War Is Sin by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
June 1, 2009

The crisis faced by combat veterans returning from war is not simply a profound struggle with trauma and alienation. It is often, for those who can slice through the suffering to self-awareness, an existential crisis. War exposes the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves. It rips open the hypocrisy of our religions and secular institutions. Those who return from war have learned something which is often incomprehensible to those who have stayed home. We are not a virtuous nation. God and fate have not blessed us above others. Victory is not assured. War is neither glorious nor noble. And we carry within us the capacity for evil we ascribe to those we fight.

Those who return to speak this truth, such as members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, are our contemporary prophets. But like all prophets they are condemned and ignored for their courage. They struggle, in a culture awash in lies, to tell what few have the fortitude to digest. They know that what we are taught in school, in worship, by the press, through the entertainment industry and at home, that the melding of the state’s rhetoric with the rhetoric of religion, is empty and false.


via Truthdig

Copyright © 2009 Truthdig

Chris Hedges, who spent nearly two decades as a war correspondent for The New York Times and other newspapers, is the author of “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle,” due out in July.


The Disease of Permanent War by Chris Hedges

Becoming What We Seek to Destroy by Chris Hedges

Winter Soldier Europe

US denies letting troops convert Afghans + US troops urged to share faith in Afghanistan

The Looming Collapse of the American Empire by Chris Hedges

from the archives:

With God on Our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military

Holy warriors in the US armed forces

17 thoughts on “War Is Sin by Chris Hedges

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  12. All too true, and well said as always.

    But perhaps attaching too much false political purpose to the true intent of the natural-born militarist.

    And there was never a survival purpose to war, it’s a deranged addiction perhaps based in survival hormones, but never necessary from the outset, rather it frustrates survival, as all destructive biochemical addictions do. There is little difference between the violent serial killer and the enlisted combatant, except the latter is vastly worse.

    The “the Henry Kissingers, Robert McNamaras, Donald Rumsfelds, the Dick Cheneys” would stand alone in their delusions of global dominion if it weren’t for the brain-dead drone who signs up and actually carries out these atrocities (and the parent who eggs then on).

    I accept no excuses for willing war-criminals, and criminals the soldiers all are.

    Boys play war from the youngest age, graduate to video-games and paint-balls, then to hunting animals for sport. Enlistees simply like to kill.

    Ultimately the valor and glory and political justifications are surface excuses to pursue the thrill of the kill, gory incineration (the bloodier the better), total destruction of a target.

    Throw in a bit of strategically-placed nationalistic racism, and the target all becomes burger for the grill, the thrill of the kill.

    It already doesn’t take all that much to convince a young man to sign up, willfully let their minds get fried in basic-training, and ship out to shoot ’em up (and let god sort ‘em out, no doubt).

    But if you’re a red-stated violent miscreant parent, who hangs that bloody rag of the cult of the USA outside their trailer, who still longs for the valor of ww2, and thinks this warmongering is acceptable behavior, well you’re to blame as well.

    We’ve had enough blasted vets and illegal invasions to know better. War is glorified not for patriotic reasons, but because it’s fun (for these people), a video game, a ‘legal’ means to act out all those violent boy-fantasies in film.

    Those who ‘support the troops’ and wave amerigoon flags are complicit co-conspirators and bear as much responsibility.

    The national obligation, if there is one, is to train the youth not to kill, not to indulge pubescent hormonal imbalances and gnash at the jugular of the Gook-du-jour.

    (And if that doesn’t work, just cut their balls off!)

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