Hatred Is A Poison

Some years ago I served with the Allied Military Intelligence Battalion (AMIB) during the Bosnia peacekeeping mission.  It was a multinational unit, composed of military intelligence men from various NATO nations, and it was tasked with collecting information in Bosnia and Croatia as required by our ever-shifting commander’s intent.  Originally based in Sarajevo, I and a select group of Greek Army personnel later moved south to the Dalmatian coast, to an abandoned Yugoslav army base near the small town of Trogir, in Croatia.

I was the only Marine officer in the battalion, and it was the first time I was in a multinational service environment.  So there was some culture shock for me at first.  I was coming from the USMC’s  insular and regimented military culture, into a multinational immersion with European militaries which can only be described, in my opinion, as glorified police forces (except the Turks).  Our job was human intelligence:  basically to drive all over Bosnia and Croatia with our translator, and meet with various locals who might have information related to the topics we were assigned to investigate.

The people whom we met with were almost always the dregs of society:  criminals, former militia members, opportunists, informers, killers.  Mostly they were just looking for handouts from us, and all of them were eager to justify and minimize their actions in the ethnic cleansing and fighting that had taken place.  Some bragged about their sniping, their violence, their assaults on their neighbors, and their frauds and scams.  But being around such people, and in this environment, for an extended period of time had an effect on me, which I have learned to put into greater perspective with the passage of time.

The Bosnian and Croatian countryside was possessed of great beauty, and countless images from that time remain fixed in my memory:  the weird, almost haunted, quality of the decrepit base near Trogir; the very different tribal characteristics of the nationalities in AMIB (Norweigans, British, French, Italians, Germans, Turks, Greeks);  the many long road trips we took to Zadar, Knin, Split, and dozens of other obscure towns in Bosnia and Croatia; the people we would meet on our travels in the countryside; the same Euro-pop soundtrack that played in the background nearly everywhere we went; the Serbian Orthodox monastery in Krka, where we once had to go for an assignment; and the almost unbelievable lack of supervision the Greeks and I had as armed men driving back and forth between two countries.

I loved working with the Greeks:  proud,  prickly, and independent, they knew who they liked and didn’t like, and fortunately I got along very well with them.  Perhaps because of my own Mediterranean background, I knew how to deal with them in a way that none of the other Americans did.  For that reason I was the officer assigned to work with them in Trogir.  I will never forget my comrade a Greek army major, a hardworking, jovial man, possessed of great humanity, wisdom, and an utter ruthlessness when needed.  He was also the only man I have ever seen who could hand-roll a cigarette while driving through a perilous Bosnian mountain road while at the same time talking politics or philosophy.

But darker images from the region’s recent history were always present as reminders of the savage heart that pants just beneath the thin veneer of civilization. The natural beauty of the region formed an uncomfortable contrast with the obscene ghastliness of civil war, only recently abated, which was present in every village and in the wrinkled brow of every inhabitant.  Political graffiti was nearly everywhere, and all of it was of the extreme type (fascist Ustase or Serb nationalist sloganeering).  Parts of Sarajevo were mostly blasted apartment buildings, or buildings raked with machine gun or rocket fire.  And driving through the countryside, one would see town after town of demolished houses, blown up by one group or another.  The remnants were usually mined, a precaution taken by one group or another to ensure that no displaced persons ever entertained the thought of returning.  Sullen hatred and repressed rage hung in the air like a poisonous cloud, and it could not be avoided.  When talking with any of the locals, you just felt it immediately.


I remember one time while driving in the Croatian countryside we decided, against my better judgment, to pick up a hitchhiker. She was a teenage Croat girl with a beautiful face.  But when we got her in the car and attempted some friendly chit-chat, all that came out of her mouth was the foulest, crudest, ethnic hatred:  how much she hated Serbs, how much she wished she could kill every one of them, and such talk.  It was unsettling for us to hear such unprovoked vitriol come from the mouth of a girl so beautiful; the Greeks and I were taken aback and could hardly respond.  We got rid of her in the next village.  And for the rest of the drive none of us spoke much, our hearts heavy with the weight of this incident.  I felt a deep sense of shame.  Shame for sitting there and listening to the diatribe, without responding, and somehow feeling complicit in it.  I felt tainted, corrupted, unclean.  And I think about this episode sometimes, in darker moments.  I have come to despise ethnic or racial bigotry, in whatever form, to the extent that I cannot stand to hear it for a more than a moment.

Hatred is a poison: a corrosive, insidious poison, which eats away at the soul of the bearer, until he becomes a hollow shell of a man, a shellacked and mummified corpse.  This is not a metaphor.  It is a literal truth, and I have seen it.  Never hold onto hatred or animus.  And never accept it as a burden from anyone else.

We like to think we can trace the roots of hatred and conflict among peoples and nations.  Regarding the Bosnian war, you can read the excellent The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric, as I did, and you can delude yourself that you know the reasons why this happened or why that happened.  And to some extent, it is good to ask such questions.  But I have come to think that irrational forces play a more powerful role in human affairs that we care to admit.  In the end, the rational explanations are always somewhat deficient.  Truth has many faces, and moves about on four legs.  The unconscious, primeval Unknown is always there in the background, driving us forward, just as a sleepwalker is animated and guided by an invisible hand.

Sometimes, there is no reason why this or that happens.  Civilization is a veneer, a mask attached to the face of the trousered ape which is man; and when the mask falls off, the beast behind it is revealed in all his brutishness.  And the beast is a sick, craven, and destructive thing, when exposed to the light of day.  Each generation must nurture the gift of civilization, and pass it on, this precious gift, to ensure that the face of barbarism remains safely hidden away.  And when society fails in this task, consequences must be paid.  And paid in blood.

