Monday, October 01, 2007

A thought while babywalking - Why isn't war obsolete?

I’m back home from spending a couple of days helping care for my youngest grandchildren, who are now 8 months old. I don’t “babysit,” I “babywalk,” spending hours pushing their jogger-stroller up and down their 2 ½ mile, hilly, bumpy dirt driveway.

I’ve been watching Ken Burns’s documentary on World War II. Last night I saw Part Five, which included a description of a US soldier taking gold teeth out of a Japanese solder’s mouth before he was dead, slashing his cheeks to get at them.

Because war appears to dehumanize almost everyone including the good guys, I wonder why it isn’t obsolete.

I pondered on this question while pushing the stroller with two beautiful babies up and down the dirt driveway. I don’t want any of my grandchildren to become cannon fodder. I thought of Chris Hedges’s book, War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning.

From the back cover of Hedges’s book: By
“[d]rawing on his own experience and on the literature of combat from Homer to Michael Herr, Hedges shows how war seduces not just those in the front lines but entire societies, corrupting politics, destroying culture, and perverting human desires.”

I plan to reread Hedges’s book because I don’t know why war isn’t obsolete.

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