Thank you for stopping by tonight. Over the last couple days we have been discussing the paradigm shift when it comes to war. Make no mistake, this is not solely an American issue, although some of the responses have tailored portions of tonight’s discussion as American.
The pertinent posts (which will all open in other tabs) are:
- War Sucks
- What is the world coming to?
- Philanthropy is not just for old rich people.
- Heading somewhere…
I am only going to pull a few points out for background:
- The treatment of veterans has gone from venerated to abhorred to something in between.
- The generation of the protesters of wars in the 1950-1960s are the same generation who is currently legislating war efforts around the globe.
- The economical ethic of the world has changed from The Silent Generation to The Baby Busters. All generations have embraced the economic benefit of war to some degree.
Some of the comments which lead us here include:
From Val: I think it was shortly after that I chained myself to the first fence in protest of the Vietnam War, I have been protesting every war since then. We had it wrong back then, blaming the young men who served rather than the old men who sent them to hell. I think we understand better now at least who and what is behind the curtain. Certainly it doesn’t change the fundamental suction, but perhaps it changes our response, our humanity, our compassion and our empathy for those who give and lose so much.
From Ted: Will we ever be out of the war business? History tells us no. When we weaken our military we get attacked… Our leaders need to think long and hard before sending our brave men and women into battle. Once they make the decision to commit troops they need to give them the objective and get out of the way… The other thing that should not happen is politicians using a conflict for personal gain. How many members of congress voted to go into Iraq and Afghanistan after 9-11, only later to use the conflict for some political gain. The senators and congressman that did these things should be ashamed and there constituents should remove them from office.
From Angie: I think the elders saw the value of war. It was consequence after drawing a line in the sand and having others cross it. It wasn’t something anyone wanted, but they understood why it sometimes needed to happen.
From John: I do think change and the rat race were fueled by the illusion of wealth rather than actual wealth. Perhaps the acceptance of war was part of that illusion, an unwillingness to look behind the curtain, a willingness to be led, a forgetting to ask why.
From Andro: I guess that greed is one of the main factors and unfortunately the greedy are getting even greedier, perhaps one day the smaller voices will be heard and some common sense will prevail but when?
From Bear: Unfortunately, war is a big business and the people who run our country, and have run our country in the past, got a share of the pie, whether it was oil, gold or property. To pin it down, we let our government start confrontations in the name of freedom/oil. If we do not win the conflict, then we are told we will run out of oil… Then we might have to stay home with the kids.
From Prenin: Trouble is that we have been taught that we are the good guys and ‘they’ are the bad guys, while ‘they’ are willing to die to defeat ‘us’ who are seen as the Great Satan, or the supreme bad guys.
From Rachael: The prior generation was raised on the ideals of WWII -when our country was in real physical danger and so many family members in Europe were fighting for their lives every day. Come the late 1950′s and the 1960′s Washington couldn’t get their heads around the fact that Vietnam was something utterly different. A power struggle. And it was all beamed live and in color to our television each night.
We have identified some of the attitudes which keep us as a warring people. What do you think? Please answer all three questions. Feel free to join any comment thread. Talk to each other!
- If the universal goal was one which would benefit all humanity, what would it take for all nations to band together? (Example: Clean water supply worldwide)
- Would the adoption of a world economy solve the issue of greed and national conflict?
- What have you done personally to change the prevailing attitude of war? (Consider actions involving your children, colleagues, friends and family.)
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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