Towards the end of my time in Bosnia, we once interviewed a hard-bitten Croat who was describing his supposed knowledge of a mass grave near the Bosnian border.  He chain smoked, as most did, throughout the interview.  Towards the end of the interview, and his spewing the usual anti-Serb litany, he leaned back in his chair, took a long drag on his cigarette, and squinted at me though narrow and cunning peasant eyes.  They were afire with a mixture of scorn and undisguised vindictiveness.  If I had encountered him in a combat zone and he had looked at me that way, I would have shot him without hesitation.  But there was something else.  There was despair in those eyes as well:  beneath the animal, rat-like hostility, there was the forlorn look of the man who had lost his soul.  The look of someone who knew, deep down, that everyone loathed him.

He said to me, through the translator, “I know what you’re thinking.  And maybe I’ve said too much.  But let me tell you that you have no right to judge me.  You would have done the same things I did in my situation.  You don’t know anything about me.”

I glared back at him, this slithery bastard.  I wanted to tell him something he would remember for a long time.

“No”, I said slowly, “you don’t know what I’m thinking.  You don’t know anything about me.  But let me tell you:  I will not allow you to give me your hatred.  I refuse to take it from you.  So you can take it back.  All of it.  You are not rich enough to give it to me.”

Then he put down his cigarette, lowered his head, and was silent.

Read More:  What Are You Prepared To Do?

103 thoughts on “Hatred Is A Poison”

  1. Buddhists consider negative emotions and thoughts to be the “enemy within,” far more insidious and dangerous than any outward enemy.

  2. “Holding on anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”

    1. Oh no, an article that pushes the platitudes about not being wacist. Give him a fucking nobel prize.

  3. Beautiful article, Quintus Curtius. An excellent antidote on this site to the hate-filled ramblings of the likes of “Christian McQueen.”

  4. I had a similar experience handling sources in Iraq with the Shias and Sunnis. Blind hatred perpetrating one incident with ever-escalating responses.

    1. I made this comment earlier from my phone and I just want to add to it. This was one of the finest pieces of writing this site has produced. The quality of writing here has improved steadily, and this particular piece is really a tour de force and a classic. The writer hits all his points earnestly and without pretension. How many thousands of obnoxious liberal opinion pieces have been churned out over the decades criticizing bigotry? Here’s a guy who knocks it out of the park without condescending to the reader in any way. Great job.

  5. “Hatred is a poison: a corrosive, insidious poison, which eats away at the soul of the bearer, until he becomes a hollow shell of a man, a shellacked and mummified corpse. This is not a metaphor. It is a literal truth, and I have seen it.”
    Pics or it didn’t happen.

  6. “Hatred is a poison: a corrosive, insidious poison, which eats away at the soul of the bearer, until he becomes a hollow shell of a man, a shellacked and mummified corpse. This is not a metaphor. It is a literal truth, and I have seen it.”
    Pics or it didn’t happen.

  7. “In this war, things get confused out there—power, ideals, the old morality, and practical military necessity . . . because there’s a conflict in every human heart between the rational and the irrational, between good and evil. And good does not always triumph.” Apocalypse Now

  8. Seriously not prepared for something uplifting and positive on ROK. Awesome post.

  9. This is a spectacular writeup.
    I agree with your sentiments on ethnic and racial bigotry. Having grown up in a town that was 99% white, then accepting my first real job in a town that was 85% black, then working in another town that was 85% Hispanic, and having at least spent time in Asia, I have to say I learned that people are just people.
    In fact, some of my more eccentric qualities that were always derided by my own people (white) such as my intelligence, my refusal to just accept The System, and willingness to say fuck it I’m doing things my way, were readily accepted and even appreciated in these ethnic communities.
    Also, I felt as though the women hadn’t been “tainted” to quite the extent the feminist rot has caused amongst Anglo women. that was refreshing.
    As someone who has spent a lifetime studying science, I guess it’s just the way I do things but I always went in without preconceived notions and prejudices. This immediately garnered me a matter of respect, and allowed me to see the humanity that is in all of us, regardless of which shade we are.
    Of course, each group generally looks out for its own and there’s no issue with this in my book as long as it doesn’t turn in to hatred and violence. But I’m glad to be imbued with the capability to walk amongst different shades of our species and learn something from all of them.

  10. Yowza, Quintus. I can tell you really absorbed those classics you like to read in the original so much. Perhaps your best article yet.

  11. Greek guy checking in! People around the world don’t realise that Balkans are one of the most volatile regions in the world. The root of the problem lies in the Ottoman occupation 4 centuries ago. When you go there you realise the difference between noble patriotism (love for your country) and vicious chauvinism/nationalism (hate of other countries). Congratulations for your post.

    1. Ioannis: I am glad a Greek weighed in here. The Greek contingent were the hardest working, most intense, and most underappreciated of all the nations in AMIB. Only they knew what was going on, in the mud, and I was glad to be in the belly of the beast with them at my side. They were true men, and it was my privilege to have served with them. We saved each other from innumerable scrapes, some beyond description. You tell your Greek brothers and sisters that I am forever a lover of your country and culture. I hope someday to meet and embrace again my comrades Maj. Tzintsas and Sgt. George Agelakouthis, if not in this life, then on the fields of Elysium.

      1. Will do my brother.I served in the Greek military a year ago as a medic (rank: private or ”hoplite” in Greek). I can attest to the fact that most officers are 100% professional with little or no pay in very harsh economic times (the current Great Recession)

        1. Ioannis:
          Read your comment just now and was laughing in amazement that in the modern Greek army they still call a private a “hoplite”. Can’t believe that! That’s the same word as was used in ancient Greek militaries. When I hear the word hoplite, I think of the phalanxes of Argos, Corinth, Sparta, etc.

