“Into Dust” by Elodie N. was a piece that caught my eye when I first read it in the magazine. It switches between the perspectives of a young boy in the Sahara Desert and a man in the military controlling strikes on that area. The contrast between those viewpoints enabled me to see war in a different light, especially those fought by the United States. The story made me think about the question: Are civilian casualties acceptable? Can they be written off as “mistakes” that we perpetually make?
The innocence of Jamal, compared to the cold efficiency of Liam, seemed to deepen the divide between military and civilian, and the two countries. Liam thinks, “Nothing down there but the enemy, nothing at all that matters now.” However, a few rebels that might pose a threat and many families with children, all alone in the desert, don’t exactly fit the definition of “enemy”. Liam and his compatriots appear to have become desensitized, focusing only on revenge for an event that nobody could forget. Liam thinks of himself as a predator. Are these people his rightful prey?