Saturday, October 06, 2007

Ken Burns' war and our real ones

Publius at Obsidian Wings:

Modern remembrances too often make the act of war seem more romantic than it is. If WWII taught us anything, it’s that we should try our best to avoid war. Its horrors and devastation were simply beyond words. But instead of seeing those horrors and resolving to stop war, many Americans today see WWII as a vindication of war itself. Because war was necessary in that instance, it becomes necessary in all instances. ...

Mass acceptance of war as a foreign policy tactic was one reason the administration could sell Iraq so easily. The American people didn’t put up much of a fight. ...

And we don't pay a price for this war that we have to feel daily. In WWII, my parents learned to do without driving to save gas for the war effort and learned to love beef tongue because it was a meat that wasn't rationed. Today only the families of the soldiers have to live with a gnawing anxiety brought by our wars. We'll all pay over time, in crumbling infrastructure and worldwide collapse of any benefit of the doubt for the United States good intentions.

Perhaps we are becoming a "normal country." I think many will be surprised by what they have lost.

1 comment:

johnieb said...

To me, the question is when did we start the slide, or were we only kidding ourselves all along?

A great many of us missed most of the standard narrative, for all kinds of reasons, including Gender, Class, Identity, or any of the above, and mixtures. And so few of us see ourselves in another.

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