As an atheist, pacifist, feminist, omnivore mother and wife of a military Chinook pilot the morality of killing is something I have pondered often. Is it wrong to kill? How do I feel about killing? As a woman who has conceived, gestated, birthed and is parenting, nurturing and protecting two children my natural instinct is to preserve life. I don't like to kill anything. But at a push I will kill mosquitos and flies. Even spiders pose a problem for me and I'd rather persuade someone else to do the deed otherwise I would orchestrate some complicated removal and re-location process.
Whether I would kill to protect my children is a problem I never want to face. A question I don't ever want answered.
At war in Afghanistan today the death tolls at 370 British serviceman (RIP) and for everyone 1 killed 10 are wounded or injured. In war there are always casualties and I regret the loss of life for all but what of the casualties of the enemy? What of the toll for them. It will be high. They are also someone's son and someone's daughter.
What of the men that are doing the killing? The NATO soldiers killing on behalf of ISAF. What of the job they are doing. The big birds bring them in the darkness, coming into land steep and fast. Into the darkness the elite forces of the SAS and SBS, assassins adorned in black and wearing night vision goggles, drop in by rope or by foot, grim reapers of the night, they burst into rooms where unsuspecting insurgents sleep and they bayonet them in the brain then leave again. Night after night, week after week, month after month, year after year they have been eradicating the enemy in targeted, cold hearted, insurgency cleansing attacks.
One senior commander fatigued from the mass killing said to me, "the problem is we just can't kill 'em quick enough." When I asked how he reconciled the morality of killing he said to me, "Under the Geneva Convention it is legal to kill them. I know that they are bad guys that would have no problem killing me and so I don't care that I have killed them."
I can't imagine what his eyes have seen and how he reconciles the visions of the life he has taken.
General Patreaus talked about this strategy in an interview with The Telegraph in July it stated that "Every day, he points out, British and American special forces are taking part in operations that strike five "jackpots" each night - cells of Taliban fighters planning attacks against coalition forces.
On average around 500 Taliban insurgents are killed or captured every three months, a toll that is having an increasingly detrimental impact on their operational effectiveness. "For the first time since 2006 we have seen the level of insurgent attacks drop off," explained Gen Petraeus. "This is contrary to the intelligence assessment that we would see a 20-30 per cent increase this year."
I never imagined that I would break bread with killers but I have done. I never thought that I would vicariously support a conflict that eradicates the enemy with such brutal tactics but I do inadvertently. I don't know how I feel about the killing.
It takes two to battle. It takes two to fight. I have a life strategy I call it 'kill with kindness' the more vile the perpetrator the nicer I am. This war was created by revenge, anger and hate driven by the male majority and sometimes I watch it from the domestic frontline and think this is not the solution. I don't agree with these methods. Stop the bus I want to get off. I don't agree with what you are doing and I am vicariously supporting it.
I don't believe this is the answer - there has to be a better a way to make it stop and to bring peace to Afghanistan.
Peace and Love xxx