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View Diary: Gulf War Diaries - Command Decision (42 comments)

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  •  This angry veteran wishes people would get over (0+ / 0-)

    any notion of "war" as some big glorious be-medalled and be-ribboned and be-tasselled Wonderful Experience. Of course, we humans don't seem to be much good, in the aggregate, at much of anything else other than burning a lot of carbon and threatening not only our own species but a whole lot of others. It seems that's one thing that we are actually built and wired for.

    War is a long, connected and interconnected bits of Stupid, interspersed with intervals of Idiocy, justified by reference to inapposite mythologies, with a subtext of a huge amount of wealth transfer (in the more modern episodes.) When their Troops were getting slaughtered and populations and cities decimated, the Nazi leadership took U-boats to Central and South America with tons of tooth-gold from the crematories and banks of Europe, and lots of portable art, and lived out their frickin' lives in fine comfort -- many ended up in high places in the Great American National 'Government. A lot of High Vietnamese did much the same. Generals like MacArthur and Westmoreland and now McChrystal and Petraeus and bunches of admirals and other flag officers we never hear about plan these great exercises in futility, and never bear personal consequences for the horror and pain they needlessly cause, from behind their screens of "patriotic heroic honor" and Interoperable Networked Battlespace Managers' Keyboards and Mice.

    Read "Catch-22," a few times, and "All Quiet on the Western Front," and I'm sure others here know other resources that give you the HONEST view of War: The Enterprise, and what it is, writ large: A Racket, a big old racket. With spaces for ordinary humans to have extraordinary experiences filled with emotions they would never otherwise feel, to do locally brave things, and to experience relationships that are intense beyond Hollywood's dreams, and all that stuff. But at the end, when Rebels and Union Soldiers long past decline get together, they weep together over the sharing of fear and exultation and all that dying, just like fighter aces from all the recent wars when they gather with their former enemies.

    Is this the only way to come together, to get past the tribal urge to Make War, to kill? Our military does not teach you to nobly "die for your country." The idea is to make the other guy die, for his country or not. We pretend to be able to do better, our myths tell us we can. Why don't we?

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:56:58 PM PST

    •  If it were up to me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "All Quiet on the Western Front" would be required reading.

      Especially for anyone elected to public office.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:42:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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