Sunday, July 31, 2005

Something we should all remember about the cost of war - and Gitmo.
I have been reading an old book by cartoonist Bill Mauldin. "Up Front" is a collection of cartoons and stories from WWII, and I found an interesting part about half way through.
He describes a soldier finding two Germans huddled together in a foxhole, who cuts the throat of one, leaving the other one to wake up and know what happened. Mauldin reports that a lot of his fellow soldiers started following suit, to spread terror amongst the enemy.
I have heard similar stories about WWI, Korea, and Vietnam. The trick was probably used by Attila the Hun somewhere. My point is that the current wars, with all their atrocities, have been like any other war in history - except that now they are seen by civilians, on cable news.
The real lessons of Gitmo and Abu Gharib are that war creates monsters out of our sons and daughters. It takes people who have been taught never to kill, and teaches them that violence solves their problems. It numbs them to atrocities and death, until they accept it as a part of life.

That is the cost of war, the cost to us. That is why starting a war should be avoided, if there is any - ANY - other way.
That is why the current war, made on false pretenses and lies, such a crime. Because of what it does to us. Because of what it does to our children.

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