The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #26140   Message #129020
Posted By: Marion
28-Oct-99 - 11:39 AM
Thread Name: Discussion: Universal Soldier
Subject: RE: Universal soldier and Codine
Hi Wolfgang.

I'm pretty sure that Buffy wrote it as "condemned him".

And I think what she was trying to get at is that the "Universal Soldier" is both the killer and the killed - something like saying that he is 5'2" and 6'4".

That doesn't make perfect sense, since it was basically civilians who were in concentration camps (this is accurate, isn't it?), but it fits in with her motif of speaking of all soldiers as one universal soldier.

What I'm not sure about is the point of the whole song. For a long time I thought that the central idea was "He's the one who gives his body as a weapon of the war and without him all this killing can't go on." While I don't think it's fair to totally blame war on soldiers, it's true that if they were all conscientious objectors that there would be no war, so I could see what she was getting at. I thought the line "he's the universal soldier and he really is to blame" was not very artful or fair, but I thought that really was her point.

However, I once heard her introduce this song on a video, and I reexamined the last verse, and I think her point may have been the opposite. I wonder if her main point is that soldiers are not a separate kind of being from the rest of us, nor are they the ones responsible for war; rather, war comes about because of the will of the general population and its government. Maybe the majority of the song, which seems to be blaming soldiers, was meant ironically and only the last few lines are sincere.