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Make it real again…make it face to face

Whatever happened to the honor of fighting in close range battles, with guns that couldn’t shoot 100 with accuracy, and attaching bayonets to finish people off? I think it that sort of brutality and personal feel to it, war would be less likely to happen on a grander scale. War has become much more impersonal now days to where we can fly an unmanned aircraft and drop a bomb someplace and no one is ever in harms way. It just makes it too easy, like a video game or something. What the suicide bombers are doing is bringing back that personal touch to war, and that makes most civilians see how inhumane it is out there, and want to end this war because we see what is going on and the grotesqueness of this war.  Like here

“Four American soldiers were killed at a checkpoint in northern Iraq yesterday when a suicide car bomber attacked their vehicle, authorities said. Three soldiers died in the attack in Mosul and a fourth died later of wounds. An interpreter also was killed, and two Iraqi police officers were wounded at the checkpoint.”

Just imagine if any one of those people killed were your brother, or lover, or friend, or acquaintance, how bad you would feel and how you would mourn their loss. Now just imagine that on a larger scale with millions dying and how that would almost entirely affect everyone in America. If only we made millions of people die for every time we wanted to start a war, then they would be far and few in-between.

Vera’s book gets back to that intolerable side of war; it tells of things no one wants to hear about, she gets to pick Roland’s brain, based on his letters and her own experience of being a nurse. So many people are affected by what happens and she is right in the middle of it all. I believe that there is honor in dying for your country even though this was said,

“Let him who thinks War is a glorious, golden thing,who loves to roll fort stirring words of exhortation, invoking Honour and Praise and Valour and Love of Country…let him but look at a little pile of sodden grey rags that cover half a skull and a shin-bone and what might have been his ribs…who is there who has known and seen who can say that Victory is worth the death of even one of these?” (pg. 198 )

When most people read and see this, they get the visual of what Roland is seeing; having been in a similar circumstance I have to believe that they would have preferred this to getting hit by a bus. At least they knew what they were getting into and made their choices. There were many words spoken about being ready to die, not many are ready, but some do and at least gave the impression that they were at peace with that.

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3 Responses to “Make it real again…make it face to face”

  1. I think the reason that war is “not as real” so to speak has to deal with the media kind of like what you alluded to. I don’t mean to preach my own blog but this kind of fits in nicely with an article I found about Obama wanting to lift the ban on taking pictures of fallen American soldiers’ coffins. War might become more of a reality than a dream to civilians when we start to see the coffins of brave men and women dying on the fronts. All the public ever knows is what the media tells us. As you quoted from the press, it seemed to me like “Oh, another bunch of soldiers down…the world keeps moving”. This is almost like seeing the leaked footage of Saddam Hussein’s hanging or the pictures from Abu Ghraib prision. Where these images any less important…BUT just think if that would of been Al Khada (I hope my spelling is right) perched over American soldiers. War is always real no matter how you look at it. People get hurt and people die. It is more that war is simplified, that is why soldiers can kill soldiers with no remorse.

  2. you too, Aaron, bring up an interesting point here. How and what would these people feel if they were the dead ones–or one of their beloved–brother, sister, husband…? Externalising war–or viewing the dead as ‘not me’ makes it easier to accept. Similarly, killing millions with just a button–unmanned air-craft, or a trigger from far away makes it like a video game, not like killing people. I personally agree with Vera’s point in this regard, and being a victim of war myself, I can understand how these people feel about it. I guess that sometimes I think wars before were less lethal, not only because of simple arms, but also because they realized that they were killing other humans.


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