When Josh Stieber enlisted after high school, it was the opportunity to help people. “If you want to defend your country and make the world a better place”, he said, “then the Army is a good way to do that.” However, he was put to the test with basic training, where, according to him, it meant breaking people down physically, emotionally, mentally, and psychologically.
Josh was a former Army U.S. Specialist with Bravo Company 2-16, who recently made headlines due to the release of the “Collateral Damage” video — containing footage of acts of brutality back in 2007. “My first thought was shock; the video reflects something that is common” Josh states. “I didn’t think the threat was as strong as people think, so it’s not a moral statement but a military statement.
“What people tried to understand is that a lot of people have gone in with good intentions, but they lose that idealism. The instinct is do what it takes to get home. The thing that troubles me is the justification we did; you don’t feel bad. These soldiers were acting with what they’re trained with.
The goal, Josh continues, is to eliminate all terrorism in the name of freedom and liberty, but at what cost? Innocent men, women, and children caught in the crossfire at the wrong place, wrong time? “Even if I disagree with this video, which I definitely did”, Josh goes on, “still in the long run, the ends justifies the means.”
Today, Josh is a conscientious objector: advocating peace and seeking alternative means to fighting.
“To scrutinize this video — if we want to address these problems”, Josh said, “then we should look at the whole military institution and the heavy psychological warfare.”
Here’s the complete Terra USA interview with Josh: