Justified Does Not Mean ‘Without Consequence’

Dorothy:

So what can make all that horror “worth it” to you?

What would it take for you to be willing to hand parents the remnants of their children and say, “It had to be done”–and mean it?

What looming threat could allow you to stand inside a blown-up hospital, realize that the walls weren’t painted red, and still convince yourself that an air strike was the right thing to do?

Under what circumstances could you honestly tell yourself and your family and your god that things will be worse–that there will be more death, more chaos, more brutality–if we don’t go to war?

When you find yourself in that situation, then go ahead and do what you have to. Kill and maim and rape your allies along with your enemies; brutalize and destroy your own soldiers as much as any bystanders. But never, for one minute, try to pretend that this isn’t what’s happening.

A.

2 thoughts on “Justified Does Not Mean ‘Without Consequence’

  1. pansypoo says:

    it is incomprehensible. reading a WWI era book. embedded reporter. and, why are young men and women now, made to do this? why is ‘destroy’ a more powerful sentiment, than build?

  2. Dorothy says:

    Wow, thanks, Athenae!
    I have to give credit to one of my students for this description:
    What looming threat could allow you to stand inside a blown-up hospital, realize that the walls weren’t painted red, and still convince yourself that an air strike was the right thing to do?
    Years ago, I tutored a young man from Iraq who had served as part of the rear guard in the Iran/Iraq war. This incident was part of his “most embarrassing moment” essay, where he described the
    horrors he’d seen and how “embarrassed” he was to get sent home because he couldn’t speak at all after this hospital episode (sounded like PTSD to me, but he was tagged as a “failed soldier”). He was 14 at the time.
    When anyone talks about how “necessary” or “beneficial” war is, I flash back to that essay; I still can’t think about it without tearing up.

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