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War is part of human history

by Shaun Kober
October 1st 2020

In this episode, I reflect on my time in the Military, brought on by some inflammatory comments on a post I promoted on my social media platforms about one of the episodes of this podcast, being th... More

yo yo what is up guys, welcome to today's episode of the live train perform podcast, I'm your host, Sean Cobra and during today's episode, I'm going to be reflecting on some of my time in the military now. I spent six years in the Australian army and I was a sniper for a period of time while I was in the army, I deployed three times to Iraq East Timor and Afghanistan. So one of those deployments was a peacekeeping mission whilst the other two were too warlike conditions and something that I want to say is that I've recently put out a post and I've done an interview with my mate Tristan Rose, who was also ex military, who is now the founder of Blind Tiger Yoga, who is using yoga as an alternate therapy to help people um struggle with ptsd anxiety and depression, not only in the military community, the veteran community, uh the first responder community, but for general population as well.

And what he's doing is absolutely amazing. And what he's been through in his story is incredible. And I spoke to him on this podcast a few weeks ago, so go back and look for that episode with Tristan Rose and in that episode he speaks about the demons that he faced. And he spoke about a point in time where he had the barrel of his rifle in his mouth and he was ready to pull the trigger. And he had this kind of mind expanding moment where everything slowed down and he considered everything that would happen in the aftermath about his friend coming home and finding him in that situation, and then the police coming and writing the report and dealing with that circumstance and all of these other things that kind of stopped him from taking that action. Um and he said it very well where he essentially was going to make a permanent decision based on a short term want or need, and this was a period of time where he was really struggling to sleep and he's always had issues with sleep and being able to get the desired amount of sleep so that you can operate.

But um basically he was going through a really tough time and he was not sleeping and he's like, I know how I'll get some sleep and he put the barrel of the rifle in his mouth and we go into detail of that story and how he got into that hole and how he dug himself into that hole and where he's at right now. But when I posted on social media about that episode, I had some trolls come onto my page and start throwing bullshit at me. And to be honest, it kind of pissed me off to start with and I was like, who the funk are these people? What are they on about? What's their agenda? And then once I sat on it for a little bit, I didn't reply emotionally, I sat on it for a couple of hours and I was like, I can deal with this in three ways. I can reply by fucking hammering them and telling them that they're pieces of ship and they didn't know what they were talking about or I could not reply at all and just ignore them or the third option, which is what I talk was.

I tried to educate them on, you know, some of the points that they were bringing up, they were incorrect. So they were throwing these accusations out on false assumptions and I also gave them a little bit of context because they brought up a couple of things which I'll read the comments in a moment and I'll read the post in a moment but they brought up a couple of things that didn't really make sense. And you know putting words on a post or words on paper is not the same as taking action. It's not the same as really believing what you're saying because what they were saying and what the reality was were two different things, both of which will become apparent in a moment. Once I read out the post and what the replies were when I posted the soundbite of Tristan's interview a couple of weeks ago. The caption reads and I'll paraphrase this. This episode is not for the faint of heart Tristan and I served in the Australian army together for many years and we have a long history, some of which includes some of his darkest days where he was at the point of no return.

Tristan is the founder of Blind Tiger yoga and has taught his no bullshit style of yin based yoga mindfulness and meditation To over 10,000 veterans and first responders as an alternate therapy for anxiety, depression and PTSD not just as an intervention but as a preventative measure to manage the mind myself included. He is a pioneer in his field and coaches not only from a scientific standpoint but through lived experience. Now I had a number of people comments saying that they were really excited about listening to the podcasts and getting the background story, particularly from people that know both of us. But I also had one person comment who I don't know, I don't follow. They don't follow me. Um that commented the best thing for your mental health is not joining the military in the first place. And I was kind of like, okay, where is this coming from? Like what's the agenda? What is the lens that you're speaking through? And there was numerous comments underneath where um basically people started getting on board and saying, hey, like what are you talking about?

What's the deal? Um why are you saying this type of stuff? And this person ended up tagging some of their friends. So they were essentially trolling and trying to create an inflammatory response and that's what a troll is a troll is a person who starts flame wars or intentionally upsets people on the internet by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous or off topic messages in an online community or posts with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses and normalizing tangential discussion either for the trolls amusement or for a specific gain. So what I'll do now is read off some of the comments and the replies and I'll touch on a couple of points as we go through this. The original comment reads like this best thing for your mental health is not joining the military in the first place and my reply was or paying attention to trolls with the finger. A friend of the original commenter came on and said, how is she trolling?

