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MMM, I think I'll Take The War du Jour
by Jeremy Browning
Jan. 19, 2007 08:57

I heard a commentator on NPR this morning talking about Clint Eastwood's portrayal of war in Flags of our Fathers. The movie showed not that war has beauty or honor, the commentator said. Instead, it was more drab, the life had been sucked out of it.

The commentator closed by saying that when a man like Eastwood makes an anti-war film, we should probably take notice.

He said it like it was a revelation. A head-bowed prayer. We should all take notice.

War, this commentator aims to convince us, is bad.

What a silly and childish "revelation" this guy thinks he just had.

It reminds me of the current popular notion that war is somehow, in principle, unnecessary and avoidable.

Of course war is bad. It's an abomination. It's horrible. When I think of war, I'm reminded of bone shards and blood, young men watching their comrades die in their arms, amputations, torture, ear-splitting explosions and the constant report of rifle shots and mortar shells.

If there is a menu for life's experiences, I'm not going to order the "War Special." I don't want it for my family or my country.

But our wishing and hoping that war is unnecessary won't change the reality around us. We can click our heels together, wish, hold candle-light vigils and march on public squares. We can wish for peace. We can also rub old oil lamps and wait for genies to appear.

The fact that exists independent of our wishfulness is this: we do not, by our benevolence and hope, determine whether armed thugs want us dead, whether foreign generals want to turn our society into a pile of bone shards and blood. The world is full of unreasonable people. Many of them may never want to slay us. But if and when another man, or gang or uniformed army wishes us harm, when a domestic or foreign enemy takes up arms against us, or threatens to imprison, maim or kill us until we surrender or submit, war becomes...

...whether Clint Eastwood or NPR or you or I want to admit it...

...the only choice on the menu.

Now consider this quote from a CNN story about a debate among British Muslim radicals and extremists.

At a recent debate over the battle for Islamic ideals in England, a British-born Muslim stood before the crowd and said Prophet Mohammed's message to nonbelievers is: "I come to slaughter all of you."

"We are the Muslims," said Omar Brooks, an extremist also known as Abu Izzadeen. "We drink the blood of the enemy, and we can face them anywhere. That is Islam and that is jihad."

Edited Jan. 19, 2007 17:47


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