Is his attitude really any different from that of the rest of the military? I doubt it – it’s simply that, because of his family background, he’s the one who got interviewed. Much of the terminology used is in widespread use in the military; euphemisms such as “taking out” are the norm not the exception. Why pick on one man for that?
Use of euphemism isn’t really surprising anyway. Seeing the whole war thing as some sort of game – with its red team, its blue team, and its green team – is simply a way of translating theory into practice. It makes the actual killing more similar to the exercises and war games. And depersonalising it – dehumanising it even – makes it easier for people to kill each other without too much moralising or hesitation.
The problem is not that one individual – whoever he may be – displays that attitude openly or honestly, nor even that it is widespread in the military. The problem is that “we”, as a society, allow, and acquiesce in, a world order which makes the training of young men to kill or be killed “normal”. As long as we allow that, then the military will inevitably seek out ways of making the task an easier one to perform – an army whose members stopped to moralise before pulling the trigger would hardly be an effective one.
For sure there are “bad guys” out there, but the one lesson of human history that we seem unable as a species to learn is that war rarely solves anything. Short-term victories merely sow the seeds of subsequent conflicts, and until we collectively break the cycle, we are merely perpetuating the behaviour of the past. If we are seriously concerned – and we should be – about what Mister Windsor said last week, we need to address the causes, not attack the individual.