Are American Soldiers and Marines Brainwashed? ... You Bet!
by James Glaser
April 28, 2004
And it isn't just American Soldiers and Marines, every nation has to
brainwash their troops to some extent, in order to get them to kill
I know, I became a United States Marine and to this day to some
extent, I still am. Pride in the Marine Corps, respect and
admiration for other Marines stays with you until you die.
At one time in this country, the Marines were the elite unit of our
military. Marines were the "Devil Dogs" of our combat forces, but
they were not enough. Other units were created so that we could have
more "ask no question," units.
Now we have the Army Rangers, Navy Seals, Green Berets, Army
Airborne, Marine Corps Recon, and now something called Special
Operations which can be made up with members of some or all of these
units, depending on the mission.
It isn't easy to get young Americans to throw away all of their
parents teachings and have them learn how to hurt people. In Boot
camp we yelled "KILL," 50 to a 100 times a day for weeks. Every bit
of the training was designed so that you followed orders given
without thinking or questioning them.
It is easy to have the troops defend themselves when they are
attacked or fight when they are attacking another group of armed
men. War is an adventure that men have been going on since before
people could write.
The hard thing for the military to do is find a group of men and now
women that will do things that go against everything they were
taught growing up. How hard do you think it is for our Soldiers to
kick in someone's door in the middle of the night, knowing that they
will be confronted by scared crying children and that you will have
to take those kid's father away? Think how hard it is that these
young Americans can't speak the language and so the pleading of a
young wife for her husband can only be understood by the inflection
in her voice.
These soldiers really have no idea if they have the right man or
even the right house. They have to rely on the interpreter and
believe that he is telling them what the people are really saying.
We learned in Vietnam that many times the interpreter had his own
agenda and people suffered for some unknown reason.
How much training does it take before you can get your "Special"
units to enter into civilian areas to wage war? There is the
constant reminder of what you are doing, as nobody stops the war to
pick up the dead children or their mothers.
What about the pilots that fire their weapons on homes that could
and often do have whole families in them. How about the guys that
are firing their artillery at targets in the middle of a city? Just
a few meters off and they can be killing kids the same age as their
own. The same goes for bad intelligence. Somebody says that a
building is filled with terrorists and maybe it is, or maybe it is a
These special American units stand out from the rest of the Military
and the men and women in them are filled with pride and will do
anything asked of them. They have special hats and badges that make
them stand out and regular soldiers look at them as the best.
The training to be in one of these units is tough and not everybody
makes the grade. The training is tough and the indoctrination is
tougher. These people not only believe in themselves and their unit,
but they also believe anything their commanders tell them. Each unit
knows that they are the best and it would be a real black mark for
anyone to question authority.
A shiny brass insignia, colored ribbons and medals are all part of
the indoctrination, as are the polished bloused combat boots and the
how about those Dress Blue Marine uniforms with the red stripe down
the leg and even a sword. Now is that cool or what, a sword
Pride in the unit and all of these accouterments are part of the
brain washing needed to get someone to do things that go against
their very nature. Kill enough or bleed enough and you will get one
of those shiny medals and have your fellow soldier look at you with
awe. Hollywood helps because the hero usually gets the pretty woman.
What happens when you leave the military environment? Your uniform
means nothing and you will probably never wear it again. Those
medals will sit in a drawer or be in a frame on the wall. No one
will look at you with awe and that pride in the unit will fade.
You will however, remember all the things you did without question.
Those innocent deaths and the cries of children will stick right
with you. You will constantly remember those in your unit who gave
their all or maybe their limbs.
You will look at the country you attacked and see that it hasn't
changed or that maybe a whole new set of Americans are there again
fighting. You will remember that they told you if you were not
there, the place would turn into a blood bath. Now years later you
see that after America left, the place turns to peace and becomes
our trading partner.
Years later you realize that you and those you served with were
used, so that some industrialists could sell a new weapons system or
could continue to produce an old one. You have a drawer full of
medals and a mind full of horror, while the politicians and the
defense contractors have money in the bank and homes here and
It really is a shame that we do this brainwashing to our troops.
Young men and women going into the military have nothing but good
intentions and they are at that age where they respect and trust
those drill instructors and the officers assigned to teach them.
They really believe that they will be defending America.
Our troops go over to Iraq thinking that they are bringing freedom
and democracy to the Iraqi people and some of them still believe
that after they have been there for a year. It is only after coming
home and getting out of uniform does the real story dawn on them.
They are then no longer exposed to the military lifestyle and they
no longer are getting that constant indoctrination from their
Every Veterans Hospital has a section devoted to helping those
veterans who suffer from the actions they took while in uniform and
it really is a crime to use these fine young Americans, who only
want to serve their nation, so that some one can get rich or gain
BACK to the Politics Columns.