Sunday, March 23, 2003

Thank God For The War

I can no longer be classified as anti-war. I have registered my dissent, and I still do not trust this administration, but now that we are committed, I hope for a swift victory and a quick end with a minimum of casualties. Even if I were the commander-in-chief, I would not end the war today. The minute we started this war, we were committed to a path, and even though it is a path I disagreed with, the consequences of pulling up short are too great to justify doing so.

But that does not mean I do not object to the glorification of war that I am seeing in significant portions of the exhultant pro-war camp.

I agree that sometimes war is necessary. While I do not believe that this is one of those times, I do not necessarily hold the belief that it is against the pro-war faction. There are some very good arguments to be made for that position, and there are some very smart, responsible people who believe them.

But there are some things on which there can be no disagreement among reasoning human beings.

One of those is that war is terrible. War is awful. War is horrendous. War is about using utterly brutal force to compel an enemy to follow your wishes.

Another one of those things is that no matter how precise our weapons may be in comparison to weapons of the past, accidents still happen, actions still have unintended consequences, and things still go hideously, horribly wrong.

Anyone who does not acknowledge these two things is either deranged or unbelievably ill-informed.

And anyone who does acknowledge these things and yet still relishes the idea of war is either a literal sociopath or a stunningly ignorant child who cannot seperate the fantasy of people dying in movies from the reality of people dying in the real world.

Al-Jazeera is currently running one of the most abominable photographs I have ever seen. I hope to God that it is faked, but I very strongly doubt that it is. Even if it is, though, it serves as a horrid reminder of exactly what is happening to some of the innocent as we attempt to rid Iraq of the guilty. (Extraordinarily graphic- do not click through if you are not prepared to see the truly obscene)

With this picture, I accuse all who celebrate this war, all who cheer when they see bomb flashes on their television screen, and all who hope for greater, more widespread war, of being either subhuman or children.

War is a serious endeavor, to be entered into only by serious men and women, and only after serious consideration, soul-searching, and debate.

By treating the war like an action movie, you affirm your rightful place at the children's table, and thus exclude yourself from all future discussion among the grown-ups. You can squeal and curse and celebrate the war's beginning all you want amongst yourselves.

The adults, both those who opposed this war and those who supported it, will celebrate when it ends.

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