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March 24, 2004
Maimed War Veterans
There seems to be a bipartisan tendency to think that "war is hell" no longer applies, thanks to technology.
The fact that killed-in-action casualties are, really, miniscule when compared with previous wars, does indeed minimize the effect of this war for many.
There are a thousand issues surrounding the rages and wages of war, but I bring up only one today. It was inspired by this Billmon post where he talks about the response to Kerry's war record being, "He served in Vietnam, yada yada yada."
Read the post and the following comments for eloquence.
I was born in 1971. Vietnam is not an issue for me in the way it is for many others. Do I think it was a bad war? I believe the consensus I read is yes, and not only for the numbers who died.
It's at least partly because they appear to have been killed, and maimed needlessly. Without reason.
But do we appreciate today that war casualties aren't all about death and being dead. There are literally millions of people who will know a family member or a close friend who went to Iraq - War I or II.
While many will not be effected at all nor in any everlasting way, do we appreciate today that war casualties come from a variety of different ailments, including the individual personal revelation that the reasons for the war, and the result, were lies and a waste of time.
I believe this has somewhat been assuaged by getting rid of Saddam Hussein. This may help the recovery of soldiers who will be recovering. But people, even soldiers, who hang on to this for the sole reason for going to war, forget history, recent and further back in time.
I hate the lies that have surrounded this war and I didn't do shit. If I fought and started not believing that what I had done there was right or just, I think I'd be affected.
This is actually one of the reasons why anti-war protestors are so reviled - because they have questions, they express them loudly and they make people think twice about something they don't want to think about. Overall, that's true though people may have other incidental reasons for hating war protestors.
Reasonable people reason. Reactionary people react. And curiosity is the devil to reactionaries.