I hadn’t planned to watch Ken Burns’ “The War” on WMFE-TV thinking it would be yet another aggrandizement of war and its consequences. I was wrong. Instead of the usual propaganda piece showing WWII as something splendid and patriotic, this piece told the truth, showing the treachery, ugliness, suffering, futility and stupidity that drives the war machine.
For the first time, we were shown facts behind the stories, facts that emphasized the human cost and utter hideousness of war as a response to conflict. Against the backdrop of the war in Iraq, this program was even more significant.
When will we have a Department of Peace in this country, funded as generously as the Department of Defense and established in order to train leaders in different ways to respond to conflict with something other than military means? Surely we are at the place in human history where we can see the waste and futility of war.
If any people can find new ways, its Americans. If any people are capable of creating the systems to provide a more humane and rational world, its Americans! Its possible…let’s do it and render stories like “The War” obsolete and obscene.
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