Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The setting: a hot summer night in the city of Ramadi, Iraq. The participants, Lance Corporal Ali, from Paris, Texas, Corporal Joseph from Queens NY, and Sgt V, who we don't know much about.

V -Alright guys, here's the deal, you two are on watch until 23:00 that's when Lcpl Paul and Lcpl Chris are supposed to come back and take over, until then, here's some extra batteries for the radios, your call sign is apocalypse 1-Alpha, watch the northen road, we heard reports that the insurgents are planning a big attack on American forces.

Joseph -oh yeah? what else is new.

V -Quiet Joe, I'm trying to pass some intel here, shut your pie hole for two minutes alright?

J -Yes Sergeant, (sarcastic tone)

Ali- Sgt V, one question

V -what is it, Lance Corporal

A - do we know where this intel comes from?

V - I don't know, it was passed down from the CO this afternoon, from there I don't know, why?

A -it's just that, we never seem to really know when really are going to get attacked, I mean, last week when they threw grenades into our compound, nobody really expected that, and now they have been saying that we are going to get attacked for a whole week and nothing happens, I don't know, I just, question the validity of it you know?

V- Lance Corporal, it is what it is. I am just relaying the information as it was passed down to me, ok? my job is to keep you alive so that you can tell your war stories when you get back to the U.S. of A all in one piece, you understand? don't be goofing off, specially with this clown, Cpl Joseph.

J- Aye, Aye, Sergeant!

V- Ok, I am off, got to take care of the other posts.

---Sgt V leaves----

J- I hate it when Sgt V is Sergeant of the watch, he actually wants people to stay awake during firewatch and what not.

A- Cpl, can I ask you a question?

J- What is it Ali?

A- I heard that you were an atheist, is that true?

J- who the hell told you?

A - does it matter? is it true or not?

J -yes, it's true, what about it?

A -nothing, I just, I don't know, can't believe anyone could be an atheist, that's all.

J -why do you say that?

A - well, I mean, everyone has to believe in something, right? don't you have any morals?

J -listen Ali, believing or not believing in a god, has nothing to do with morals, ok?

A -well yes but, don't you believe in anything? I mean, where do you get your morals from? if not from God? don't you live with no moral authority?

J- I use my reason to decide what is moral and what is not moral.

A -your reason, huh? Somehow that seems problematic, Corporal

J -I think I know what you are going to say, what if I were a serial killer or something, who is to tell me what I am doing is wrong? right?

A- Right

J -well, we are social animals, The Philosopher Aristotle said we were political animals, we all get organized and each society will have its particular norms and values.

A -Do you think you would be ok with Killing if it were part of the culture?

J -Well, look at us, we are here in Iraq aren't we? Back home, we are generally not allowed to kill. Here we are taught how to kill, life taking is part of job in this place, and yet, when we get home we are hailed as heroes at churches and government functions. How come? I thought God commanded us not to kill.

A -It's different, we are defending the country, we are in a combat situation, you know we engage the enemy only when it is necessary. We do not go out of our way to kill civilians, only combatants..

J- I could argue about the defending part, but, the point I am trying to make is that there are no absolutes when it comes to morals, it just depends on the situation.

A - I see what you are saying, but I have a problem with that. Surely there must be things that always apply.

J -Well, you tell me, you are the Christian, and you are here with me.

A -I think we are here doing something good for the country, we are helping.

J - Do you really think that Jesus Christ would approve of your actions here?

Stg V: Hey guys, are you scanning your sectors? This ain't the Lyceum.

TO Be Continued.....

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