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Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye...


War is only, ever, and always the tool of the desperate. To fight a war, any thinking person knows that they have run out of ideas for other solutions. It's an admission that you have no other tools left at your disposal besides the glass hammer that is military force.

Sometimes, war is necessary. Dealing with Hitler's aggression is a prime example. Dealing with a nation or power that has attacked you directly is another. Sometimes, even, revolutionary war is needed. The Declaration of Independence lays out the criteria that the US founders used to determine that such a thing was necessary.

Then (and only then!) you must use the glass hammer, despite the shards it will leave in your people, the shards it will make of the target, and the destruction and loss of portions of the hammer itself. You can make a new hammer to use again from the leftover pieces of the old, but it will still be glass, and whenever it is used it will lose more glass, which must then be made up from the grains of sand that are your young.

Any fool who thinks that war is "glorious" or "like a chess game" is horribly ignorant and/or willfully blind.

War is not like in the sanitized movies - the "casualties" don't get up and go out for coffee when the director says "cut". The ravages of war live on in people's minds, bodies, and homes for years after. There are still places in Europe and Southeast Asia where unexploded ordnance is a hazard. There are still survivors there, whose nightmares still echo with the sound of guns and bombs.

The chickenhawks whine that the French are "cowards" for not wanting war with Iraq. Yet France has many of those sites with unexploded ordnance, and ruins of buildings can still be seen in a few places. They know the impact of the glass hammer, and what it takes to forge a new one, just to have it smashed again.

So George Bush, in his arrogance, uses the glass hammer, without true need, on a nail that sticks out only in his mind. The sands of Iraq will be littered with the shards of Hussein's Hammer, and ours.

Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Mar. 20th, 2003 04:45 pm (UTC)
and war will haunt the men and women who were in it for years to come. Knew a man who'd been in Vietnam, on a riverboat; his eyes were still haunted when he spoke of it, and there were days he had to be outdoors.
Another who won't get close to anyone because if you get close to someone they die.
I knew kids whose brother/father/uncle didn't come back from war. The politicians like Bush don't get it; with the exception of Colin Powell, most of Shrub's cabinet are chickenhawks.

Article today in salon.com about three vets of the first Gulf War, and the books they've put out.
Interesting article, at: http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2003/03/20/marines/index.htm
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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