Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Neither Peace, Nor War, But Global Solidarity

While my circle does skew to the political left, I value my conservative friends. I like to cut through political fault-lines and discover unexpected common ground. One of my heroes is Bono who found a connection with former senator Jesse Helms and won Helms' support for HIV/AIDS programs in Africa.

I value my political ambivalence; I also value my ability to take action whilst still holding dear to my ambivalence. I fiercely believe that small doubts help keep us morally honest. They help us avoid the traps of dogmatism and fanaticism.

Despite its initial content, this is not a peace blog. I'm not even a pacifist. However, I will leave for another time the tortured explanation of my support for both the Afghan War and the first Gulf War.

Nonetheless, this is the article - an anti-war commentary - that most caught my attention this busy day. I found it starkly honest and truly unsettling. Thank you to my friend, Kathleen, for bringing it to my attention.

ZNet Commentary
So This Is What War Looks Like?
April 02, 2003
By Tim Wise

Excerpt:

"[W]e should also probably take note of another kind of body count, another kind of death toll, but one that is rarely discussed; because amidst all the clamor about the need to "support the troops," (which apparently means sending them sappy video greetings and prayers on DVD players shipped out by Target, or Wal-Mart, or Best Buy, or one of those places), there is a deafening silence about what this war is doing to those same troops.

And here I don't mean those who are killed or taken prisoner and tortured, for indeed we speak of them hourly it seems. I mean those who survive, at least in body, but who face the emotional and mental trauma of their actions, and do so without the apparent concern of a nation that views them as soldiers first, and human beings second."

Full Article

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