[personal profile] breeamal
How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?

It's a question that's been bandied about a lot recently.  Politicians and pundits sit in comfortable chairs and, with dour faces and great gravity, ask, "How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?"

They ask it as if it was a reason to continue ahead - to put off the admission of a mistake.  As is it is better to surge forward and keep digging rather than admit there was a mistake and one person will be the last to die because of it.

Is it easier to be the first to die for a mistake, or the second, or the fourth, or the four hundredth? 

I would imagine being the second would be easiest.  The second person to die from a mistake, most likely, would not know he was dying for a mistake.  He would believe in the cause, without the added pressure of being the first.  Those first brave soldiers, marching off to war, believing they die for a just cause.  It would seem easier to die knowing you are defending those you love, your family and friends back home.  You die so that they can live.

It would get harder as doubt starts to leak into your mind.  Years may have passed and now you are fighting less for the people back home and more for the people around you.  You fight for your buddies, your fellow soldiers, men and women you have spent more time with than with your wife or husband.  "Home" isn't even real anymore.  Home is where your head is and your head is at war.

How do you ask this man to die for a mistake - the man who knows he is dying for a mistake, even if that knowledge is just a faint glimmer of doubt?  Will he die knowing not that he dies to protect those he loves, but that someone he loves will be next.  The soldier standing next to him, someone he has spent nearly every minute with for weeks and months on end, may die minutes after he does.  Does he fall knowing he will not be the last to die for a mistake?

How do you ask a man to be the hundredth to the last to die for a mistake?  How do you ask him to be the second to last to die for a mistake?  Would he resist?  Would he rather be the last to die?

How would I feel to be the last man to die for a mistake?

Relief.  I would feel relief that no one else would die.  Relief that my buddies were safe.  Relief that I was able to keep the man next to me from dying.

If I were asked to be the last man to die for a mistake I would accept the charge and feel relief.

X-Posted to American Metaphysics

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breeamal

January 2008

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