Given the cognitive and temperamental patterns required, it is not surprising to find that the ability to fly aircraft successfully in combat is an ability that not many have. Indeed, it is not an ability that even all combat pilots have. Aviation analysts recognize that the majority of combat kills are scored by a small minority of pilots. Mike Spick has observed: "The gulf between the average fighter pilot and the successful one is very wide. In fact it is arguable that there are almost no average fighter pilots; just aces and turkeys; killers and victims."(Buffalo Law Review
As one Air Force pilot stated, "Most guys can master the mechanics of the systems, but it's instinctive to be able to assimilate all the data, get a big picture, and react offensively. Not a lot of guys can do that."
Ideally, one would have only "aces" or "killers," leaving the "turkeys" and "victims" to another career path. The difficulty lies, however, in the fact that there is no known way to separate the aces and the turkeys prior to combat. Unfortunately, many of those who will end up being turkeys often do not know what they are getting into. These pilots may have the ability, intelligence, and know-how to fly the plane well, but they ultimately lack the "fighting spirit" that they will need in combat.
49 Buffalo L. Rev. 51
Women at War: An Evolutionary Perspective
By Kingsley R. Browne)
I was reminded of this when watching a small portion of CBS's 60 minutes on Sunday night. I did not watch much, all I really caught was the end of an interview with a guy who was in the war. He has a mental illness, etc. And I began thinking about it. Perhaps it is like this, perhaps some guys are too wimpy for war just like some guys are Aces and some are Turkeys. Because if you're going to shoot someone in the head then you do not sit down and meditate upon it. You do not try to fight John Kerry's "sensitive war" or replay Vietnam. Out of moral vanity you do not try to get all emotional to prove how sensitive and caring you are. Maybe some guys will just sit down and stare at the blood on their hands and think about how horrible they are while thinking, "The other guys were not being evil for they probably had families. No, instead maybe I am the one who is evil."
There is something more going on here than just blood and guts and the physical. Doctors deal with similar gory sights everyday, yet they do not tend toward "mental illness" in the same way. The real issue seems to be the link between moral certitude and morale so it is little wonder that the West has increasing difficulty in war. Yet do you really think that the Islamists go home and cry about things? Is this what has really happened throughout history too? I will have to think about it some more but what seems to be going on is that the New Man actually wants to feel bad about fighting a war. So that is what he does, he seeks out paths to feel bad about it. Then he feels worse about it, worse and worse.
The New Man is not like an ancient warrior, something has changed for the New Man, perhaps it is this tendency of trying to say that he has the bloody hands.
You probably never heard this story because journalists are too busy constructing the New Man:
On March 25, 2003, then-Lieutenant Brian R. Chontosh, 29, of Rochester, N.Y., was leading his platoon on Highway 1 south of Baghdad when his troops came under a coordinated ambush of mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, and automatic-weapons fire.
....He ordered his driver to advance directly into the enemy trench. Chontosh leapt from his vehicle and began firing with his rifle and pistol. But his ammunition ran out. "With complete disregard for his safety," according to the citation, "he twice picked up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious attack.... When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others.
National Review Online
Reported once in all the Old Press, a local paper:
(St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
June 2, 2004 Wednesday
SECTION: HERNANDO TIMES;
Pg. 4HEADLINE: MILITARY NEWS)
Contrast the current state of the media with the past when an American national hero was praised by Hollywood and the media:
York, a poor farmer from Tennessee, had under gone a religious conversion before World War I and was a professed pacifist. Drafted into the army, York told his company commander, Maj. George E. Buxton, of his convictions. Unusually understanding, Buxton spent a long night discussing the Bible’s teachings on war with York and eventually gave him ten days’ leave to consider whether or not he wanted to fight; had York decided not to do so, Buxton would have given him a noncombat assignment. After much soul-searching, York decided to fight. In October 1918, acting virtually alone, York somehow managed to kill 25 German soldiers and take 132 prisoner, thus earning for himself, among other awards, a French Croix de Guerre and an American Congressional Medal of Honor.(This is the Army: Imagining a Democratic
Military in World War II
By Benjamin L. Alpers
The Journal of American History
Vol. 85, No. 1. (Jun., 1998) pp. 129-163)
So perhaps you can see how things have changed as journalists construct the New Man, even within a short time in history. So now one has to listen to the newly deconstructed New Man who hardly seems to be a man at all sniveling on CBS. It seems that the Leftists on 60 Minutes only want to show American their Turkeys and cannot find our Aces.
I did not watch for that long. I suppose the New Man is the new American hero, very like John Kerry in his heroism. I wonder why that marine that shot the man in the mosque is to be investigated when Kerry openly said he did far worse and he is not investigated? Is it only because he is the New Man with his new "senstive war" and non-lethal weapons? (Makes sense, against those who are already near suicidal, let's try non-lethal weapons so they can be sure they will live. For the tolerance of it all!)