  12. Quintius Curtius applies the doctrines and perspectives he’s learned from reading hundreds of philosophical books into his daily life, which makes his POV a pleasure to read. An ancient scholar trapped in a modern american’s body.

    1. Thanks, Don, for your kind words. Writing on these things helps expiate the demons of a tumescent soul. And if my observations are useful to anyone, then I am doubly gratified.

  13. I’ve always seen hatred as one of the worst things you can have. This is why I’m so opposed to multiculturalism. All the conflict it creates can only lead to hatred.

    1. I think it i the opposite, if people live together, people will learn to see each other as individual not as a group.
      It is our primitive tribalistic monkey instinct which creates hate for the out group.

      1. White men are the most hated group in the US, and are actively discriminated against by the gov’t and violently attacked by blacks.

        1. Its the little few that did so much bad or good that caused this hate. Like with all those affected by the few, it sucks.

      2. Sure just like the Serbs, Croats, and Albanians living together learned to love one another. Examples can be multiplied ad nauseum.

  14. Excellent read and excellent comeback at the end.
    This is the real food…this is needed more than the dessert.

  15. I’m from Croatia. In fact, I live some 15 miles from Trogir.
    First, superb writing. Good “definition” of a hatred/beast in a man. One thing you didn’t mention: hatred is extremely contagious. It goes through generations with ease. Things are better here now, but I’ve seen how one little spark can tear down the mask and let the blood flow. Politicians like to use it.
    Second, the girl. After you see your hometown burn and your family and friends die, that will put permanent mark on you. People handle it differently, some let fire consume them, some choose to control it. Latter are in minority. After war ended lot of Bosnians (esp. from Srebrenica) became guns for hire, some still operate.
    If you haven’t seen it, I heavily recommend movie “Lepa sela lepo gore” – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116860/

    1. Simon: I am so glad you weighed in here. I appreciate your hearing my thoughts in an understanding and sympathetic way. I don’t blame the Croatian people as a whole, as you know. They were traumatized by the war. And that is the supreme tragedy of war. The loss of innocence. The corruption of faith. The degradation of the soul. The transformation of innocent, beautiful girls into monsters. It is a ghastly, horrible reality. It’s taken me a long time to see the full picture. And now I let it go. I am free of it.
      And if you’re 15 miles from Trogir, then chances are I’ve seen your house. I feel like I know every road, every hill, and every gas station in the area. I feel like I visited every town in southern Croatia, brother. I was in awe of the beauty of the Dalmatian coast. Zadar was magnificient. The women are tall, proud, and extremely beautiful. Someday I’ll go back.

        1. My family are also from a region not too far away from Trogir. Unfortunately, because I can speak the language, I got to deal with a lot of refugees of all the nationalities. Some of the stories were truly horrible.
          I’d cut the slithery bastard some slack. I don’t think that there were many people in West who would have responded much better given the circumstances that these people had to endure.
          The hatred that these people felt was not something wished from thin air but in response to real atrocities and for being forced into situations which none of them wanted to be in. Sorry for the story’s but to give you an example of what fuelled the hate. An ex Croat Solider from Bosnia who is a patient of mine (a placid man prior to the war) had his hate stoked when his friend was chained sawed in half (lengthwise) by the Serbs. A Bosnian Muslim I had to treat for depression had his hate stoked when his Serbian friend, and next door neighbour, whom he had invited home to have meals with, drowned his son by pushing him off a bridge. My father’s next door neighbour left Australia to fight in the war over there after his sisters family were butchered by their next door next door neighbour with whom they had lived peaceably with for years. I’m loathe to pass judgement on these people because, given how much I love my family; if I had seen my wife raped and mutilated, my family butchered, and all that I had worked for burned to the ground, I too, would probably have a hard time trying to “find the love.” Empathy is walking in another mans shoes. The war there was personal.
          I know that hate destroys and consumes the hater, but sometimes it’s the only thing that sustains when all is lost. The only thing that stops men blowing their own brains out.
          Much of this hate was a quest for personal justice, but as the Good Book says, vengeance is God’s alone. Those who stepped over the bounds of justice into vengeance damned themselves in the process. The movie The Outlaw Josie Wales deals with this theme quite well.
          But spiritual teachers have long recognised that there is a thing far worse than hate and that’s principled indifference. The Good Book is quite clear on the matter. Hate, in part, is at least motivated by love. Most of the hate generated in that war was a response to the brutal violations of the things people loved. If people didn’t give a care about anything then there would be no hate in their violation.
          The real wickedness and the moral poison that kills the soul completely is the indifference to justice, mercy, truth and the moral law. Not to care why things happened, to label vengeful victim in the same class as a malicious attacker is to dishonour justice and truth. To claim it with an air of moral superiority, well….. that’s the sort of stuff that sends a man to Hell.
          Our slithery bastard at least turned his eyes down because he was damned by his own conscience which had still not rotted completely. He judged himself by a moral law and found himself wanting. There’s still is a chance of redemption.

        2. Slumlord:
          Your comments are incisive, pertinent, and penetrating. Thanks for weighing in. I value your comment. You felt my words.
          I do cut him some slack. I guess my point was the burden on one’s soul that comes from being immersed in bile for so long. Myself included. It weighs on you and eats at you. I don’t excuse my own actions and never felt morally superior to anyone. Perhaps I should take a good look at my own eyeballs in the mirror. And describe what I see.
          I also met many brave, conscientious, and diligent Croats who did heroic work in resettling displaced persons and various other healing causes. So, I do not want to give the impression of singling anyone out. If I had been in Kosovo or Serbia, I would have seen the same things coming from different mouths, I am sure.

