Saturday, May 27, 2006

war--what is it good for?

there's a great article by James M Skelly at Open Democracy's website comparing the experiences of soldiers in Vietnam with those today in Iraq... A snip:

"...War, with its organised killing, also calls into question the meaningfulness of life and the societies we live in. Like no other collective activity that a society can engage in, war challenges the core values and norms that guide us in our daily lives, and it has the capacity to undermine the fundamental structures and institutions of society....

"When we are authorising the killing of large numbers of people – including some whom we consider "our own" – it is right that a significant majority must believe it is meaningful and legitimate. And that belief must be held most strongly of all by those who will carry out the killing, and who may in turn be killed: the soldiers....

"Charles Sheehan Miles, a veteran of the first Gulf war, remembered engaging two Iraqi trucks that caught fire. As one of the occupants ran ablaze from the truck, Miles fired his machine-gun and instantly killed him. His immediate response was, he said,"a sense of exhilaration, of joy", but a split second later he felt "a tremendous feeling of guilt and remorse". The image of the man on fire, running and dying, stayed with him "for years and years and years," he said. His unit returned home amidst great celebration and he was awarded a medal, yet he felt, in his words, "probably the worst person alive".

"Subsequently, Miles went to the military chaplain and told him that he didn't think he would be able to kill again. "It's not that I couldn't, it's that I knew I could. Because it was … it was so easy to pull the trigger and kill people. Yes, I was afraid of what would happen. I was afraid of what it would do to me. What kind of person I would become."

"For some soldiers the challenge to their principles is so great that the animal that lurks beneath our humanity comes to the fore. As Chris Hedges remarks, "Fundamental questions about the meaning, or meaninglessness, of our place on the planet are laid bare when we watch those around us sink to the lowest depths. War exposes the capacity for evil that lurks not far below the surface within all of us."
Read the rest here.

Ruckus Society and Indyvoter have teamed up with the Coup to create Not Your Soldier: Youth Counter Recruitment Camps. There's a great video bout the project.
Global Movement for Children released a report yesterday on the numbers of children with HIV.

Saving Lives: Children’s right to HIV and AIDS treatment, says 700,000 children were infected with the HIV virus in 2005, bringing the number of children with the virus worldwide to over 2 million. The study also says that only about 1 in 20 kids who need HIV treatment receive it.

Also, word that unemployment assistance is due to run out in New Orleans for 80,000 people on June 3rd. Not sure if the bill to extend assistance, H.R. 5392, made it to the floor on friday to get a vote before the memorial holiday. friday was the last day that Congress will be in session before the 3rd.
See Color of Change.

stress relief dancing tonight... with life during wartime!
saturday may 27th @ hideout L.D.W.'s "dancINthehideOUT" Residency
Bald Eagle Mother Hubbard J2K 11PM - 3AM 21+ LATE START TONIGHT Y'ALL
1354 W. Wabansia Ave.


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