posted on Jun, 25 2004 @ 09:41 PM
Here's one writer's view, through the character Colonel Kurtz in the cinema Apocalypse Now in a conversation with Willard, his executioner, about
going beyond the bounds of what might be termed "civilized warfare" -
Kurtz: I've seen horrors... horrors that you've seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to
do that... but you have no right to judge me.
It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face... and you must make
a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies.
I remember when I was with Special Forces. Seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate the children. We left the camp after we
had inoculated the children for Polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there and they had
come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms. And I remember... I... I... I cried. I wept like some
grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out. I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to
forget. And then I realized... like I was shot... like I was shot with a diamond... a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought: My
God... the genius of that.
The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could
stand that these were not monsters. These were men... trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who
were filled with love... but they had the strength... the strength... to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men our troubles here would be over
You have to have men who are moral... and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling... without
passion... without judgment... without judgment. Because it's judgment that defeats us.
I'm not sure where the "men who are moral" fits in to all of this ...perhaps that's the key. Men who can be led. Men who have some code of
conduct. Yet men willing to enact and carry through unspeakable acts in the name of something greater than themselves, be it country, religion or
paymaster. Men who are eager to believe in anything as long as it gives them hope, as they are, perhaps, beyond hope?