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Ted Turner's Controversial Soldier Suicide Interview.

Updated on December 15, 2014
Ted Turner
Ted Turner
The cost of male violence
The cost of male violence

Piers Morgan interviews Ted Turner

Ted Turner (ex husband of Jane Fonda), created a big controversy recently by saying on the Piers Morgan show that “It's ‘good’ that U.S. soldiers are killing themselves rather than dying in combat." His words were taken out of context and then he was attacked for saying this. The contents of what he said can be read here: examiner.com.

Piers Morgan: "You made the point to me in the break there, more American servicemen have.

Ted Turner: "Are dying now from suicide over there than are dying in combat."

Piers Morgan: "That’s shocking, isn’t it?"

Ted Turner: "Well, what — no, I think it’s — I think it’s good, because it’s so clear that we’re programmed and we’re born to love and help each other, not to kill each other, to destroy each other. That’s an aberration. That’s left over from hundreds of years ago. It’s time for to us start acting enlightened."

I find I'm in agreement with Ted Turner. The truth is that it is not natural for men to kill. In the Falklands war of 1982 between Argentina and Britain, more soldiers who fought in the war have since committed suicide than died in the conflict. This is true of both British and Argentina troops. It also has been true of all wars that the USA has fought in after WW2.

This has been written about by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, in his books "On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society" and On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace, as well as on his website: killology.com. What he points out in his books and papers, is that men are not natural killers unless they are psychopaths. In the past, soldiers were brutalised to make them become killers. In modern armies, they use behaviourist psychology and this training has become so sophisticated that soldiers are programmed to kill without them being aware that this is happening. Although this training is a big success in teaching soldiers to kill, it is no help to these men afterwards, when they have the memory of killing fellow human beings on their consciences.

In his book Men Against Fire, S.L.A. Marshall also writes about soldiers’ reluctance to kill the enemy. "Fear of killing, rather than fear of being killed was the most common cause of battle failure." Dave Grossman's and S.L.A. Marshall’s books have become very controversial as people have tried to disprove what they are saying, simply because their work makes us question why we have wars. If it is not natural for men to kill each other because they suffer great psychological damage through doing this, then why are we training men to kill?

Dave Grossman points out that that this need to train men to kill, subverts the whole of society. Politicians fear attacks from other countries, if they do not have an efficient Military Service. Generals tell them that to do this, they have to make the military attractive to young men. To do this, films, TV shows, books, comics, and now video games, are made to glorify the military and in the process they also glorify violence.

These films are very successful in making the military as well as the police force a very attractive career to many young men. But unfortunately in the process, watching very realistic films about violence tends to desensitize the young men watching them to real life violence. It is an open secret that the vast majority of crimes are committed by teenage boys and young men in their early 20s. And most of the films that glorify war and violence are aimed at young males in this age group

The USA produces more films and video games glorifying war and violence than any other country. So it is not surprising to find that the USA has the highest crime rate in Western countries, as well as the highest number of men in prison. Dave Grossman puts the blame for school spree killing onto violent films and video games, claiming that playing some of these more realistic video games can actually train these school boys to become killers.

While people think that men killing each other in wars and crime is 'normal' for males, then we are going to believe we cannot do anything about it. But if we realise that killing is not natural for all men, except for psychopaths, then society can actually do something about war, genocide and violent crime.

The obstacle to this is international tensions, where each country thinks they need an army of trained killers to protect them from invasion by other armies of trained killers. So it is not easy for just one country to stop trying to indoctrinate their young men into becoming killers unless all countries of the world do this. But while the fact that men are not natural born killers, is kept a secret, then nothing will ever change.

The solution to this might be in something else Ted Turner said. "I've said for years and I'm really serious about it, I think men should be barred from holding public office for a hundred years. They have been running the world for the last thousands of years and they've mucked it up something awful."

This then might indeed be the problem, while men continue to rule our world; we will always have wars, and men being indoctrinated into becoming killers to fight them. The only solution may be to end this insanity by allowing women to rule our world instead. You can find out more about this in my video. Women Need To Rule Our World.

© 2012 William Bond

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    • wabond profile imageAUTHOR

      William Bond 

      5 years ago from England

      I don't think Angie there is a humane way we can fight wars. I agree it is really terrible that soldiers are not helped with the psychological damage they suffer through war. Yet if there was a method soldiers could be de-programmed, then it would only further encourage politicians to fight more wars. And also successful de-programming may also turn soldiers into psychopaths who will have no remorse in killing others. Somehow we have to get people to understand the total insanity of war.

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 

      5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      But until we reach that Utopian state where we no longer need armies and soldiers we do need another system in place.

      It seems all wrong that we just accept that ex-soldiers kill themselves if they cannot some to terms with killing. It is glib and complacent that countries think of soldiers as expendable once they have given as much as they can.

      We should be organising de-programming for soldiers once they leave the military and use psychology etc. to help them come to terms with PTSD and cope with the memories of what they once were trained to do in the name of national defence.

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