Something About the Duality of Man

James Jeffrey, a former British Army lieutenant, has an excellent ten-year retrospective  in the Guardian. It’s rich with similes and metaphors that make it as much a work of art as an expository piece. It’s difficult to pick a sufficiently representative excerpt, so I encourage you to read the original. H/T Don Gomez.

I don’t know exactly where the attraction lay. Perhaps the synthesis of man and machine up above, all-powerful with a bristling array of weaponry trained on insurgents, omniscient with night vision and radar systems, or knowing it had my back and could be called on no matter what, but there was something seductive about such moments.

And yet, at the same time, I know how wrong these experiences were – especially Basher-75 circling malevolently in the night sky; how, while I was bouncing off the inside of my turret with glee, Iraqi children huddled and wept in their beds, scared out of their minds by fire fights raging around their homes and the ominous rumble of armoured vehicle columns; how the market stall dangling off that barrel – which we all had a good laugh over – represented some faceless Iraqi’s livelihood.

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