        3. From my perspective it’s not a Croat/Serb thing. I know that there were many low life Croats and I also know that there where honourable Serbs, some of whom paid with their life for their actions. But what irks me is the attitude of many who can’t tell the difference between vengeance and outright malice. Vengeance, for all its faults, is an exaggerated quest for justice (which is a virtue) but which in the end becomes unjust by inflicting a disproportionate retribution for the initial injury. It’s a perverted form of love for the person who has felt the injury.
          One of the reasons why America has had such a dismal result in its war on terror is precisely for this reason. It denies the limited,/i> legitimacy of this type of “hate” but bundles it into the same category as outright malice.
          Take the Palestinians for example. I’ve got no dog in this fight. To label them as outright murderers “full of hate” when we all know that they have been screwed over right royally by the Israeli’s, is to deny them their natural rights and add insult to injury. Sure, their response is unjust and heaps evil upon evil, but it has some legitimate basis. I know what they do is wrong, but brother, I can understand it. So I don’t dismiss them as swivel eyed loons like many in the West do.
          The reasons why the Palestinians have less hate towards the Europeans than the Americans is because the Europeans acknowledge some of the legitimacy of their claims. Not to be able to see the difference between right and wrong is spiritual death. The man who hates has at least some form of moral compass, the man who doesn’t care has none.
          I don’t excuse my own actions and never felt morally superior to anyone.
          The deadliest sins are the ones that you don’t see or “feel”.
          You didn’t feel superior,/i>, but ask yourself a question; how much different would you have acted had you walked a mile in his shoes; were raised in his communist environment which encouraged hate for the enemy, and know fully well what was in store for you if you lost the fight? Srebrenica?
          The slithery eyed bastard probably did wrong, but you know what, I don’t know if I would have been much better given the circumstances and faced with his pressures. May God have mercy on his soul, Pity him. stare at him with horror but and pray not to be put to the test. There but for the Grace of God go I.
          He was absolutely correct that you had no right to judge him.
          But you did.

  16. Hatred is actually a BLESSING because it allows a man to see just how fucked up his hypocritical society is and to avoid legal pitfalls set by the system to trap him.. you get to enjoy life walk while more trusting, optimistic men get screwed by their own government. Having a pessimistic and distrusting disposition can also save you lifelong servitude to women such as those clueless monkeys who still get married and have babies with “modern” women

  17. To me this one of the most frightening aspect of humanity, take for example the genocide in Rwanda or the holocaust.There were so many civilians and “civilised people” who took part in it. I love to fancy myself as this writer i am not one of “those people” but i know their lives a very ugly beast in all of us and given the right incentive and opportunity, it will come out.
    Call me a totalitarian but this why i belive in a strong government who can control the individual and groups in a country. Of Course justice, democracy and enlightenment crucial too.

    1. A sound position. The only problem with it is that the power given to people in control of a “strong government” often provides a perfect opportunity and incentive (absolute power) to unleash THEIR inner beast.

    2. A sound position. The only problem with it is that the power given to people in control of a “strong government” often provides a perfect opportunity and incentive (absolute power) to unleash THEIR inner beast.

    3. The French government was supportive of the Hutu killers in Rwanda. The UN tried to save some of the Hutu soldiers, after they were trapped by the invading force of expatriate Tutsi soldiers (who’d grown up in neighboring countries and were part of their armies before they invaded Rwanda and stopped the genocide themselves – no western foreign intervention there for that GENUINE genocide of pure civilians – most of the dead in the former Yugoslavia were soldiers/paramilitary/militants and not civilians) in “Operation Turquoise”. The US/western Europe state-supported separatists/terrorists get a free hand, while the targeted country/government/people get demonized or quietly snuffed out (if they can’t fight back at all, so they can’t be accused of atrocities then).
      Serbs were fighting for their lives against western-backed separatists who sent death squads to remove the Serbs from the very start.
      Bosnia’s president, Alija Izetbegovic was a RADICAL Islamist who was FALSELY pushed by the west as a moderate.
      He was an ex-con who was jailed several times in his life and wrote “Islamic Declaration” that Christianity and Islam couldn’t co-exist in a state. He and his group were seeking aid from Islamic states and terrorist organizations in the early 1980’s for an independent Islamic Bosnia.
      Currently, the U.S. is supporting terrorism in their desperation to remove Assad from power in Syria. And actually there’s a connection with this article in that Croatia sent 75 planeloads of weapons to the Syrian rebels from November 2012 through February of this year.

      1. Even if you got some of the history correct, it is simplistic to think in a such “good guy” vs “bad guy” dichotomy. In Rwanda It was the Hutu leaders who planned and started the massacre, The tutsi leader like president kagame also let the massacre happen when he had a chance to stop it. He even stopped the US from intervening by telling Bill Clinton that he cannot guarantee his soldier won’t fire on us marines.
        What happened in Yugoslavia is also a bigger mess where no one is innocent victim. The causes of the war are complex. The root cause of the entire issue can be summed up in one word>
        nationalism. Suppress nationalism for peace. The second is religion
        which doesn’t have a solution.

