new, exciting forms of killing

I’m watching a documentary about the creation of new weapons systems. It’s always interesting to see the technology, but I’m always made somewhat uncomfortable by the fact that the machinery is designed to take human life. Many of the military personnel they talk to use euphemisms which, I imagine, are drilled into them to depersonalize battlefield killing. (I’m really just guessing at that.) They say, for example, that they will “deactivate an enemy installation” (by raining shrapnel into a foxhole).

This doesn’t bother me much, because I get the impression that, despite the language they use, they know exactly what they are saying, and they take it very seriously. The weapons designers, on the other hand, come off a little creepier. “It’s really exciting, you know? It’s a great feeling to see the test and to know that you have definitely created an extremely lethal environment inside that building.”

Yikes!

Written on May 6, 2006
war   weapons