Killing, on the other hand, can be, and often is, both moral and legal.
In order to ensure that no more Marines share the captain's moral confusion, the Marine Corps should explain to all those who enlist that the Bible only prohibits murder, not killing. It should further explain that killing murderers -- such as the Nazis and Japanese fascists in World War II and the Taliban today -- is not only not morally problematic, it is the apotheosis of a moral good. Refusing to kill them means allowing them to murder.
--"This incongruity can have devastating effects. After more than 10 years of war, the military lost more active-duty members last year to suicide than to enemy fire."
As we have seen, there is no "incongruity" here. And if so many members of the American military believe that it is so "incongruous" to kill the moral monsters of the Taliban -- the people who throw lye in the faces of girls who attend school (and shoot them in the head if they're outspoken about the right of girls to an education), who murder medical volunteers who give polio shots to Afghan children and who stone women charged with "dishonoring" their families -- that they are committing suicide in unprecedented numbers, we have a real moral crisis in our military.
--"To properly wage war, you have to recalibrate your moral compass. Once you return from the battlefield, it is difficult or impossible to repair it."
You only "have to recalibrate your moral compass" if you enter the military with a broken moral compass -- one that neither understands the difference between murder and killing, nor how evil the Taliban is.
--"War makes us killers. We must confront this horror directly if we're to be honest about the true costs of war."
Other than the author, are there many Americans who enter the military in time of war without confronting the fact that they are likely to kill? Furthermore, it is not "war" that makes us killers; it is the Taliban. We kill them in order to protect Afghans from Taliban atrocities, and to protect America from another 9/11.
--"I want to believe that killing, even in war, is wrong."
Why would anyone want to believe that? Were the soldiers who liberated Nazi death camps "wrong?"
"The immorality of war is not a wound we can ignore."
With all respect, I would rewrite this sentence to read: "The moral confusion of a Marine captain is not a wound we can ignore."
Every American is deeply grateful to Captain Kudo for his service on behalf of his country, and on behalf of elementary human rights in Afghanistan. I have to wonder, however, why, given his belief that killing is always wrong, Timothy Kudo ever enlisted in the Marines.
On the other hand, he will fit in perfectly at NYU.
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