        1. You are wrong – you don’t see the outside foreign governments, the CIA, BND, MI6 – which were very very very heavily active in the run-up to the Yugoslav war and during it – never mind their false advertising that the west wasn’t “doing enough”. That was to gain public support for a large open attack (bombing and occupation).
          Yugoslavia was purposely broken up using old fault lines – and the break up was long wanted by the west (though they may have given lip-service to wanting it to stay together.
          Once Germany was reunited – they started funneling weapons: German, Czech, Polish, Ukrainian, etc. to the Croats.
          The British, behind the Yugoslav government’s back of course, sold and secretly shipped millions of dollars worth of military communication to Slovenia just before the wars kicked off – Slovenia was the first domino to fall.
          I was told by a half-Croat/half-Serb who lived there that Germany and Austria were working for over a decade for the separation of Slovenia. The Slovenes had NATO spies such as Janez Jansa in their government.
          CIA officers on “hiatus” or “temporarily retired” were funneling weapons from Argentina to Croatia despite the western-backed weapons embargo on Yugoslavia. British and U.S. ships patrolling the coast did not stop foreign arms for the separatists.
          Recently former Argentine President Carlos Menem was convicted “of illegally selling 6,500 tonnes of arms to Croatia and Ecuador during the 1990s…The weapons that ended up in Croatia were sent in seven shipments between 1991 and 1995 when much of the Balkans was under a UN arms embargo.” http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/22879/46/
          The point being, that you haven’t researched beyond the mainstream headlines (which were often hyped lies and exaggerations) to know what the real agendas were. You are a sheeple person who has been brainwashed by the mainstream mantra.

  18. Great article! Unfortunately, we greeks took the serbian side (because they are also orthodox christians), while we should have stayed neutral. This is an anti-war song about the conflict in sarajevo, the video shows how horrific this war was

    Greetings from greece

    1. Sarajevo was a divided city with the front lines going through the middle, including near the infamous Holiday Inn. UN personnel who lived there during the war testified that most of the damage was along the front lines where the 2 forces met. The Bosnian Muslims had the largest number of forces, by far, in Sarajevo and in Bosnia as a whole.
      The Serbian held parts of Sarajevo ended up more damaged than the Bosnian government held parts.
      Also, the Bosnian Muslims were known to stage attacks, sometimes for the cameras for PR purposes and they were generally the ones to provoke and start the mortar firing. They would shoot from just outside the UN compound or from the grounds of hospitals to drawn in fire for news to blame the Serbs.
      James R. Davis, a Canadian soldier who lived there during the war, wrote in his book “The Sharp End” how the Bosnian Muslims even shelled their own children and blamed the Serbs and UN.

  19. Man this really hit home. I hold on to hatred towards those that have wronged me. It is a self poison. I just don’t know how to get rid of it.

    1. Simply imagine them in your mind, and then imagine yourself forgiving them. Understand that we’re all just children trying to learn how to walk, and we’re going to make mistakes along the way. You’ve probably hurt others as much as others have hurt you – would you like to be forgiven?
      The relief you’ll feel will be palpable.

    2. Stop expecting moral reciprocity, a shared moral code, with anyone and everyone. Doesn’t work that way, like being beta nice to women doesn’t work. Don’t believe the hype.

  20. As a black person that lived in Asia, it is a daily struggle to let go of any resentment i feel towards people who treated me , shall we say, in a less than welcoming way.

  21. You don’t say who the main claimed were in the mass grave but the fact that the evil-eyed man then said you shouldn’t judge him and you’d do the same makes me think he was bragging about Serbs he killed – that the mass grave was of Serbs.
    Did you know that Croatia had 40,000 troops operating in Bosnia throughout the war? It was said to be an “open secret” among the foreign personnel working there, but Croatia was not sanctioned nor bombed for having directly participated in Bosnia’s war.
    Did you even search for that mass grave? Generally the international community is not interested in searching for Serbs and Serb bodies are usually recovered by accident when they are looking for non-Serbs, but find Serbs instead.

  22. Damn. This was a life lesson. That’s some heavy stuff, Quints. Respect for what you’ve done; very noble. You’ve been to the ends of the Earth and man’s soul and have seen true darkness (I’m assuming). It was calming, in a way, knowing that your a man who’s been around, so to speak.

  23. Very well done! Not having any experience in those regions, this gave me the feeling of actually riding in your group and experiencing it as per your narrative.

  24. While I agree with the main thrust of the post, I think the author has one thing wrong. This quote:
    “I know what you’re thinking. And maybe I’ve said too much. But let me tell you that you have no right to judge me. You would have done the same things I did in my situation. You don’t know anything about me.”
    is more true than the author will admit or realizes. Brave words in the comeback, but they ring hollow.

  25. Great to read an article by somebody with some real experience. It definitely puts some weight behind what is said.
    I have to disagree though. Hatred is something to be embraced, as long as it does not consume us.

  26. @Quintus
    ” If I had encountered him in a combat zone and he had looked at me that way, I would have shot him without hesitation. ”
    So, you’re not so very different from them after all, are you?

      1. Indeed. But you’ve clearly not yet won the battle to remove the hatred from your own heart. Difficult to do, I’m sure.
        Peace, Brother.

      2. nietzsche said something like “do not battle with monsters, lest ye become a monster yourself ” !
        just reread this essay. incredible

  27. It is easy for us to judge here in the States as we don’t have the sort of deep, ingrained hatred of one another that some other countries possess.
    I get it, what they did was bad. However, what if they had suffered something worse?
    What I am saying does not detract from your article, I agree, hatred is like a symbiont. It needs a host to survive.
    Yet, people are evil. All of us, you, and me. We hate so easily, and to denounce that you have any is not healthy. Hatred of people who have wronged you can last forever.
    Don’t forget what Nationalistic pride is…..it is a cancer that starts with something as simple as believing you are better than the Serbs or Bosnians. They, and their ancestors before them, have been fighting forever.
    That hatred is passed down from father to son.
    It does not go away overnight because you used shaming language at a guy.