Can you not engage with opposite views or did the military drill that out of you? You post about PTSD and mental health and it's a fair point. The PTSD is a reaction to an unneeded violence savior, complex militarization of men and are mostly commenting here because I was quite shocked that Tiger might, I would have a trainer who is past military and stood behind a sniper gun and shot people in the name of defense Australia. A country with its own issues bending out men to fight a complex war in a third world country, not even their own, you are not empowering veterans if you really cared, you would encourage other forms of peacekeeping, enjoy continuing to brainwash youth to have savior complex and PTSD bravo. Now I don't understand exactly what all of those um comments mean. Um, but I read that verbatim so you guys can get an understanding of what's going on. My reply was the same way you are. Let me be clear.

There are only a few things that I actually care about in this world and your opinion is not one of them. I am completely open to opposing views, but only from people who actually have something constructive to say. You on the other hand, don't seem to share the same sentiment. Your definition of PTSD is incorrect. Your shock at my employment at a world class facility is an example of your preconceived ideas, clouding your judgment, your assumption that I am not empowering veterans means nothing to me. If you're not a veteran yourself, if you actually listen to one of my podcasts, you would see that I provide a lot of free content for people to empower themselves, I will continue doing what I do and if trolling people on the internet brings you satisfaction. I also wish you all the best. Then there was a hippo comments underneath by people that I know people that follow me that were coming in to bat for me basically. And uh it was a massive discussion which I'm not going to get into if you want to read the entire thing, Head to my instagram page at coach underscore Cope's kO bes and go back a couple of weeks the reply to that comment was and I understand what you mean about constructive part.

I can rephrase and say what can you preventatively do as a past veteran to prevent this trauma? The way I see it, not joining the military is the best way and it also means we divest from foreign intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq and redirect military funds to education in Australia or foreign aid for peacekeeping work. My reply, let me ask you this question. Who do you think will do this peacekeeping work you speak of? Because that was one of my roles in a foreign country that was at risk of being invaded by Indonesian military forces. I had a peacekeeping mission in east timor. The role of a soldier is not black and white. Our role is peacekeeping. The only difference was the level of threat in the countries that we were asked to provide foreign aid to to which there was no reply. Now here's the thing. I've been accused of being a baby killer. I've been called puppet of my government sent to invade another country and do the dirty work on the ground. I've been assured that the work that my team and I did was a waste of time and that the lives we lost was calmer for being in another country.

The list of accusations and verbal abuse and simple ignorance goes on and on. However, I don't lose any sleep about the opinions of others that haven't been in my boots yet, shout the loudest about war being unjust and morally wrong regardless of what the official government title or role of each battle group was. My job was to look after my mates to the best of my ability. Some of these blokes were the best soldiers and friends that I could have asked for. Some of these lads I still keep in touch with, but many others I haven't seen or heard from in years, but at the time they were the most important people in my life. I don't know where these people come from, what their background is, where they live, what their experience is with the defense force or anything like that. So I'm not going to make any assumptions. But here's what I will say, humans have been in conflict for as long as humans have been around, particularly since we started creating our own societies and these societies started when humans essentially evolved from being hunter gatherers to discovering the power behind agriculture and once agriculture was created, then these communities were created and as these communities grew then other communities in other areas started growing as well.

And when there's limited resources like water and grains and animals and things like that, then it makes sense for these competing tribes or communities to basically go into battle and fight for those resources and this has been going on for as long as humans have been around and the initial battles were between tribes for those resources as the agricultural revolution kicked off and communities started growing larger and larger and larger around water sources and desirable land to grow crops and house and produce animals and things like that. And these communities started to grow, they started to thrive and this is where currency and trade were introduced. So these communities could essentially trade off different things between themselves to get what they wanted to sustain themselves and live a better quality of life. Now this was great for the community that was thriving but different communities would then launch attacks so that they could gain those resources and gain that land and that territory.

So what actually happened was these communities started building defense forces or armies and they started reinforcing and building walls around their communities so that they could be protected from any invaders and anyone trying to take that land, territory and resources by force. Now that's only one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is armies were built and sent in to take over these communities and these civilizations to take advantage of the resources, the land and the territory. And if we look back at human history again, this has been going on forever. But how we fight these wars has evolved and most wars are fought for resources. Land and territory, currency and trade for power over states, kingdoms, Empires and now countries and nations along with religion look, here's the deal. War is a part of human history and it will continue to be a part of humankind's future.

How those wars are fought is going to change. It's going to evolve. And as long as there's a power struggle over the world's natural resources, land and territory borders, currency and trade, nations and religion, we will continue to see war. And whilst it's unlikely that we'll see wars waged as they were through the crusades, World War One, World War Two, all of the wars in between as well as all of the wars before this is the age of the technological revolution. And you best believe psychological and cyber warfare is already occurring with companies and nations gathering data and intelligence and using the media to manipulate the masses.

War is part of human history
War is part of human history
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