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Sebastian Junger 談為何老兵懷念戰爭

Sebastian Junger: Why veterans miss war

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:Sebastian Junger

2014年1月攝於TEDSalon NY2014

 

翻譯:洪曉慧

編輯:朱學恒

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後制:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

影片請按此下載

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關於這場演講

老百姓不會懷念戰爭。但士兵通常會。記者Sebastian Junger分享了他在Restrepo與美國士兵共處的經歷,那是位於阿富汗卡林哥山谷的前哨站,曾爆發激烈戰爭。他認為戰爭「改變了心境」,闡述戰爭如何讓士兵感受到強烈的羈絆。歸根究柢,難道是「戰爭的對立面」令士兵念念不忘?

 

關於Sebastian Junger

Sebastian Junger是《完美風暴》作者,及榮獲奧斯卡最佳紀錄片提名的《Restrepo》導演,他擅長撰寫充滿勇氣與情感的非小說類故事。

 

為什麼要聽他演講

Sebastian Junger以非小說類書籍《完美風暴》席捲媒體界。身為《浮華世界》及《ABC世界新聞》記者,Junger採訪過全球各地的故事,使人們對非小說類叢書產生新興趣。他的主要興趣之一是:戰爭。

 

2007至2008年,Junger與攝影師Tim Hetherington加入身處阿富汗的美國陸軍第173空降戰鬥旅。他們與駐守在卡林哥山谷Restrepo前哨站的士兵共處很長一段時間,當地戰況比阿富汗其他地方更加激烈。Junger將這些經歷化為《戰爭》這本著作及紀錄片《Restrepo》,並榮獲2011年奧斯卡最佳紀錄片提名。

 

Junger與Hetherington計劃拍攝第二部以戰爭為主題的紀錄片《Korengal》,旨在幫助士兵與老百姓瞭解戰爭中包含的恐懼、勇氣和複雜性。Hetherington於利比亞從事戰地採訪殉職後,Junger決定繼續完成這項計畫。Junger自行籌資發行這部影片,2014年5月30日於紐約市上映。

 

Sebastian Junger的英語網上資料

WAR

Korengal

@sebastianjunger

 

[TED科技‧娛樂‧設計]

已有中譯字幕的TED影片目錄(繁體)(簡體)。請注意繁簡目錄是不一樣的。

 

Sebastian Junger 談為何老兵懷念戰爭

 

我將詢問及試著回答一個或許令人感到不太舒服的問題。顯然,無論老百姓或士兵都深受戰爭之苦,我不認為有任何老百姓會想念曾經經歷過的戰爭。我從事戰地報導將近20年,其中有件令我印象深刻的事,那就是許多士兵發現自己對戰爭念念不忘。當一個人經歷了人們所能想像的最艱苦體驗,回到故土、回到自己的家、回到親人身旁、回到祖國之後,怎麼會懷念戰爭?這是怎麼回事?這意味著什麼?我們必須找出這個問題的答案,因為若非如此,就無法讓士兵回歸他們曾經生活的社會環境中。我認為如果不明白其中道理,就無法阻止戰爭。

 

問題在於,戰爭並非可簡單、清楚評述的事件。

 

任何有理智的人都痛恨戰爭,痛恨打仗的想法,不想與戰爭扯上任何關係。不想觸碰、也不想知道,這是對戰爭的合理反應。但如果我問在座各位,是否曾花錢去電影院觀賞好萊塢戰爭片?或許大多數人都會舉手,這就是戰爭的複雜之處。相信我,即使是滿屋的和平愛好者,也能感受到戰爭吸引人的部分,更何況征戰沙場20年、飽受戰爭洗禮的老兵,我敢保證。我們必須明白這一點。

 