    1. No they haven’t. The Serbs and Croats were good friends and lived side by side for hundreds of years. The troubles began in 1918. Acquaint yourself with some basic history.

  28. Great, great article. I was also an officer in the Marines and had a few unusual assignments in foreign lands as an adviser. If fate should cross our paths it would be great to swap sea stories.
    So glad we have you on the writing staff and your topics are always highly interesting and very informed.

  29. Thanks. This is a well written article.
    Advice in the manosphere target mostly the beta American male who’s trying to game over-masculinised American females. Much, I think, can be learnt from Asian cultures where gaming advice, typically formalised in rituals and codes of conduct, seeks to preemptively ameliorate the self-destructive tendencies of psychopathy and naturals.
    I shall reconsider sharing.

  30. Thanks. This is a well written article.
    Advice in the manosphere target mostly the beta American male who’s trying to game over-masculinised American females. Much, I think, can be learnt from Asian cultures where gaming advice, typically formalised in rituals and codes of conduct, seeks to preemptively ameliorate the self-destructive tendencies of psychopathy and naturals.
    I shall reconsider sharing.

  31. Wonderful. I fear that the civilized veneer might be slipping away in some quarters of North America; this will not be pleasant.

  32. 30 years after the events of Selma, Alabama, the head sheriff was interviewed about all the things that been done, and about how hard he and others had fought to preserve the rampant racism of the south. He looked at the camera, and it was the look of a man who, at long last, had -regained- his soul, when he said, “We fought so hard because we knew we were wrong.”

  33. Softness is a softness does. Hate is like fear or a gun: positive or negative for the user, depending. Maybe some hate for the puppet masters that create these unnaturally degrading and persistent conflicts would be useful? No mention of sovereignty, of control, of the military-industrial complex, or banking in this article: just be a better ignorant slave and glorify it as virtue. There is too much softness in the Manosphere, and I fear that. Where then will tempered wisdom to hew justice worth living be found?
    I dispute this assertion:
    “Sometimes, there is no reason why this or that happens. Civilization is a veneer, a mask attached to the face of the trousered ape which is man; and when the mask falls off, the beast behind it is revealed in all his brutishness.”
    If we accept evolution as the framework of biologic and social function, of life itself—and anyone who uses Game has no excuse—the brutishness ought to be celebrated with the whole. None of you enjoy the artistry of MMA? of men putting their balls back on instinctively in the entertainment harbors away from the confrontation of politics? You just need a feel good context to turn your back to your masculinity and all you can be? Great men are conquerors who also govern well. That is the lesson we should have learned from emasculation by feminism. We gave up being conquerors only to be conquered by women organized with our own blood, sweat, and tears purchased with limitless money we accept graciously as a simplifying gift. We had or have feet of clay for accommodating women as equal, and now you want to enjoy the fruits of this earth without getting your hands dirty in hate? That is the language of little masters who leave the details to the big masters. Perhaps it is easier to recognize useful idiots when they have shapely breasts.
    If hate is corrosive, it does not mean hate is not useful to solve the problem from which it is born. Hate is just a tool. I suppose children should not play with fire either, since they lack the skill, but physical maturity and evolution put us in the breach with that toolkit. Shame on someone trying to solve their problems compared to accepting it, but it is so easy when it’s the other guy’s country and home being razed in no uncertain terms.
    Without men using fire and causing many burns, some deadly on purpose, none of us would be trousered apes surfing the webz. Without killing, there would not have been cultural evolution leading to the bounty and actionable love of Western civilization. Imagine if nature favored the weak and naked apes kept destroying the efforts and lives of productive apes making threads. Sure, you can say you wish someone’s cancer problem went away and be Mr. Compassionate like a woman, but curing cancer requires talent and resources, meaning superior people taking resources from the inferior people who would like to dispose the same resources according to their own tastes.
    Ecologies (free markets) work best for a reason, and for the record I don’t support institutionally mandated direction of vast amounts of limited resources for cancer or much else if anything. Modern medicine exists despite centralized control not because of it.
    I know, I know. Once again my views will strike no chord, will not echo on the lips of others, because fear of the truth being too ugly to bear mentally works self-identity levers in a deep recess of your mind behind the curtain of dogmatic, popular virtue that ‘everyone’ agrees is the tapestry of civilization that raises us above the animals on the pillars of grand decor, never mind the use of evolutionary psychology. When you got the guts, apply the Socratic method to your beliefs until you know something by knowing it backwards, forwards, and sideways in this multidimensional reality called life.
    The men shell shocked by WWII made ‘Made in America’ something special. Though great workers (under the fiat money system), they were worthless fathers not to be bothered with teaching the facts of life, of teaching cultural values from their easy chairs, to their Baby Boomer children, children who respectively learned from mommy how life works and should be rectified. Same shit, different century. It’s imbibed everywhere so regularly it’s peculiar nature oft goes unnoticed by wary minds staring right at it.
    Feelings are not all-important, except for women and animals. Civilization happens because civilized men dictate it. If we don’t relish our mortal existence through and through, if we don’t love our potentials as they are, we have abdicated civilization to our mental betters who fearlessly do from behind mahogany desks in stately mansions. They are the New World Odor. They calculatingly discriminate between ingroup and out. They understand power and are not ashamed to possess it. You turn away from it with the nobility of a child and think yourself the father of ideas, the keeper of wisdoms. You are not competitive. You aren’t even in the game, or should I say the GAME ⊃ Game.
    Conflict-free evolution can’t happen, and nothing beautiful would organize into existence without it. I’d like to make some beauty like never before because I’m ready to outdo trousers, but I can’t do it alone. It will take a new cultural breed of civilized men working by their own ingroup morality. Is this the place for developing such men, or isn’t it? Are you a man who seriously aspires to be of consequence to his own potential, or not? Getting laid is just the tip of the iceberg at being alpha. The path that measures your success is unevadible. That is your insignificance, dear mortal, but greatness is stretched before you in paint by numbers. Who will win future success at the other end of our stretch of life’s gauntlet?
    The current order and most current partners have been thoroughly milked of moral worth, and your soul will waste away without forward progress, which is how you will recognize it. To be or not to be is the question. To hate or not to hate is the natural privilege of those who do not set it down in surrender behind the curtain. Defeat is a poison to make room for those who dare live free.

