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Tag Archives: war

100 years ago next month World War I started, How the “War to End All Wars” defined the 20th Century

War is the health of the State…in general, the nation in wartime attains a uniformity of feeling, a hierarchy of values culminating at the undisputed apex of the State ideal, which could not possibly be produced through any other agency than war. Loyalty – or mystic devotion to the State – becomes the major imagined human value. Other values, such as artistic creation, knowledge, reason, beauty, the enhancement of life, are instantly and almost unanimously sacrificed, and the significant classes who have constituted themselves the amateur agents of the State are engaged not only in sacrificing these values for themselves but in coercing all other persons into sacrificing them.

- Randolph Bourne, 1915

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Iraq, a colossal disaster on a scale which almost can’t be imagined. (And this one IS Bush’s fault.)

Iraq has been a disaster from the start. Afghanistan has over time become a disaster of a different sort. Both are examples of what happens when governments chase Utopian dreams.

The 2 conflicts are very different. Afghanistan was a justified action in my opinion but one which we should have limited to something much much smaller than what we got. It should not have become an all out war, and if this could not be avoided it certainly should not have become a nation building exercise in a place where there is no “nation.” We absolutely have no business being in the place for over a decade now. The Greeks,the Mongols, the British, the Russians all began to lose their empires in the West Virginia of Asia. Afghanistan is a prize which empires covet for which the cost has proven immensely high. It has been for us.

But the conflict in Afghanistan at least on some level was justified.

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