Perhaps it's no surprise that a draft dodger led the US into this quagmire of senseless violence. General Sherman could have told him that "war is hell" and this story is a precise illustration of that maxim. War puts people in contexts that lead them, indeed often force them, to commit atrocious deeds. Even the most just war, think WWII, is full of atrocity--even on the side of the good guys. That is what makes war hell. It turns angels into devils. Kurt Vonnegut knew this when he wrote Slaughterhouse 5. Even under the most fortunate conditions, war is an unlikely means of bringing democracy to a country. An attempt to do so by a morally bankrupt Administration too busy continually violating its nation's constitution to properly plan a war, incompetent to the core as a result of rampant cronyism, unable to admit mistakes or listen to its own military advisors, is bound to fail. Unfortunately, as democracies go, the American people in 2004, ignorant, intellectually lazy, willingly submitting to their beloved fear of foreign threats, and thus totally unqualified as a republican citizenry, failed miserably at their job as well. Many Americans, but far more Iraqi civilians are paying a bloody price. That well-known wide-eyed radical Arthur Schlesinger Jr., in The New York Review of Books, was correct when he diagnosed the disaster that is Iraq as the product of national stupidity by an amnesiac America incapable of learning its lesson from Vietnam.
Jul 18 2007 - 4:16pm