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The Ugliness of War

By Remy Benoit

War is not a pretty thing.

It has a nasty smell.

It devastes; it hurts.

It scars, it wounds, it kills.

It has objectives; it has collateral damage.

It impacts on the citizens of the country; it definitely impacts of the soldiers who fight it.

In the debate about showing Saving Private Ryan, questions were raised about violence.

Well, war is violence.

I have often wondered why we protect our kids from its images and then send them to fight wars really unprepared for what they will be facing. Perhaps if we showed them its realities, if we faced those realities, even when only the best is intended, we would work a whole lot more assiduously to find alternative means to resolving disputes.

Just a thought, but one to consider. Mrs. Barbara Bush noted that "War is not nice."

Well, no, it isn't.

Just ask those who decades later still wake up in terror and horror.

Ask those Veterans whose bodies carry diseases from their experiences.

Ask those Veterans who have spent most of their adult lives in wheelchairs. Ask the new Veterans who have a life of that ahead of them.

From the New Work Times, Bob Hebert, and Common Dreams The Agony of War.

We are slow learners about war. This poem, Suicide in the Trenches by Siegfried Sassoon. asks its readers to:
"Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go."

And that was the Big One - the War to End All Wars. 1914-1918

I am still having difficulty adjusting to the fact that WWI was in the last century. That too is something to think about.

These are the Casualty Figures. 37,508,686 people is a number our minds have trouble getting around.

World War II Americans 405,399 KIA, 78,976 MIA. Total Casualties in WWII.

None of those numbers count civilians, buildings, the planet itself.

Perhaps if we really think about the true cost of war, we might be interested in DEPARTMENT OF PEACE - HR 1673 in 108th CONGRESS (The bill will be re-introduced in 2005, the bill number will be updated at that time.)

For more information visit with Dennis Kucinich.

It is said that what we dwell on, we manifest in our lives.

Just a thought.


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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