Friday, June 2, 2006


War overreaches routinely. Overkill is one of the self-revealing--if thinly veiled and desperately denied--principles of war. The loss and cost for "regime change" in Iraq is inestimable in every dimension. But sometimes war's routine overreaches in the name of "good" are manifest in strikingly soul-piercing atrocities. Vietnam gave us My Lai. Iraq has already given us Abu Ghraib. Iraq now gives us a second atrocity--Haditha. The civilian massacre by American Marines in this Iraqi village may eclipse Abu Ghraib as the most telling evidence that this war has unleashed uncontrollable emotions and irrational violence that are consistent with all war and that make waging war unjustifiable and unsustainable for the resolution of conflict by civilized humanity in the 21st century. We can--and must--find a better way.

1 comment:

  1. I was re-reading Albert Camus' The Plague and came across this: "This has been a lesson for all of us: we must convince ourselves that there is no island of escape in time of plague....Each of us has the plague in him.... I know that we must keep endless watch on ourselves lest in a careless moment we breath in someone's face and fasten the infection to him. All the rest, health, integrity, purity - is a product of human will... .The good [wo]man infects hardly anyone....on this earth there are pestilences and victims, and it is up to us, so far as possible, not to join forces with the pestilences."

    I thought of this as I read the headlines in yesterday's newspaper and saw the search for the perpetrator of yesterday's murders run over into our neighborhood.


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