Why Now?
Saturday, November 26, 2005
  A Weekend Rant
This was triggered by a djhlights at Exit Stage Left post on a Kirk Vonnegut interview and a Bob Geiger at Yellow Dog Blog post on those attacking Jack Murtha.

Both Vonnegut and Murtha are combat veterans whose view of war is colored by that experience. Their experience does not mean they cannot be criticized, nor does it mean that they are automatically right, but it damn sure means they have a right to be heard on the subject without having their courage or patriotism questioned.

This is not a new phenomenon, during the Civil War William Tecumseh Sherman noted:
It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.
Those attacking veterans approve of the Quintus Horatius Flaccus [Horace] phrase Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori [It is sweet and proper to die for your country], decrying the conclusion of Wilfred Owen's poem, Dulce Et Decorum Est that is "The Big Lie".

Wilfred Owen was a British officer in World War I who was awarded the Military Cross, and died a week before the armistice.

General George Patton, "Old Blood and Guts" didn't think much of Horace's view:
No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.
The world would be a better place if those who advocate war were required to back up their calls with their bodies. I'm sure one of these "survivor" shows would be happy to pay for an island somewhere for these jingoistic people to demonstrate how wars should be conducted.

 



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