Monday, November 8, 2010


Magnet available from--

This Saturday Admiral Mike Mullens, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Deborah, talked openly on NPR * [see link below] about the personal tragic cost of war { more suicides, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, risky behaviors} for our soldiers and their families, in this time of multiple war re-deployments. What is not mentioned is that to truly prevent the trauma, we must stop the wars. Sending people into war repeatedly, the "stop loss" troop policy, maximizes their chance for trauma [even more certain for civilians, and insurgents in Iraq & Afghanistan].

Fellow citizens, there should be no surprise in this. All suffering is assured, when you embrace the hell of war fervently. You have supplanted trust in God with trust in weapons. Making them your Gods of Metal, you give them the first fruits of national budgets annually, fabricating new specters of national threat [here a communist, next a terrorist] to augment the power of this business of war, Job One in the USA.
NYT photo August 11, 2010--- imposing view, from the streets of Afghanistan

When young men and women are trained to be warriors, expected to kill without hesitation, put in fields of battle where a 5 yr old child may be their mortal enemy, seeing their own comrades with heads, arms and legs severed, themselves pumping 50mm rounds into 15 year old enemy bodies watching them explode, how can you expect anything but anguish in their souls when they return home?
View from Israel—imposition of power has similar adverse effects, esp. for the young, worldwide.

Arrest of 7 year old. Photo by Larry Towell, 1997, Hebron, West Bank.

You did this in the dawn of a new era, of war by preemptive choice, the post World War II business-as-usual plan, finally formalized by the Bush administration, continued now by the Obama administrators.

And you have done this to protect your consumer society's access to oil? Our young soldiers have to stay in these countries perpetually acting as private security guards for international oil/military corporations, securing their elitist and foreign-held fortunes? What does it profit a country superpower if it gains the whole world, and loses its soul? War is most certainly hell for the soldiers who are contracted to do the fighting.
Again from--

s a people, we have thoughtlessly accepted war of corporate convenience, and abandoned the natural law constraint—war of "last resort." All war that follows is unjust war. Our society has lost its way. And for followers of Jesus, the "just war" concept has always been a horrible stumbling block, armed against the coming of the kingdom of God's unconditional love and mercy. Lord grant us all the strength to renounce the darkness of war, and embrace the light of your love.

Illumination by Kathy Brahney

Paradoxically, prophetically, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of St. Martin of Tours [316 - 397 AD] on Veteran's Day, November 11.
The son of a pagan veteran, he was forced to serve in the army against his will at the age of 15. He became a Christian catechumen and was baptized at 18. It was said that he lived more like a monk than a soldier. At 23 he refused a war bounty from the emperor with the words, "I have served you as a soldier; now let me serve Christ. Give the bounty to those who are going to fight. But I am a soldier of Christ and it is not lawful for me to fight." After great difficulties, he was discharged and went to be a disciple of Hilary of Poitiers. ---From americancatholic. org, St. Anthony Messenger's Saint of the Day.

*Please listen online, and then follow up with these 3 stories showing problem that's been long known, and increasing:

Then, in this time of Veteran's Day Nov. 11, 2010, take the time to contemplate the stories of residual violence and its effects presented in these videos. The first can be streamed online, and the next two found in your local library [St. Clair Co. at least], as well as at Amazon [the online reviews are worth reading].

A similar story to the movie below, THE WOUNDED PLATOON, events in Colorado Springs, 2007.

This is a feature film IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH with Tommy Lee Jones, events at Ft. Bragg, 2003.

Especially good documentary, THE GROUND TRUTH-- soldier testimonies on residual effects of organized violence.

There is at least one other way to help resolve these conflicts—the "Three Cups of Tea" methods outlined in this article.

"War is a defeat for humanity." Pope John Paul II

"War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today." President John F. Kennedy

"We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount." General Omar Bradley

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