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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Chris Hedges: War memorials and museums are temples to the god of war
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Monday, October 05, 2009

Chris Hedges: War memorials and museums are temples to the god of war

more sobering truth-telling...

chris hedges in truthdig via information clearing house...

War memorials and museums are temples to the god of war. The hushed voices, the well-tended grass, the flapping of the flags allow us to ignore how and why our young died. They hide the futility and waste of war. They sanitize the savage instruments of death that turn young soldiers and Marines into killers, and small villages in Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq into hellish bonfires. There are no images in these memorials of men or women with their guts hanging out of their bellies, screaming pathetically for their mothers. We do not see mangled corpses being shoved in body bags. There are no sights of children burned beyond recognition or moaning in horrible pain. There are no blind and deformed wrecks of human beings limping through life. War, by the time it is collectively remembered, is glorified and heavily censored.


War memorials are quiet, still, reverential and tasteful. And, like church, such sanctuaries are important, but they allow us to forget that these men and women were used and often betrayed by those who led the nation into war. The memorials do not tell us that some always grow rich from large-scale human suffering. They do not explain that politicians play the great games of world power and stoke fear for their own advancement. They forget that young men and women in uniform are pawns in the hands of cynics, something Pat Tillman’s family sadly discovered. They do not expose the ignorance, raw ambition and greed that are the engine of war.

at the risk of pointing out the blatantly obvious, it isn't only the war memorials that glorify war... it's enshrined in almost every aspect of our society... business and sports competition is expressed in terms of combat metaphors - gaining the high ground, attack, flanking maneuvers, crush the competitor... action films are filled to the brim with violence that pits the "good guys" (us) against the "bad guys" (them)... tots old enough to manage a wii controller attack and destroy cartoon demons and monsters in the struggle to "save the world"... those obscene plastic "support our troops" magnets that decorate cars remind us that we live in a war-obsessed, militarized society...

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