Readers Write: Soceity makes war honorable; a new approach in Syria is needed
Letters to the Editor for Dec. 1, 2014 weekly magazine:
Kauffman: I wonder if humans don’t all carry an innate horror of violence and warfare. But we are socialized to think that “necessary war” is actually honorable, and those who engage in it are heroes.
Frank: What the US is currently doing in the region isn’t working, and we are running out of choices.
Society makes war seem honorable
I wonder if humans don’t all carry an innate horror of violence and warfare. But we are socialized to think that “necessary war” is actually honorable, and those who engage in it are heroes.
I have only compassion for close friends who served in the Vietnam War, but cannot help seeing them not as heroes but, rather, as people who were lied to by society regarding the “necessity for” and the “justification for” the violence of war.
The military machine makes young men and women into ruthless killers without thought or regard for what becomes of them later. For most of them the social and religious rationale they have been fed does not really carry much weight against their own internal realization that what the war accomplished was ultimately unjustifiable.
Maybe the only real remedy for the demons of veterans is for them to recognize the pain from training for and participating in combat violence as guilt that requires confession, forgiveness, and healing.
Kenneth W. Kauffman
New approach in Syria needed
In regard to the Nov. 17 online article “Islamic State video intensifies concerns about foreign jihadis” (CSMonitor.com): The beheading of Peter Kassig is tragic. Nevertheless, giving aid to the Syrian rebels, along with conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State group, is only getting the United States in deeper and deeper in the region’s turmoil.
What the US is currently doing in the region isn’t working. It is obvious that a new approach is needed. We could send ground troops to Syria, but that won’t solve anything and could make matters worse. And as the conflict continues, we are running out of choices. The world needs a strong leader with extraordinary leadership ability who can make difficult decisions. It’s the only way to peace.
JoAnn Lee Frank