  34. This post is full of hatred, except that it’s disguised among the PC bromides. Somehow we believe there must be gravitas here. All the code words over which we’ve been taught to emote are present, surely there is realness here. But there is nothing real here. Just a man who would have killed another man over a bad look pissing over people doing what people have done since the beginning of time — fighting for the right to self-determination.
    Just because nothing you enlisted for was worth your time dying over doesn’t mean you get the right to steal from others their belief that something was. If the big “reveal” in this essay is that people are driven by more than reason, it would have been more reasonably concluded than you getting up on a pedestal and pissing all over them for doing so.

    1. Occigent, I feel that you are closer to the truth of it than the author. I struggle with hatred myself . Hatred towards me and my own hatred against my abuser. Daily I am feeling like I want to fight back and daily I tell myself that I do not want to become what I am fighting. That means I have to struggle against “loathing” the one that hates me. That means also, that if I met my abuser on the battlefield and he looked at me hatefully, I would not let myself be tainted by that look and shoot at him because of it. This is what is pervasive about the hate.
      I do not know much about the war you are referring to. What I know comes from the movie “No Man’s Land”. Perhaps that is good commentary on the role the international forces played, which would then put the author and the Greeks he chose to exclude from the overall damnation on the spot.

  35. Wow, great piece…
    I was in Poreç – Croatia on vacation about 30 years ago. That was long before the war tore the country known back then as Yugoslavia apart.
    I think we humans are not unique as a species that kills our own kind out of hatred… I remember a Nat Geo documentary about Lions in the Okavango, where one lioness was hunted down by a pack of other lions even past the point where she was no longer a threat to the pack. Chimpasees (ok, they are closer to humans) are also known to set out and kill members of other groups with no obvious reason.
    Quintus, you must have had a front row seat to all the bad things that happened over there in the Balkan, while we in the rest of the world could watch the horror from our living rooms. I’m sure that it must have been a life changing experience for you both in bad as in good ways.
    If you don’t want to be an outcast as a human, you have to belong to a certain group, be it a club, clan, tribe, nation, religion, skin color, sex, sexual orientation, and somehow there is always this sense that the interests of one’s group are “better” than those of the other groups… I’m sure that Muslim fundamentalists are convinced that they are doing the right thing, as well as the Crusaders thought they were doing the right thing.
    Hatred seems to be something we need as a species to survive… It would definitely be interesting to see what would happen if our planet would be attacked by aliens. Would all mankind unite and fight the aliens as one big army?
    In the mean time, I try to be tolerant… live and let live. It works for me… so far.

  36. I was there. We might have even passed each other on a street. I’ve had no stake in this war but I’ve still came. It was once in a lifetime chance to slip the mask off.
    After two years I’ve had my fill and came back to my country and my life. From time
    to time I still miss it.

    1. So were you a mercenary who killed, looted, and burned villages in the Balkans. There were plenty of non-Balkan people who came just have “fun” at the expense of many villagers who were just trying to survive.
      A Scottish mercenary, John MacPhee, even admitted to killings he did of civilians – both Serb/Montenegrin and Bosnian Muslim – while fighting for the Croatian HVO and HOS in his book.
      Yet he is not wanted by the ICTY Hague court. It just shows that the court is not genuinely interested in the victims, nor justice, but is a political court set up to put the main blame on one party (the one NATO attacked) to justify the sanctions, bombing, taking and awarding land to the others, etc.

  37. first of all asshole, without hate, there cannot be love- why do you condemn this human emotion–might as well condemn love, same bloody thing.
    second you pretty much equate racism with hate as if the two are synonymous,, thats exactly what the sickly western governments and their queer media partners do. FUCK YOU CUNT- racism is love!!!
    Its no surprise you were a faggot marine, serving uncle sam(uel) your jewish slave master, they broke you down real good at paris island, now you are a rainbow warrior in pursuit of the destruction of euro peoples, with your whiny bitch fem philosophy of…. hate be bad, we all equal, kum-by-yah-my-lord.
    and fuck y’all who agreed like complicit bitches with this cunt author.

  38. An experience that few of us could ever have. It’s articles like this that make this site worth reading after some of the more…questionable ones. Thanks for sharing.
    “Civilization is a veneer, a mask attached to the face of the trousered
    ape which is man; and when the mask falls off, the beast behind it is
    revealed in all his brutishness. And the beast is a sick, craven, and
    destructive thing, when exposed to the light of day. Each generation
    must nurture the gift of civilization, and pass it on, this precious
    gift, to ensure that the face of barbarism remains safely hidden away.
    And when society fails in this task, consequences must be paid. And
    paid in blood.”
    Too true.

