By Mark Antony Rossi
History has drummed into masculine minds that war is an inevitable venture necessary to balance the scales of national interests and cultural jealousy. We are told “War will turn a boy into a man.” We are lectured “Only in War can bravery be truly tested.” But what if the opposite is actually true? What if the brave thing is to find a way to win without going to war? What if war is the failure of imagination?
I do not write these words lightly. I am a military war veteran and believe a proper defense is morally righteous and needed in a hostile world. Yet I increasingly wonder if all non-military efforts are made to prevent armed conflict. Do we act in group-think out of national pride or fear? Are we beholden to a military industrial complex desperate for that next big contract? Are we being led by leaders whom weigh the blood of their citizens against a knee-jerk tough guy image?
Speaking as an American military veteran my country has been continually at war with at least five countries for the past sixteen years. And my countrymen do not feel any safer. Most of the reasoning was justified at first but over time our once valid purpose has resulted in killing our noble youth in pursuit of world security. While terrorists do not deserve quarter the mobilization of an army for repeated wars is clearly counterproductive. Small special units trained to hunt serial criminals need to be deployed instead.
I fear the routine drill for war is making us more immune to a cycle of violence. And in conjunction with drone rocket assassinations the human distance between killing and confrontation grows ever wider. Now we don’t see the whites of their eyes. Now we don’t hear their final words. Now we cross a name off a chart and call this progress. War, like most movies from Hollywood, has become an unoriginal production too costly to justify and too ridiculous to repeat.
About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York.