我提過,我從事戰地報導將近20年,最激烈的是在阿富汗與美國士兵出生入死的經歷。我去過非洲、中東,90年代去過阿富汗,但與美國士兵共同行動是在2007、2008年。當時我參與了一場相當激烈的戰鬥。當時我身處東阿富汗一座名叫卡林哥山谷的小村莊,戰線長達六英哩,山谷中的駐軍部隊有150人。我在當地停留期間,阿富汗全境中將近20%的戰鬥發生在這條6英哩的戰線上。幾個月當中,這150名士兵參與了將近1/5駐阿富汗北約部隊的戰鬥,戰況相當激烈。我大部分時間是在一個叫Restrepo的小前哨站度過,它以一位醫護兵命名,他到任兩個月後不幸殉職。前哨站是依著山脊、由幾片夾板搭成的軍舍,其中裝設了沙包、碉堡和射擊掩體,駐軍共20人,隸屬作戰連第二排。我大部分時間都待在那裡。那裡沒有自來水,無法洗澡,士兵們在那裡一待就是一個月,他們甚至不曾脫下衣服。無論戰鬥、執行任務或睡覺,他們都穿著同樣的衣服,他們從來不脫衣服。到了月底,他們返回營本部時,身上的衣服已無法穿著。他們把衣服燒掉,領一套新戰服。那裡沒有網路、沒有電話,無法與外界通訊。那裡沒有熟食,沒有一般年輕人喜愛的東西:沒車、沒女人、沒電視,什麼都沒有,只有戰鬥。他們逐漸學會喜愛戰鬥。

 

我記得某天,相當熱的一天,當時是春天,大約幾星期不曾發生戰鬥。通常前哨站會遭受攻擊,但我們已幾星期不曾遭受攻擊,每個人都因無聊和炎熱而麻木。我記得一名中尉光著上半身從我身旁走過,當時相當熱,他光著上半身走過我身旁,口中唸著:「天哪,拜託今天來次攻擊吧!」他們已無聊到這種程度。這也是戰爭,就像一名中尉說:「拜託讓我們有點事做,我們快瘋了。」

 

要理解這種想法,你必須暫時不以道德的角度思考戰爭。這很重要,但只是暫時,不以道德的角度,而以神經學角度思考。試想一下,當你身處戰爭中時,腦海裡會浮現什麼?首先,這是相當奇特的經歷,並非在我的預料之中:通常你不會感到害怕。在戰場中,我曾經相當害怕,但當我身處其中,大多時候我並不感到害怕。在這之前和之後,我確實相當害怕,這種恐懼能持續多年。我已有6年時間不曾處於槍林彈雨中,今天早上我猛然驚醒,因為我做了被戰機掃射的噩夢,在6年之後。我不曾被戰機掃射過,卻夢到這種場景。時間慢了下來,你的視線變得異常狹窄,你相當敏銳地注意到某些細節,無視於其他部分,這可說是心境的微妙變化。你大腦的變化是因為大量腎上腺素擴散到整個身體,年輕人不遺餘力地追求這種經歷。它逐漸滲透到我們體內,藉由荷爾蒙的作用。社會上年輕男性的死亡率是年輕女性的六倍,無論是因為暴力或意外,總之就是年輕人會幹的那些蠢事:從不該跳的地方跳下去、點燃不該點燃的東西。我是指,你們都懂我在說什麼。他們的死亡率是年輕女性的六倍。根據統計,十幾歲的小夥子如果待在美國各大城市的消防隊或警察局,會比在家鄉街道上閒逛、試著找事情做安全得多。這是統計的結果。

 

你可以想像一下這是否適用於戰爭。在Restrepo,幾乎每個人都命懸一線,包括我,包括我的好友Tim Hetherington,他後來在利比亞喪命。士兵們穿著帶著彈孔的制服,子彈打穿了布料,沒傷到他們的身體。

 

某天早上,我靠在沙包上,無所事事,有點心不在焉。這時身旁一些沙子揚起,打在我的側臉。某些東西打在我的側臉,但我不知道那是什麼。你應該知道子彈的速度比音速快多了,因此如果有人在幾百公尺外朝你開槍,子彈與你擦肩而過,或擊中你,槍聲約半秒後才會傳來。因此我感到沙子打到我的側臉,半秒後,我聽見噠噠噠的槍聲。這是機關槍的聲音,這是長達一小時槍戰的第一輪射擊。實際情形是,子彈射向我,落在離我頭部三、四吋的地方。想像一下,因為我當然想過,些微的角度偏差救了我一命。400公尺外,3吋的偏差救了我一命。思考一下這個數字。那裡每位士兵都有類似經歷,即使不是很多次,至少也有一次。

