November 27, 2010
Am I wrong?
In the beginning…
…war looks and feels like love. But unlike love it gives nothing in return but an ever-deepening dependence, like all narcotics, on the road to self-destruction. It does not affirm but places upon us greater and greater demands. it destroys the outside world until it is hard ot live outside war’s grip. It takes a higher and higher dose to achieve any thrill. Finally, one ingests wareonly to remain numb. The world outside war becomes, as Freud wrote, “uncanny.” The familiar becomes strangely unfamiliar – many who have been in war find this when they return home. The world we once understood and longed to return to stands before us as alien, strange, and beyond our grasp. p. 163
And the hangover?
When the mask of war slips away and the rot and corruption is exposed, when the addiction turns sour and rank, when the myth is exposed as a fraud, we feel soiled and spent. It is then that we sink into despair, a despair that can lead us to welcome death. This despair is more common than many expect.
In the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, almost a third of all Israeli causalities were due to psychiatric causes, and the war lasted only a few weeks. A World War II study determined that after sixty days of continuous combat, 98 percent of all surviving soldiers will have become psychiatric casualties. They found that a common trait among the 2 percent who were able to endure sustained combat was a predispostion toward “aggressive psychopathic personalities.” p. 164
— War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, Chris Hedges
November 26, 2010
I have seen many franchise wars in +30 years.
Chris Hedges who has been involved with international industrial violence for over 20 years.
…I have seen too much of violent death. I have tasted too much of my own fear. I have painful memories that lie buried and untouched most of the time. It is never easy when they surface.
I learned early on that war forms its own culture. The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug, one I ingested for many years. It is peddled by mythmakers – historians, war correspondents, filmmakers, novelists, and the state – all of whom endow it with qualities it often does possess: excitement, exoticism, power and chances to rise above our small stations in life, and a bizarre and fantastic universe that has a grotesque and dark beauty. It dominates culture, distorts memory, corrupts language, and infects everything around it, even humor, which become preoccupied with the grim perversities of smut and death. Fundamental questions about the meaning, or meaninglessness, of our place on the planet are laid bare when we watch those around us sink to the lowest depths. War exposes the capacity for evil that lurks not far below the surface within all of us. And this is whey for many war is so hard to discuss once it is over.
The enduring attraction of war is this: Even with its destruction and carnage it can give us what we long for in life. it can give us purpose, meaning, a reason for living… p. 3
…the lie in war is almost always the lie of omission. p. 21
— War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, Hedges, as columnist at Truthdig.com