31 May 2010

Thought of the Memorial Day

From Chris Hedges great book, War is a Force that Gives us Meaning:

And yet despite all this, I am not a pacifist. I respect and admire the qualities of professional soldiers. Without the determination and leadership of soldiers like General Wesley K. Clark we might not have intervened in Kosovo or Bosnia. It was, in the end, a general, Ulysses S. Grant who saved the union.

Even as I detest the pestilence that is war and fear its deadly addiction, even as I see it lead states and groups toward self-immolation, even as I concede that it is war that has left millions dead and maimed across the planet, I, like most reporters in Sarajevo and Kosovo, desperately hoped for armed intervention.

The poison that is war does not free us from the ethics of responsibility. There are times when we must take this poison-- just as a person with cancer accepts chemotherapy to live. We cannot succumb to despair. Force is and I suspect always will be a part of the human condition. There are times when the force wielded by one immoral faction must be countered by a faction that, while never immoral, is perhaps less immoral.

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