 

這些年輕人在那裡待了一年,然後回家。有些人退伍返鄉後,仍有嚴重的心理問題。有些人繼續留在軍隊,心理狀況稍微好些。我和一位名叫Brendan O'Byrne的傢伙相當親近,我們現在仍是相當好的朋友。他回美國後,離開了部隊。某天我舉辦一場晚宴,邀請了他。他開始和一位女士交談,她也是我的朋友,她知道戰地生活的艱辛。她說:「Brendan,阿富汗的戰爭經歷是否有任何令你懷念的地方?」他想了很長一段時間,最後說:「女士,我懷念那裡的一切。」他是我見過在那場戰爭中精神受創最嚴重的人之一。「女士,我懷念那裡的一切。」

 

他指的是什麼?他不是神經病,他並非懷念殺人的感覺。他沒瘋,也不是懷念遭受槍擊或看見朋友犧牲的感覺。那他懷念的是什麼?我們必須找出這個問題的答案。如果想阻止戰爭發生,我們必須找出這個問題的答案。

 

我認為他懷念的是同袍情誼。以某種程度來說,他懷念的是殺戮的對立面。他懷念的是與其他同袍間的羈絆。同袍情誼不同於友誼,友誼顯然發生在社會生活中。你越喜歡一個人,越情願為他付出。但同袍情誼與對他人的感覺無關,它是群體間的共識,你將群體安危及團隊成員的安危置於自己的安危之上。事實上,這相當於「我愛他人勝於自己」。

 

Brendan是一名隊長,手下有三位士兵。他在阿富汗經歷最慘痛的一天-他自己多次面臨死亡邊緣,這對他來說不算什麼。對他來說,發生在阿富汗最慘痛的經歷是,他手下一名士兵被子彈射中頭部。射中鋼盔,將他擊倒在地。大家以為他死了,當時正處於激戰中,沒人能顧及他。一分鐘後,這名叫Kyle Steiner的士兵彷彿復活般坐了起來,因為他恢復了知覺。子彈只是將他震暈,被鋼盔彈開。他記得處於半清醒狀態時,聽見人們說:「Steiner被射中頭部,Steiner死了。」他想:「我沒死。」於是坐了起來。之後,Brendan意識到他沒能保護自己的手下,這是他在阿富汗唯一一次落淚,這就是同袍情誼。

 

這並非新鮮事。在座許多人或許讀過《伊利亞德》:阿基里斯寧可冒生命危險或犧牲自己,也要拯救他的朋友帕特羅克洛斯。二戰期間有許多關於負傷士兵的故事。他們被送去後方戰地醫院,他們會擅自逃離,從窗口或大門溜走,在傷勢未癒的情況下擅自逃離,設法回到前線,回到同袍身邊。因此想想Brendan,想想這些士兵。他們擁有這樣的經歷、這樣的羈絆,在一個小群體中。以某種程度來說,他們對其他20名同袍的愛勝於對自己的愛。不妨想像一下這是何等美好的感覺。他們有幸在一年當中擁有這樣的經歷,然後返家、回歸社會,如同一般老百姓。不知道自己可以依賴誰,不知道誰關懷自己、誰值得自己關懷,不知道那些熟悉的人在他們落難時會作何反應,這是相當令人恐懼的感覺。相較之下,以心理層面來說,戰爭十分簡單,相較於這種疏離感,這就是為何他們懷念戰爭。我們必須瞭解,以某種程度來說,這種感受已根深蒂固地存在於社會中。

 

十分感謝。

 

(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this Talk

Civilians don’t miss war. But soldiers often do. Journalist Sebastian Junger shares his experience embedded with American soldiers at Restrepo, an outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley that saw heavy combat. Giving a look at the "altered state of mind" that comes with war, he shows how combat gives soldiers an intense experience of connection. In the end, could it actually be "the opposite of war" that soldiers miss?

About the Speaker

The author of "The Perfect Storm" and the director of the Oscar-nominated documentary "Restrepo," Sebastian Junger tells non-fiction stories with grit and emotion. Full bio.

