheek turn him also your right. i had started to ask questions about redemption. what would it look like if that same determination that's used to defeat the enemy is used to redeem the enemy.
i've never killed anyone but i've talked with a lot of people who have in the profession where that's a regular part of business right now and i've decided i really want to understand this better. but one of the things i did then to try to just get new ideas was i put aquarian to army magazine and i wrote and said if you've killed anyone in war in combat i would be very interested to hear how you justify it oh responses they got half a man someone needs to be talking about this this is great that nasir is talking about it and the other half or what the hellcat don't have anything more to do how dare you question the morality of what we're doing and we don't talk about it it's a taboo topic soldiers that sort of their inner pain very often that they live with this person who wrote is a vietnam veteran who talked about he said the three fears that were in our twenty
year old minds back then in the jungle one will i be able to stand up to combat when the bullets fly too will i survive but he mentions a third one and he described this fear as now i've been to the heart of darkness and done things that i supreme leader regret well i ever again be the person that i used to like. and he said this turned out to be the hardest question and it may go on and on answered for the rest of our lives. we share this story says thirty five years after a life changing experience. still looking for a way i think to make sense of the experience of killing on behalf of all of us on behalf of this country so. we're not going to go back. what.
do you know. when you're out there in the middle of combat sometimes is kill or be q. some people. when you get into the first battle and you actually wound or kill someone they start messing with the head and they start having mixed feelings about being in the situation and that causes them the stress to start building up and then it's just like shaking up a pop bottle which is just keep keep building keep building. just. when i talk to my family yes hey have you ever took in one life before and you say yes i take it one life one in this get to subject. like yeah that's a tragedy but they really don't want to hear. no one really wants to take
freedom. i was internet persian gulf war but i wasn't a ploy to the war. so i kind of felt like i had and fulfill my obligation so already enlisted in june of two thousand. and march two thousand and three i was deployed to iraq. this is a dozen different places where i was while i was over there some of them were in kuwait before we crossed in iraq and some of them were after we were there. my father who fall into world war two he tried to tell me or is not as glamorous as they make it out to be. but i was too stubborn and bullheaded to
listen. and i really found out. i saw more than i ever wanted to see. the one i love that. i don't know that i can describe you know. it's hard it's hard to put it in words. oh don't. let us not become us off guard now you got to know our process. so that group how i'm going to get a letter. just just have
a secret. right to my knees like yourself. because people are not going to tell. me. you're coming back in history. books we've gone down straight it will come back up i'm going to decide i'll most likely get back to. you seeing how war but it's the civilians that are in the area. you know every house you look as god bombs you know writers and are full of holes in it. and just in general how it affects people and how it makes them put all their humanity aside in order to be able to survive in
a war zone. and in. the dead the injured. you stand at the mass graves and you smell the decomposing bodies that are there. you see the young girl that stands along the side of the road where there are third degree burns and you want to help her but you can't do it because you're in the middle of a war and you see all that stuff and you see how it affects you and you see how it affects everyone around you and you just say you know what why are we even doing this anymore. we'll have a conscience we'll have you know a sense between but tell us is between right or wrong. when i joined the military i was nineteen and i say ok so if when that going to war it's going to be for good
cos you know if we end up going to war is going to be to bring freedom to other lands. and we started gearing up to put iraq. it was a war they opposed politically but not very personally. i went to iraq thinking that i could push my principles aside and then get the world or with put it behind me move on. but. nothing ever burst your for the reality of war. no folk up. with go back to. that give it up and push. push well. to get a good. job with the left over with go with one of those go along with. nothing ever prepares you for
going to iraq and seen the destruction of an entire nation nothing ever prepares you for. you know the unmeasured killing of civilians. nothing ever prepares you for what the dustiest a human being you know to kill an innocent person. nothing's going to really prepare you for the level of destruction that you bring upon a nation and that you bring on yourself from being a part of it. and yet i have i have a conscience you know which goes way beyond any law it goes way beyond any order that i can receive.
but. i don't care how old you get if you're in this environment firing these weapons it's fun it's to be honest with you. the fifty caliber machine gun it's a very very very effective weapon it's got a range of eight hundred meters. it'll blow holes through walls. personnel wise you don't have a chance of if you're hit by a bullet from this weapon there's it's devastating it's pretty gruesome actually. you saw it. yesterday. so. there's no civilian job that compares to a fisherman but if you're training to kill people. i have absolutely no hesitation about it it's just what i'm it's what i do it's my job how do i feel afterwards