Photo credit: @julesdwit.
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David Finkel, national enterprise editor of The Washington Post and author of The Good Soldiers, talks about spending time with U.S. soldiers in Iraq and upon return after their service.
After describing the horrors and tragedy of being in such an unfortunate situation as fighting in the war in Iraq and to not take a strong moral stance against it is in itself an immoral action. There is nothing inevitable about these things they are the logical conclusion of short sided and arrogant decisions and whether we acknowledge or or not we are diminished as a country for acquiescing in such reckless pursuits
Everyone forgets that these soldiers in Iraq are NOT protecting America. They're blindly carrying out capricious orders, killing and being killed, fueling the war machine and the public's bloodlust.
We're fed platitudes about soldiers sacrificing their lives to protect americans and we repeat these platitutes robotically.
The minute someone questions our motives in a war, we rush to cover our ears because to suggest that the missions of our soldiers are meaningless would be unfair to them. Circular logic.
19 year-olds go into war thinking it will be like a video game and find out that it is not. Whose fault is that? Ours.
When will we learn the lessons from past wars?The fact is that people crave war and governments give it to them. Another fact that everyone fails to recognize is that we would not be in Iraq killing and being killed if it wasn't for the volunteer soldiers who make it possible.
Until we're willing to take a sober and honest look at our society and what we do (instead of making excuses for our behavior for the sake of those who carry it out), we'll never move forward.
I find it distressing that people assume no one cares about either of our wars. The president and congress know that the American people are opposed to them and do nothing. I protested the Vietnam war and think there was much more disabuse of soldiers when they got home then. A friend's husband returned, went to a small college in California, and students would let off fire crackers outside his room and call him a baby killer. I hope that isn't happening now.
It may be a volunteer army, but the recession has made many people sign up for these wars, as Chris Hedge's new book shows.
"Whether you agree with this war .... our soliders are fighting so that we can live the way we live."
This is the disagreement. If one disagrees with this war, one generally disagrees with the premise that soldiers are fighting so that we can live the way we live.
I'll agree they are fighting. But I strongly disagree that their fighting as anything to do with defending our way of life.
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Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
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