AFGHANISTAN — A Special Forces soldier engaged in an ambush in eastern Afghanistan today mulled over the complex issues surrounding the current conflict and his own moral responsibility in it while shooting a young Taliban insurgent in the face, sources confirmed.
The surreal nature of the confrontation triggered a philosophical dialogue within Staff Sgt. Emile Kyle, who was on a routine training mission with a local militia when his team came under fire from multiple locations. After coming upon a lone gunman, Kyle hit the insurgent with a buttstroke to the face and stood over the prostrate man.
“Surely there are rules against this type of activity?” Kyle reportedly told himself, then adding: “In a vacuum, this type of conduct would never be justified. Yet, here I am. Not only is it considered acceptable for me to put a 5.56 into his brain, its encouraged. Why is this?”
“If you raise that weapon, I’ll shoot you in the fucking face!” Kyle then screamed.
Amidst the chaos, Kyle then reasoned, “The obvious answer is that I’m in a war zone. But, to end the inquiry here is simply intellectual laziness. I need to make a qualitative assessment between the two states: war and peace. In sum, if we assume that some wars will justify killing, we have to contrast these wars against other acts of violence, like the blind feeling at the trunk of an elephant. In this way, we will find the qualities which are required for justifiable war. Thus reasoned The Philosopher.”
As Kyle went over his intellectual exercise on the nature of man and war, the insurgent on the ground began to slowly shift his grip on his AK-47. Kyle, wild-eyed, reportedly shouted “I SAID, DON’T RAISE THAT FUCKING RIFLE, HAJJI!”
The man, Asadullah Kip, then lunged forward and, swinging his weapon, knocked Kyle’s M4 to the side. Kyle responded with a primal scream and stepped forward to plant a solid kick into the man’s chest. Asadullah fell back, only to find himself pinned by Kyle’s combat boot.
Sources confirm that, with clenched teeth, Kyle pondered thus, “If we are defining a just war, we must establish some essential elements; it seems that many agree with Thomas Aquinas’ approach.”
After a momentary pause to re-aim his rifle and consider where Asadullah’s hands were moving, Kyle continued, “Aquinas posited: first, just war must be waged by a properly instituted authority such as the state; second, the war must occur for a good and just purpose; and third, peace must be a central motive.”
“On the first note, of course the United States would be considered a ‘properly instituted authority. It would be foolish to even attempt to argue otherwise,” Kyle said.
Those close to the confrontation reported that Asadullah suddenly went for a large curved blade that was hidden in his many layers of clothing. Kyle’s right thumb slid his rifle’s selector switch into the three round burst position with a slight, but audible, click.
“The second, I guess is a bit more tricky. Are we here for a good and just purpose? I guess that we originally came here to nab bin Laden. But, we’ve already got him. Yet, here I am, about to put a 5.56 into this guy’s left eye. Weird. Even if the original invasion was acceptable, surely that can’t carry over into the present. Such an justification would be ludicrous — allowing for the perpetual waging of war upon the single instance of a just purpose.”
Asadullah’s attempt to draw his knife was interrupted by a drum roll of three shots from Kyle’s weapon. The insurgent’s head flew backwards and hit the ground violently as the sand was painted red. Kyle removed his boot from the man’s chest in order to fire another round into the still form.
“You know, I guess the third element would take care of that concern. If we are all striving and fighting for an eventual peaceful resolution, the problem of never-ending conflict would take care of itself. I’m not sure we are actively pursuing peace as the objective though.”
Kyle paused for a moment and stroked his large beard in contemplation, before shrugging and adding: “In the end, I guess this isn’t really my lane.”
Only upon noticing the flight of the remaining attackers did Kyle bend down, pick up Asadullah’s AK-47, and fired staccato bursts from the hip, shooting the insurgents in the back as they fled.