Transcript

I'm going to ask and try to answer, in some ways, kind of an uncomfortable question. Both civilians, obviously, and soldiers suffer in war; I don't think any civilian has ever missed the war that they were subjected to. I've been covering wars for almost 20 years, and one of the remarkable things for me is how many soldiers find themselves missing it. How is it someone can go through the worst experience imaginable, and come home, back to their home, and their family, their country, and miss the war? How does that work? What does it mean? We have to answer that question, because if we don't, it'll be impossible to bring soldiers back to a place in society where they belong, and I think it'll also be impossible to stop war, if we don't understand how that mechanism works.

The problem is that war does not have a simple, neat truth, one simple, neat truth.

Any sane person hates war, hates the idea of war, wouldn't want to have anything to do with it, doesn't want to be near it, doesn't want to know about it. That's a sane response to war. But if I asked all of you in this room, who here has paid money to go to a cinema and be entertained by a Hollywood war movie, most of you would probably raise your hands. That's what's so complicated about war. And trust me, if a room full of peace-loving people finds something compelling about war, so do 20-year-old soldiers who have been trained in it, I promise you. That's the thing that has to be understood.

I've covered war for about 20 years, as I said, but my most intense experiences in combat were with American soldiers in Afghanistan. I've been in Africa, the Middle East, Afghanistan in the '90s, but it was with American soldiers in 2007, 2008, that I was confronted with very intense combat. I was in a small valley called the Korengal Valley in eastern Afghanistan. It was six miles long. There were 150 men of Battle Company in that valley, and for a while, while I was there, almost 20 percent of all the combat in all of Afghanistan was happening in those six miles. A hundred and fifty men were absorbing almost a fifth of the combat for all of NATO forces in the country, for a couple months. It was very intense. I spent most of my time at a small outpost called Restrepo. It was named after the platoon medic that had been killed about two months into the deployment. It was a few plywood B-huts clinging to a side of a ridge, and sandbags, bunkers, gun positions, and there were 20 men up there of Second Platoon, Battle Company. I spent most of my time up there. There was no running water. There was no way to bathe. The guys were up there for a month at a time. They never even got out of their clothes. They fought. The worked. They slept in the same clothes. They never took them off, and at the end of the month, they went back down to the company headquarters, and by then, their clothes were unwearable. They burned them and got a new set. There was no Internet. There was no phone. There was no communication with the outside world up there. There was no cooked food. There was nothing up there that young men typically like: no cars, no girls, no television, nothing except combat. Combat they did learn to like.

I remember one day, it was a very hot day in the spring, and we hadn't been in a fight in a couple of weeks, maybe. Usually, the outpost was attacked, and we hadn't seen any combat in a couple of weeks, and everyone was just stunned with boredom and heat. And I remember the lieutenant walking past me sort of stripped to the waist. It was incredibly hot. Stripped to the waist, walked past me muttering, "Oh God, please someone attack us today." That's how bored they were. That's war too, is a lieutenant saying, "Please make something happen because we're going crazy."

To understand that, you have to, for a moment, think about combat not morally -- that's an important job to do — but for a moment, don't think about it morally, think about it neurologically. Let's think about what happens in your brain when you're in combat. First of all, the experience is very bizarre, it's a very bizarre one. It's not what I had expected. Usually, you're not scared. I've been very scared in combat, but most of the time when I was out there, I wasn't scared. I was very scared beforehand and incredibly scared afterwards, and that fear that comes afterwards can last years. I haven't been shot at in six years, and I was woken up very abruptly this morning by a nightmare that I was being strafed by aircraft, six years later. I've never even been strafed by aircraft, and I was having nightmares about it. Time slows down. You get this weird tunnel vision. You notice some details very, very, very accurately and other things drop out. It's almost a slightly altered state of mind. What's happening in your brain is you're getting an enormous amount of adrenaline pumped through your system. Young men will go to great lengths to have that experience. It's wired into us. It's hormonally supported. The mortality rate for young men in society is six times what it is for young women from violence and from accidents, just the stupid stuff that young men do: jumping off of things they shouldn't jump off of, lighting things on fire they shouldn't light on fire, I mean, you know what I'm talking about. They die at six times the rate that young women do. Statistically, you are safer as a teenage boy, you would be safer in the fire department or the police department in most American cities than just walking around the streets of your hometown looking for something to do, statistically.

