Barbarism versus Kindness

AfgAmerican troops hand out school supplies to Afghani schoolgirlshan Children |Bringing Peace to Afghanistan through Education.

Just one, in many examples, of a combined civilian/military effort to provide a little hope and happiness to the victims of a hateful regime. I’ve seen this kind of cooperation countless times, throughout the years and in more than countries than just Afghanistan and Iraq. Quietly, and without fanfare, Americans donating money and supplies that are distributed by American and Allied troops.

Despite this, we are constantly barraged by accusations in the media, and on the Internet: racism, genocide, imperialism, and aggression. I do not want this blog to ever get political, but those who choose to stay uninformed about the good, that our troops are trying to do, are blinded by politics.

Humanitarian aid and good will is a definitive part of the mission of the military. The US and its Allies have always made an effort to shield non-combatants from the violence of war, and assist them in every way possible.

The Mistake of Equating Kindness with Weakness

Air Force Medic Caring for Iraqi Infant

Rough Men (and Women, obviously) will engage in violent actions as necessary. The US military does not own the patent on this type of response. Historically, war and violence have been the ultimate tool for those in power. It was not until representative government came into play, that nations took the initiative to avoid war. It was not until Democracy created the concept of equality, that humanity became an option. Throughout time, survival has undermined the option of kindness. Humanity can only come into play, when prosperity gives it the floor. We are so used to our prosperity that we forget what true barbarism is. Soldiers will respond to barbarians in kind, but because we were born with the prosperity of free will and free thought, we are not defined by the brutal nature of war. We can differentiate between the moment for violence and the moment for humanity.

There are a ton of photos out there, that prove my point, along with twice as many depicting the opposite view. I would never attempt to deny, or hide, the existence of man’s inhumanity; but we already have a venue and means of addressing that behavior, and that is one of the many great things about the US. We ALWAYS try to right the wrongs and lead by example. Rough men stand ready to provide justice, to stand up and take responsibility when no one else will, and care for those who have never known kindness.

The photos are linked directly to the websites, from which they found. There was no attribution available, but I will happily provide that information as soon as I can find it.

UPDATE: Leslie from Hell In A Basket supplied the back-story on the photo above:

Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt, superintendent of the 22nd Wing Medical Group at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas, holding an injured Iraqi girl. The picture was taken in October 2006, while Chief Gebhardt was deployed to Balad Air Base in Iraq. According to the Air Force Print News, the infant girl Chief Gebhardt held in his arms “received extensive gunshot injuries to her head when insurgents attacked her family killing both of her parents and many of her siblings.”