How can an Afghan Veteran of War Help us Understand Good Conscience?
Dr. Hakim interviews Nao Rozi
Below are excerpts of an interview of Nao Rozi, an Afghan National Army veteran, and now a member of the Afghan Peace Volunteers.
Excerpts of Video Transcript
Nao Rozi : I was an Afghan soldier for 2 years and had combat roles.
Hakim : What did you learn from your experience?
Nao Rozi : If I think about the root issues, philosophy since the time of Plato has tried to bring the minds of the public under government control. Sometimes, I thought that soldiers and wars were necessary but when I joined the military as a soldier, I saw the injuring and killing of soldiers and opponents like the Taliban. I thought, “Is my presence necessary? Is it correct to have a weapon?” I held a weapon before people I didn’t know and who didn’t know me… We weren’t enemies because we didn’t even know one another. Even before greetings, we were supposed to kill one another.
I concluded that I should leave the army and after that, I had a crisis.
I had almost changed 180 degrees. I was affected by the war.
I tried committing suicide a few times. I felt alone.
Hakim : Some people who hear your story may think your mind was weak; you wanted to commit suicide…
Nao Rozi : Veterans who commit suicide are not cowardly…they are victims of the war.
Life becomes meaningless. It becomes difficult. You think you’ve done something such that you feel you no longer have the right to live.
Those US veterans who committed suicide had a conscience.
Hakim : What message do you have for friends and for the world?
Nao Rozi : Teacher, how I wish that every human in the world would…just for once, sit down alone and ask, “What are we here for?”
How have we been deceived? How true to self have we been?
I was brought up under the ‘government system’ and things I heard from society and the media. I was captive to these. Now, I am free!
Nao Rozi lives and struggles with the Afghan Peace Volunteers,
seeking a better life, seeking a better world.