Thoughts on “Killing Civilians” so Far

did not expect to like “Killing Civilians” quite honestly. It came off to me as a “textbook style” type of book and just list statistics and facts that I would remember for the discussion and forget after. However, after reading through it more, I have come to really enjoy the book. Not enjoy as in enjoying reading about the suffering and misery brought upon innocent people but enjoy in that its expanding my knowledge and empathy towards the victims of war. Chapter 2 has been the most noteworthy to me since beginning the book. The personal accounts the author laces between the never-ending pages of facts and statistics really helps make it personal for the reader. The stories of survivors and witnesses of rape, genocide, and mass murder really make you connect more than you thought you would, at least for me it did. One excerpt from the book “Sex Slaves” by Louise Brown about a young girl named Shana who was a sex slave in Southeast Asia really rattled me. It told how she no longer works as a sex worker not because she’s moved on to better things but simply because she is going to die from a disease she contracted from her work. This is just utterly sad and helps open your eyes to the fact this practice still goes on today and we seem to benching to stop it.

Another aspect of this novel that is wonderful to me is how it opened my eyes to how American soldiers are sometimes no better than the “savages” we see on the news who are fighting wars elsewhere in the world. There are accounts of american soldiers, especially during the Vietnam Conflict, raping and decimating entire villages simply because the could. This shocked me in a sense that I always held our standards higher than others and to read and find out that we have people who do the same, if not worse, atrocities we shame others for doing was just disappointing to read.

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