I read somewhere once that soldiers who ferociously practice religion are more inured to things like post-traumatic stress after witnessing endless repeated atrocities on the battlefield. Since America has (apparently) decided it wants to be permanently at war forever, it needs an army of “holy psychopaths” so to speak, who will be unmoved by the sights of horrific suffering, and psychologically capable of endless atrocities without later remorse. Far too expensive to have to medically treat hordes of traumatized soldiers. If you can turn them into automatons, it will save a lot of money.
“War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it.” (William Tecumseh Sherman, 1864)
True. Love and War cannot be legislated because they are “id” activities, impervious to reason and blind to consequences. However, if the war is being fought for a specified purpose (let’s say, to rid the world of Nazis) and is brought to a speedy conclusion once the task is accomplished, then civilized normalcy may be restored. When, however, a nation sets itself up as a permanent warmonger state, perhaps because weapons are its chief export industry and it needs to keep its citizens, soldiers, mercenaries and arms dealers employed, then it’s almost certain to turn into a demented monster before long. That’s is how it’s happened with virtually every superpower since Sumer, and America is unexceptional in this regard. Once megalomania takes over a nation or city-state, the citizens are destined to go off the cliff and land ignominiously on their asses. It’s one of the oldest morality tales. Plato’s story of Atlantis was a metaphor for Athens. * Atlanteans (like Athenians) had started out as virtuous, industrious individuals, whose diligence and piety brought them great success, but whose success then turned them into crazed a-holes and brought them crashing down.
[* This is not to say that the sinking of Atlantis was a complete myth. It most likely was a folk memory of the partial submergence of the Island of Thera, which had occurred 900 years before Plato — though he mistakenly claimed it was 9,000 years. The Greeks, like the Hebrews, used alphabetic letters to signify numbers and this resulted in a great many mistakes. The Greek letter for 9000 was the same as the letter for 900, except with a squiggle over it. Apparently Plato missed the squiggle. Arabic numerals have been a great blessing for the world in terms of maintaining accuracy.