Is it me, or does anyone else out there have a hard time understanding the reality of situations that are not directly and immediately related to their situations?
I have a book sitting on my…well…if I owned a coffee table it would be sitting on my coffee table. Instead it’s sitting on one of the storage bins I use as a dresser. It’s something like Experience the War in Iraq Through Photos. I bought it because I don’t think it’s fair that I get to live my relatively unaffected life while halfway across the world, schools are getting bombed on accident. Across the world, civilians are caught in the crossfire of war; here, if you’re not in a military family and don’t watch the news, it’s possible to go for days or weeks without thinking about it.
I keep thinking about Rosie the Riviter, about wartime rations, about how women gave up their nylons, about the draft, about televised combat, and about how, now, we don’t even have to think about the war.
I don’t have anyone in my immediate family on active duty in the military, so I bought this photo book because I wanted to force the horror of war into my consciousness.
I looked through it once.
I saw a photo of a kid who…I think he stepped on a landmine or something. It was horrifying. I started crying. I put the book down.
Our nation going to war may not be a choice, but we live in a nation with an “all-volunteer” military, meaning that unless they choose to implement the draft again, no one is obligated under law to serve in the military for any amount of time.
You know they have that, in other countries? Conscription, it’s called–mandatory military service.
I’m just saying…if I’m not going to join the military, give up my nylons, eat less sugar or meats or build weapons at night…I could at least give the war my awareness. But we don’t even HAVE to do that.
What do you guys think?
- The Costs of War (economix.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Letters: Lessons From Iraq and Afghanistan (nytimes.com)
- The Continuing Problem of Military Suicides [Dispatches from the Culture Wars] (scienceblogs.com)