We Americans have a tragic facination and love of war. Anytime someone learns that I'm against war people ask me about WWII. This has been a sticking point for many Americans as they feel we were justified completely in ending this war against a facist tyrannical and genocidal institution. It's our favorite war. Many have fallen in love with this war and try to make all other American war actions equal or somehow related to this war.
I know what war does to people who fought in it. I've seen what it did to my Grandfather's psyche and the effects it has caused on our family. It is tragic that such a young man had to suffer and spend the rest of his life the way he did. Yes, there are acts of heroism and yes it was good of us to stop a massacre. But that's not why we went into that war. We didn't fight in that war to protect other people or to restore peace. We fought that war (and all wars in my opinion) for economic purposes. A recent WIRED article, found by Rachael, states that most reasons for fighting are clouded by our the subconscious mechanism of self-preservation that causes us to grossly overestimate the danger of highly unlikely threats (West Nile virus, terrorist attacks, abduction, plane crashes, shark attacks) and underestimate far more serious, if mundane, threats (car accidents). The fact of the holocaust should have been enough to enter in and fight, but this fact didn't become known until way after the war. So then WWII isn't as neat and clean or valliant as we Americans would like to believe.
Here is my over-simplified way of thinking: Before I'm an American, I'm a Christian. Before I'm a Christian, I'm a human, like everyone else. War is the practice of prioritizing unneeded things over humanity. This practice is wrong every single time.War is never good. War can never be justified. Peace is not A way, it is the ONLY way.
This is not anti-military. You may notice that when i say hi, i salute (a proper one at that), and in this gesture i'm honoring my grandfather, my uncles, and many friends in the military. I am a patriot, not a nationalist. I love my country but fear my government.
thanks to Nick for the video find!
check out a related post over at Sam's blog, Opossum's Creed:Our Final Undeclared War.