Bill presented with classic PTSD symptoms after a tour in Iraq.
While deployed, Bill drove an armored vehicle. At the time, the
resistance in Iraq utilized a strategy of sending a small child into
the road in front of an American convoy. When the lead vehicle
for the convoy stopped in order not to run over the child, the
rest of the convoy would have to stop, and the resistance would
attack. So American drivers were told that, in the future, when
a child is in the road in front of them, to not even slow down in
order to protect the convoy. Bill drove over one of those children
and was haunted by his action, hence his PTSD symptoms.

I would like to make two points here. First, I think Bill’s
symptoms clearly can be understood as a consequence of our
not revering humanity in general. Rather than seeing people
who disagree with us as having a legitimate alternative position,
we see them as the “enemy” to be destroyed. We do not think
of them as fathers and husbands, mothers and wives, or little
children. Hence we find ourselves in a conflict where Bill
winds up being diagnosed as mentally ill. This leads me to my
second point. Who is the mentally ill person here: Bill, who is
haunted by what he did, or some other driver who can run over
a little child and not be haunted by his action (or the people
who ordered Bill and others to engage in such actions)? (Or the
culture that puts its young people in the position of needing to
make such orders?)

Lyrics submitted by jtk1993

Voices I song meanings
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