Just about no mission is impossible for the United States military.Michael Barone1My rifle is human … We will become part of each other … Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. WE ARE THE SAVIORS OF MY LIFE. So be it, until victory is America’s and there is no enemy, but peace.The Marine Rifle CreedYou’ve killed. You’ve taken life. What I found, though, is that you feel the shock and weight of it only when you kill an enemy for the first time, when you move from zero to one. Once you’ve crossed that line, there is little difference in killing 10 or 20 or 30 more after that.Capt. Shannon R. MeehanThe proverbial berserker is the warrior. As a creaturely motive, war acts out radical appetite for more life. Although usually formulated as self-defense and a last resort, war is also a thrilling hunt for justice and trophies. Victory means more life—freedom, land, sex, slaves, and tribute—but also the joyous conviction of survival and self-worth. War is a technic for harvesting life that can be “planted”—buried in a grave but also sown like a seed—in order to produce more life, as in the Nazi philosophy of blood and soil.2 Holding the fate of the defeated in their hands, the victors enjoy living proof that they have mastered death. War demolishes limits and burns off humdrum frustration in the fire of heroic purpose: survival registers as rebirth. But there is an unspoken, tragic volatility in this psychic economy.
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