On War and Love

by
Abby Zimet

From Syria, amidst the horrific pictures of bodies, the media's persistent drumbeat for war and the carefully amoral rhetoric by U.S. officials comes a small, real, heart-wrenching reality check: A video of the moment a father finds his son, whom he thought was killed, after a chemical attack. This is the truth of what happens, notes Charles Pierce, when "we make war in a place without going to war in a place." There are several versions of the video. In this longer one, the child's devastated father appears about a minute into it.

"When you make war in a place, actual people die actual deaths. Fathers get killed. Children get killed. School buildings and hospitals fall down all around the people inside them. The message you are sending with your missiles gets just a trifle muddled. Make no mistake. If we strike, we will be making actual war in Syria. Ordinary Syrians will not see our missiles as "bomb-o-grams," telling them with every deadly explosion that we're really on their side. We will be another belligerent making their daily lives brutal and deadly, and there will be enough of them to hate us for that to guarantee that we will have to make more war in that place, or in some other place, very soon. That is what we do now. We make war in a place without going to war in a place, and nobody is fooled except ourselves."

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