This I Believe

eleanor - newton, Massachusetts
Entered on April 13, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: war
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I Believe

I believe in the end of war is we know it during my lifetime.

I am a reconstructive surgeon and the mother of two small children. My life largely consists of trying to restore bodies ravaged by cancer or trauma at work, and at home trying to prepare my kids for the world with love and a sense of social conscience. Because of the context of my life, when I hear reports of casualties from Iraq, I imagine them in technicolor: a young soldier lying in the roadside dust cradling her shredded arm and screaming for her mother; a National Guardsman frantically trying to contain the bowels spilling out into the sand from his wound; an Iraqi child blinded by shrapnel, clinging to the dead parent beside him.

I am not a pacifist . I know that there are bad guys in the world who can be contained only by force. If someone threatened my children, I would fling myself at them and kill them if necessary without hesitation – although I would be forever scarred by my act.

But when it comes to today’s nations dealing with rogue leaders or humanitarian crises, I cannot accept that the indiscriminate large-scale violence and horror that is war is the way, not at a time when the world is connected in unprecedented ways. I cannot believe that it is necessary to cripple scores of young men and women physically and mentally by throwing them into the maelstrom – it is intellectually lazy, showing a disasterous lack of ingenuity and imagination.

I believe in the end of war as we know it, and I believe that will make us the next Great Generation.