Since every blog on the Internet has a position on the current war and the possibility of that next one out there (North Korea), you may wonder where I stand. In a nutshell, I hate this war. I can't think of a war I have ever not hated, and that goes back to the Punic Wars between ancient Greece and Rome.
I am opposed to war. If I had lived in prehistoric times I would have been one of those cave babes who said, "Put down that stupid club, you might hurt somebody!" I just never got it, the need to protect or expand our borders, to quell or vanquish the invaders, to make the world safe for our way of life. Just let's mind our own business and keep life serene. Maybe that other guy is thinking of ways to maraud, rape and pillage. Then again, maybe he's not. Let's not send our boy over there to lose his life or his innocence in such a cause. Look out the window: that's the kingdom of God. It looks pretty good to me.
When I thought about posting on my feelings about war, I realized it's too big for one post. My whole life has been involved in one war or another, and just that is a lot of ground to cover. My earliest memories are of blackouts and all the daddies being gone; rationing of food and creative meals; men in uniform; war games, and grim black and white newsreels called The March of Time before the picture show started.
Tom Brokaw called those boys who fought that war "The Greatest Generation" because, being the same vintage as me -- 1940 was a very good year -- he and his friends had never been put to such a test, and he could only observe and write about it. I feel great sorrow rather than pure admiration for that "greatest" generation, having been married to one of them who eventually died of alcoholism and never spoke of the war. There were many such, and they did not get the glory of being interviewed, nor did they want to be. Booze was an easy refuge from all that life had dealt them, and I think having been taught and required to kill at a tender age had something to do with their great need for a hiding place the rest of their lives.
Now we have a war that has been going on for four years with no end in sight. It's easy to get mad at the "liars" who got us there, but look at the events as they developed. After a vulnerability shown when attacked on our own ground on September 11, 2001, we went after the guy who did it. When finding him proved impossible, we decided to demonize a guy we were pretty sure we could find. Our leader went from "I hear you!" to "weapons of mass destruction" and "slam-dunk." Fighting words. "Smart bombs." "Surgical attacks." I bought into it, only marginally, but I remember saying, "I hope this doesn't turn out to be another Vietnam."
It turned out to be much worse. And now I'm old enough to realize I may not see the end of this fighting in my lifetime. After all, there has been fighting in that region for at least as long as I remember, and our invasion has done nothing to lessen it. My daughter, who is neither stupid nor a child, asked me, "Why are we going to war there? What reason are they giving, other than that we can?" and I had no answers. She has two sons, ages 9 and 11 1/2, and she is thinking of moving to Canada. The little boys are the most militant anti-war activists of their age I have ever met. They are getting a very one-sided view of American politics.
Now the guys in charge are saying they are not willing to "cut and run" like the Democrats. They say it's somehow better to "stay the course." Then they decided that it would be smarter not to stay the course after all, so they are trying to come up with a phrase that didn't sound so bull-headed and, let's face it, stupid. They have tried out "anticipating victory," and by the end of the day today you'll here an arsenal of new phrases, all of which were designed with more thought that the necessity for going to war in the first place was. They must be getting tired of being called liars all the time, every day. They must, somewhere in their hearts, yearn for a way to cut and run without calling it that.
I want them to find a way out. I want it over as soon as it can be. Actually I want it never to have happened. I'm not interested in whether the Democrats would have done a better job -- they couldn't have done a worse one -- but I want somebody to appear with a positive message, a modicum of awareness and taste, and the ability to get this killing stopped.
So there you have my war blog. I don't claim to know anything about why wars get started or why we need them so desperately every few years. It baffles me. I guess I'm a pacifist, which is to say naive, uninformed and ostrich-like, who just will never learn the reality of life in this world. I don't even have a fair hope of success in learning, either.