  39. “Civilization is a veneer, a mask attached to the face of the trousered
    ape which is man; and when the mask falls off, the beast behind it is
    revealed in all his brutishness. And the beast is a sick, craven, and
    destructive thing, when exposed to the light of day.”
    Very Lord of the Flies sentiment.
    I disagree with it. All societies must be compatible with human nature, or they wouldn’t exist. Civilization wouldn’t be real, and wouldn’t have been fought for, if it weren’t in human nature to make it real and fight for it. Barbaric societies are compatible with human nature, too. While the idea of animal in a mask and clothes might speak to everyday experience to a degree, it seems more the words of someone who felt a loss of faith or trust in people than a reasonable description of people. I think of people as evolved animals.
    The practical question of what environmental variables cause the transition from peace to violence seems far more important than the spiritual doubts and questions following the realization that many people have transitioned from good to bad (in the eyes of their formerly good selves). It is in the interest of good men to be practical-minded and secure the environmental variables that keep them good if they are in doubt, rather than be crushed by their doubt.
    You might like the book Ordinary Men: Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. I’ve only read two chapters, so can’t give a summary, but from what I gather, it tells the history of “ordinary men” being ordered to commit mass murder toward the end of the war and how they transitioned into murderers in spirit as well as behaviour. It was recommended by a friend who studies the Holocaust.

    1. It IS real though.
      What we call civilization is in truth nothing but a fragile collective agreement that is easily prone to collapse, and when that collapse happens, the vacuum is filled with barbarism and violence. Sure, people will band together to survive (our species and its homo and australopithecine ancestors have been good at that for millions of years), but when the collapse happens, our aggression and cruelty is often displayed at its worst, because there is nothing to hold it back. This is basic crowd behavior and game theory.
      It’s not whether or not societies are compatible with human nature as it is concerned with civilization’s fragility and the reversion to less-desirable aspects of human behavior when they fail.

  40. This really spoke to me, and I felt the burden of a hatred being stubbornly held onto leave my chest when I finished reading it,
    “Hatred is a poison: a corrosive, insidious poison, which eats away at
    the soul of the bearer, until he becomes a hollow shell of a man, a
    shellacked and mummified corpse. This is not a metaphor. It is a
    literal truth, and I have seen it. Never hold onto hatred or animus.
    And never accept it as a burden from anyone else.”
    The hatred hasn’t come back since- or, only a much fainter version.
    Well written. It was like medicine. And though just one passage really moved me, it required the context provided by the rest to be powerful.

  41. It really depends on the person. Hate does destroy some people and make them hollow as the article describes, but in other cases, hate gives people a reason to live. Viktor Korchnoi was a world-class chess player from the 1950’s up until his 80’s.
    He was able to beat Bobby Fischer in his prime, and he played on long after Fischer went crazy and died. What was his secret?
    He loathed his opponents.
    In this video old Korchnoi loses a blitz game to female chess prodigy Sofia Polgar.
    At the end of the game Polgar explains that she played well enough to beat the old grandmaster because she was afraid that if she didn’t give it her best, she would lose Korchnoi’s respect.
    Korchnoi shows how an alpha does it, by simply telling Polgar to remember the game because it would be the first and last time that she would ever beat him.
    Soon thereafter, Sofia Polgar gave up chess for a “career” as an artist and Korchnoi kept playing chess, defeating the next generation of young grandmasters.
    When the octogenarian was asked why he kept playing, he said that he after every loss he looked at himself, and he looked at his opponents and the type of people they were, and his contempt for them as people made him play on until he beat them.
    Hate is very useful sometimes.

  42. by deleting the most thoughtful and intelligent comments this ROK site has lost it. now we have roosh and all his silly yes man saying this pathetic post is the best ever, truly a jump-the-shark moment. i wont be returning anymore. delete away you fem-men

  43. If this is the only post on “Return of kings” that ever stays on the internet, then the authors and editors have done their job well.
    Speaking to humanity rather than to a sub group.
    Perhaps your fellow authors ought take your advice, sir. I salute you.
    Thank you for your service.
    May your words on hatred enlighten.
    May your words have impacted your readers.
    May your words encourage unity–and encourage the rest of your site to do the same.

  44. From thoughts to words. It is hard to understand ourselves and rationalize our behavior. Hatred is one of the most basic human feelings, as is love. How can on condemn hate and praise love when one so frequently originates from the other? But what would be the meaning of life without such intense emotions?
    These stories help put things into perspective and improve ourselves. The way you wrote it, even more.

  45. You’re a good writer, write for a better site man, look around. This site hates women, fat people, people of color. Read the comments on any article.

    1. Just FYI Noah,
      1) ROK has quite a few writers & contributors of different ethnicities.
      2) Ever been to Japan or parts of Asia that don’t give a flip about political correctness? They make fun of obese ppl in front of their faces. I’m 5-9, 160 pounds fairly fit as store employees think I’m thick when trying on clothes over there.
      3) It’s a site that will gripe about the tendencies of westernized women, which are legitimate. Women in turn will gripe about the tendencies of westernized men. Way it goes. Deal with it.

    2. Fuck you, Noah. Typical, garden-variety left-wing dumbass who reflexively feels any criticism of them is born out of pure hatred. You don’t deserve to read articles like these, go back to Salon and read mindless diatribes about how society hates women fears it is gay.

  46. Quintus, I only recently discovered your writing through your piece with the Pious Monk. This is phenomenal, powerful stuff. Please start your own blog.

  47. we need hatred. hatred is the cornerstone grassroots building block of revolutions and important changes that have shaped our society for the better over the centuries. it is perfectly natural. you must love hatred. your ancestors gave you your genetics and your being.. for a reason, to survive.

  48. That was a great article, i agree. My cousin served in bosnia for the Canadians. His service wasn’t made with as little debt to hate as yours. I have no idea, for I’ve not asked, but can see the change in his eyes. This was in the 90s and my deflection of hate is the reason for my lacking on the subject.

  49. Served in AMIB too…base on the RS side, mostly working in the federation side, with an Norwegian flag on my shoulder.

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