Very few people now alive have had the experience of what I think of as “Real War.” Oh, we still use the word “war,” but it doesn’t seem to carry the same sense of dramatic finality that it formerly did. War, and our thinking about war, has gotten soft. Our changing values affect the way we respond to the victors and victims of war.
These days, our wars tend to earn euphemisms such as: border skirmish, police action, regime change, nation building, civil uprising, popular revolution, government standoff, and gorilla opposition. Similarly, killing becomes: targeting, eliminating, taking out, and collateral damage because the idea is too repulsive to be named as what it is without shame. We rarely see Group A attacking Group B with the intent of killing or enslaving everyone and taking all of their land and property. And, of course, Real War only begets more war. Yeah, Real War used to really mean something. Continue reading »