Title

Defensive Techniques for the Modern Soldier: Shedding One’s Soul to Save it

Presenter Information

Blake WileyFollow

Faculty Mentor(s)

Matthew Horton

Campus

Oconee

Proposal Type

Presentation - completed/ongoing

Subject Area

English/Communications

Location

Nesbitt 3213

Start Date

23-3-2018 1:00 PM

End Date

23-3-2018 2:00 PM

Description/Abstract

Sheriff of Babylon is a short comic series about American-occupied Baghdad in 2004 just after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s reign. It features multiple examples of a marked callousness for the deaths of civilians, from both the Iraqi people and the American soldiers. What makes the soldiers so unconcerned about the things happening to the people they’re there to protect? It’s easy to condemn acts of war from the safety of home, just as it is easy to offer sympathy to those suffering from PTSD. But it is another thing entirely to try to understand how these things happen, to put oneself in the shoes of a modern soldier. The American soldiers in Sheriff of Babylon are not being inhuman or racist or cruel, it’s a defence mechanism that soldiers have been using since time immemorial. War is a horrible thing, and it exposes the raw humanity in all those involved. It’s much easier to ignore the horror one is presented with, to make the mental shift of those being maimed and killed as others. They’re not like me, they’re different, that couldn’t happen to us. As horrible as it is, it’s often the only way to stay sane when faced with so many extremes of the human condition. And often, making the shift back when going home is harder than the first change. But understanding is the first step on the road to helping others recover.

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Mar 23rd, 1:00 PM Mar 23rd, 2:00 PM

Defensive Techniques for the Modern Soldier: Shedding One’s Soul to Save it

Nesbitt 3213

Sheriff of Babylon is a short comic series about American-occupied Baghdad in 2004 just after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s reign. It features multiple examples of a marked callousness for the deaths of civilians, from both the Iraqi people and the American soldiers. What makes the soldiers so unconcerned about the things happening to the people they’re there to protect? It’s easy to condemn acts of war from the safety of home, just as it is easy to offer sympathy to those suffering from PTSD. But it is another thing entirely to try to understand how these things happen, to put oneself in the shoes of a modern soldier. The American soldiers in Sheriff of Babylon are not being inhuman or racist or cruel, it’s a defence mechanism that soldiers have been using since time immemorial. War is a horrible thing, and it exposes the raw humanity in all those involved. It’s much easier to ignore the horror one is presented with, to make the mental shift of those being maimed and killed as others. They’re not like me, they’re different, that couldn’t happen to us. As horrible as it is, it’s often the only way to stay sane when faced with so many extremes of the human condition. And often, making the shift back when going home is harder than the first change. But understanding is the first step on the road to helping others recover.