Sunday, November 27, 2005

Death Before Dishonor

Col. Ted Westhusing was a philosopher-warrior in the classical tradition. By all accounts, his life was dedicated to understanding what it was to fight honorable wars. To this end, he wrote a doctoral disseration on the subject, mastered ancient Greek and Italian, and taught philosophy at West Point. When American forces rolled into Iraq, he volunteered to go with them. His task was to oversee one of the shadowy private security companies running around in Iraq.

What Col. Westhusing found: rampant corruption and conditions that stood in stark contrast to everything he believed about his country. As weeks of dismissed reports began to pile up, Westhusing's life began to fall apart. He lost weight, stopped sleeping, and started drifiting off. Finally, he shot himself with his sidearm.

I cannot support a msn [mission] that leads to corruption, human rights abuse and liars. I am sullied. . . I came to serve honorably and feel dishonored. . .Death before being dishonored any more.

When things are so dark that even your moral compass despairs, you've got problems.


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