You can imagine how that plays out in combat. At Restrepo, every guy up there was almost killed, including me, including my good friend Tim Hetherington, who was later killed in Libya. There were guys walking around with bullet holes in their uniforms, rounds that had cut through the fabric and didn't touch their bodies.

I was leaning against some sandbags one morning, not much going on, sort of spacing out, and some sand was kicked into the side of, sort of hit the side of my face. Something hit the side of my face, and I didn't know what it was. You have to understand about bullets that they go a lot faster than sound, so if someone shoots at you from a few hundred meters, the bullet goes by you, or hits you obviously, half a second or so before the sound catches up to it. So I had some sand sprayed in the side of my face. Half a second later, I heard dut-dut-dut-dut-duh. It was machine gun fire. It was the first round, the first burst of an hour-long firefight. What had happened was the bullet hit, a bullet hit three or four inches from the side of my head. Imagine, just think about it, because I certainly did, think about the angle of deviation that saved my life. At 400 meters, it missed me by three inches. Just think about the math on that. Every guy up there had some experience like that, at least once, if not many times.

The boys are up there for a year. They got back. Some of them got out of the Army and had tremendous psychological problems when they got home. Some of them stayed in the Army and were more or less okay, psychologically. I was particularly close to a guy named Brendan O'Byrne. I'm still very good friends with him. He came back to the States. He got out of the Army. I had a dinner party one night. I invited him, and he started talking with a woman, one of my friends, and she knew how bad it had been out there, and she said, "Brendan, is there anything at all that you miss about being out in Afghanistan, about the war?" And he thought about it quite a long time, and finally he said, "Ma'am, I miss almost all of it." And he's one of the most traumatized people I've seen from that war. "Ma'am, I miss almost all of it."

What is he talking about? He's not a psychopath. He doesn't miss killing people. He's not crazy. He doesn't miss getting shot at and seeing his friends get killed. What is it that he misses? We have to answer that. If we're going to stop war, we have to answer that question.

I think what he missed is brotherhood. He missed, in some ways, the opposite of killing. What he missed was connection to the other men he was with. Now, brotherhood is different from friendship. Friendship happens in society, obviously. The more you like someone, the more you'd be willing to do for them. Brotherhood has nothing to do with how you feel about the other person. It's a mutual agreement in a group that you will put the welfare of the group, you will put the safety of everyone in the group above your own. In effect, you're saying, "I love these other people more than I love myself."

Brendan was a team leader in command of three men, and the worst day in Afghanistan — He was almost killed so many times. It didn't bother him. The worst thing that happened to him in Afghanistan was one of his men was hit in the head with a bullet in the helmet, knocked him over. They thought he was dead. It was in the middle of a huge firefight. No one could deal with it, and a minute later, Kyle Steiner sat back up from the dead, as it were, because he'd come back to consciousness. The bullet had just knocked him out. It glanced off the helmet. He remembers people saying, as he was sort of half-conscious, he remembers people saying, "Steiner's been hit in the head. Steiner's dead." And he was thinking, "I'm not dead." And he sat up. And Brendan realized after that that he could not protect his men, and that was the only time he cried in Afghanistan, was realizing that. That's brotherhood.

This wasn't invented recently. Many of you have probably read "The Iliad." Achilles surely would have risked his life or given his life to save his friend Patroclus. In World War II, there were many stories of soldiers who were wounded, were brought to a rear base hospital, who went AWOL, crawled out of windows, slipped out doors, went AWOL, wounded, to make their way back to the front lines to rejoin their brothers out there. So you think about Brendan, you think about all these soldiers having an experience like that, a bond like that, in a small group, where they loved 20 other people in some ways more than they loved themselves, you think about how good that would feel, imagine it, and they are blessed with that experience for a year, and then they come home, and they are just back in society like the rest of us are, not knowing who they can count on, not knowing who loves them, who they can love, not knowing exactly what anyone they know would do for them if it came down to it. That is terrifying. Compared to that, war, psychologically, in some ways, is easy, compared to that kind of alienation. That's why they miss it, and that's what we have to understand and in some ways fix in our society.

Thank you very much.

(Applause)


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thx for translation

Anonymous, 2014-08-09 08:45:32

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