When you lose a war, everybody always talks about the obvious indignities. The burned buildings. Political upheaval. Ethnic cleansing. Slight economic inflation. But all the history books and political diatribes leave out the subtle slights, the psychological bullets that continue to fly long after your governor’s been beheaded and a new national language has been instituted that has far too many consonants and makes your almighty God’s name sound mysteriously similar to “poop-head.”
When you lose a war, you personally feel bad. It doesn’t matter if you were on the frontlines and accidentally launched some grenades at your own troops during the most important battle or if you were at home at slept through the whole thing (and who hasn’t?).Your very soul, where love for country lives, is depressed. You pick through the rubble of your hometown, find your family heirloom under the charred, severed arm of a six-year-old and think, “This sucks.” You can’t find a job, not because of the strict bans on any non-slave labor, but because you can’t be bothered to get out of bed in the morning. You feel personally responsible for all that has happened/been raped. You stay up late at night wondering “Was it that poorly aimed grenade? Was it the second grenade? No. It couldn’t have been. It was destiny.”
So let them say you deserved to lose, that you committed war atrocities, that your desire to bring the world under the dominion of the Almighty “Poop-head” was somehow misguided. But they will never know what how it feels when someone shouts “hey, loser” at your kid on the playground and everyone, the whole country, turns around.