War Corrupts Everyone

Chris Hedges was a war correspondent for 15 years, initially as a free-lancer and eventually for The New York Times. A truthful online interview with him includes these honest remarks:
There is no just war. There is inevitable war, but it’s never just. War always taints, perverts, corrupts – not only those who bear the brunt of it, but those who carry it out. War is a poison. [Sometimes in history] you have to ingest that poison, as a cancer patient does to fight off disease. But if you don’t understand what that poison is, it can kill you just as surely as the disease.
Myth is essential for getting nations to support war and getting individuals to fight it. The state wants to help create a narrative of war, one that bestows on it an order and a meaning it doesn’t really possess.
It’s hard for us to confront not only war, but ourselves. Those of us who have spent a lot of time in war have to confront our own capacity for evil, our own capacity to commit atrocities, the fact that human beings find a perverse thrill in the destruction not only of things but of other human beings….

The lie of war is almost always the lie of omission: the blunders by our own generals, the mistreatment of civilians, the mistreatment of prisoners, the horrors of wounds – all of that is rarely seen by those who are not in combat….
…the broadcast media, with the exception of PBS, has been completely corrupted. It has ceased to employ reporters. It is actors and actresses pretending to be reporters. They’re standing on rooftops as their producers frantically rewrite Reuters copy. They don’t report! They’re playing parts in that myth that boosts ratings. It’s that mythic narrative that keeps CNN and Fox and MSNBC laughing all the way to the bank.

2 thoughts on “War Corrupts Everyone

  1. There is no just war. There is inevitable war, but it’s never just.
    Of course, I get roasted alive online via my previous weblog for suggesting that war is always immoral, it’s just that sometimes it’s the lesser of possible immoralities to choose from.
    So what out, the patriots who showed up on my weblog to threaten me, and start doing so via telephone as well, just might show up here too.
    Unless they’ve all done the patriotic thing and enlisted. Oh, haha, what am I thinking. They would never do that.

  2. Well, it looks like they didn’t enlist because they’re starting to show up here. Maybe we can submit their names for the draft that Bush is sure to institute.
    Maybe it’s time to secede from the union. We can start a “United States of Constitutional America” in contrast to the current anti-constitution one.

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