Friday, June 11, 2004

War and youth

The New York Times > Books > Sparing No One, a Journalist's Account of War
... "The story in this war is: it's really ugly and chaotic, it's being fought by 18- to 24-year-olds who would otherwise be at some frat party hazing people," Mr. Wright said during a visit to this town (beside Camp Pendleton) that he arranged. He was interviewed with two marines with whom he had witnessed the war.

"Our country is so divided," he continued. "We swung after 9/11 from `those military guys are idiots' to `those guys are heroes.' Either way, you're not examining them as people. The fundamental thing I've tried to write about these guys is I was fascinated by what they thought of the world when they weren't shooting their guns."

His observations draw a complex portrait of able young men raised on video games and trained as killers...

...Mr. Wright's admiration for the marines runs deep. "I really did fall in love them when I first met them," he said. "I didn't want to be friends during the writing process. A reporter's motto is `charm and betray.' But I didn't hide any of the warts. I was hard on them in the writing process. And I'm glad, because I like them."

Special forces warriors are usually in their late twenties to late thirties. These guys are young, teenagers sometimes. Young men are not known for their judgment, if they were then car insurance would be cheaper.

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