Sunday, March 25, 2012
For my answer to the question "WHY WAR" read my book "Mein Kampf - Analysis of Book One" Click on cover of book on the right on this blog. Thanks.
War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
By Chris Hedges
By Richard Edward Noble
This may be the first book that I have ever read where I have found myself more worried about the author than his subject matter. Not that the subject matter of this book is trivial in any manner of understanding.
This is a very, heart rendering, compassionate, deeply personal report. In this report the author bares his soul to his readers. I find myself worrying about the author because the book reads to me like a very long and involved suicide note.
This author is suffering. He has, in my opinion, saturated himself in war and its many horrors. I hope for him that he is able to reestablish himself in a positive life. I wish him my best in that endeavor.
At this point in writing this review, I decided to go to Google and look up Chris Hedges to see if he was still among the living.
I am very delighted to report that he is alive and well. I watched a video and he has clearly found himself and has proceeded forward to a life of moral radicalism in the truly American “seeking social justice” tradition. I found nothing in his radicalism to disagree with. So here again I wish him nothing but the best.
This book is a compelling read. The author’s personal experiences could fill volumes. Even in war this author has been able to retain his humanity and remain true to his religious commitment. He tells the story of the millions termed by military generals and the establishment as “collateral damage.” He introduces us to the collaterally damaged by name. He relates to us the face of their suffering and the immoral standards by which they have fallen into this neutered classification.
The author is extremely well-read. He quotes one source after another and not just the political and socially prominent but artists, novelist, philosophers, and playwrights – Shakespeare included.
This is not the kind of book one loves to read but more the type of book that one should read.
I feel the big question between the lines of this book is that famous question asked by Albert Einstein of Sigmund Freud … “Why War.”
I have recently given this question a shot myself in one of my books entitled, Mein Kampf – An Analysis of Book One.This author provides his answer via his personal experiences.
In my book I try to deal with this subject on an intellectual plane. This author mounts his attack on a visual and emotional level. He takes the reader to the scene of the crime, introduces the participants, and describes the horror. He transports us around the world from one war to the next and pushes forward what he sees as the common denominator.
The author has a religious background but that does not keep him from objectivity.
He speaks of the prophets of old who came forward to warn the world of what they saw in its future. Mr. Hedges is much the prophet himself, exhibiting at times the self-abusiveness and flagellation of many of his biblical heroes.
But this particular book is not a prophecy but more of a description – a description of hell. War is hell as Audie Murphy once told us and Mr. Hedges once again shows us why and tells us of its deleterious effects on him personally.
This is one of those books that I could not stop reading even though I had a stack of others waiting in line ahead of it. Once I started War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning I put all my other books aside and read this one through to the conclusion.
I must say though, War has never been a force that has given my life meaning. If anything it has been the opposite. And I believe that the world is filled with more people inclined to think as I do. I believe that in his heart Mr. Hedges agrees with me. If this were not the case, he would have no incentive to be pursuing his present course in life. Even though he pursues this positive course with heavy doubts and extreme cynicism – he pursues it and “us” nevertheless.
Those like me have no infatuation with war and have never confused it with love – love of any nature or kind. To make this type comparison is to be psychologically and emotionally sick. This is self destructiveness at its worst. This is part of the reason I found myself worried about the author's mental stability at the time of the publication of this book. This is a theme that the author repeats over and over. It was a cry of helplessness and dwindling hope.
I understand that many throughout history and at present have expressed and written about this confusion. I can name several who I have read who have stated their love of the horror of war: Adolf Hitler, George Washington, Alexander the Great, General George Patton, Teddy Roosevelt and just recently in an interview I listened to General Tommy Franks regretfully confess his love for violence and military engagement. “War … I’m ashamed to say how I loved it so,” General Franks said with a twisted little grin and a chuckle. (I paraphrase General Franks, but I’m sure the gist of his statement is accurate. People like this – even if on our side – are frightening.)
All that being said, this is the type of book that many, many more Americans should be reading. As the author advises, we should all make the attempt to get past all the nationalistic hurrahing and flag waving and understand that war is killing. It’s murder. And it is most often killing and murdering innocents. It is a sad and most often unnecessary business.