Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chris Hedges on war

Today, I read an article by Chris Hedges, War as Betrayal: persistent myths of combat. It connected with me and I with his ideas – he coherently, clearly explained many things I have felt over the recent years about war.

Deeper research  -  and yet just scratching the surface, for he has written a great deal. Mentioned him to Crosby today and he told me that Chris had been in town two years ago to speak at the Plaza library… 9 books since 2002. Found an hour long recent interview online, recorded June 2012. He mentioned Merton in his remarks and shared something I’ve wondered, about a life of contemplation, where contemplation is the end rather than a means to an end. – and yet that ends and means notion, that way of measuring things – placing life in an equation and in time is not everyone’s way. And in that, I see again, clearly how we have our individual ways of seeing the world.

Hedges sees contemplation as a form of good if it is followed or balanced with action. He believes in the need for action – not everyone gets that and many believe that action is a lot of work, which it is… Hedges seems a voice who wishes for people to understand war. He recognizes that wars are necessary sometimes. He reminds me of William T. Vollmann… Hedges is more preachy than Vollmann.

Hedges did lose me a while after I read how he was enamored with General Wesley K. Clark. But I understand that Hedges did not have the benefit of serving with Clark. Clark ate his young.

I agree with Hedges, that war is a reality we need to understand. It’s problematic in the process of the understanding… we’re apt to get lost and see the false nobility of it all. Chris believes in the power of love – I do too. He ends a book with that thought. Love is a wide little word. 

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