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How a war begins

A small investigation of the source area

Wars are not sudden catastrophes. Ultimately, it's not a catastrophe. A volcanic eruption is also preceded by a long story, a story inside, in its embers. War is no different.

Alas, the flood does not begin with the breaking levees. It begins with the faint gurgle of the tiny, filling drainage channels on the beach. And there's nothing we can do about it unless we stop the moon from moving around the earth.

But we can pay attention and listen to this quiet gurgle of war as soon as it sounds: on the radio and TV channels, in editorials and federal press conferences, in political changes of position, in sermons and talk shows, in amazing fraternizations, but also at regulars' tables Playgrounds at the edge of the sandpits, in heated discussions in the checkout line. And yes, war can also gurgle in our neurons and coronary arteries.

We recognize its sources most easily within ourselves. When gentleness grows weak in us and humanity brittle, when a new force seizes us, a fervor for the justice and expediency of sacrifice; when we nod and it feels good to be there and think the way other people think. Then the war almost won. At the latest, however, when we no longer doubt its meaning. When we start to find good reasons and the killing suddenly seems justified to us and we no longer really want peace, just a little more.

Then the scales fall from our eyes and we can no longer understand how stupid we used to be, or at least naive when we still believed in peace. The time of believing is now over, now it's about knowledge. We are informed and know that we are right. And how good it is that we are so many, because only when we are many do we have a chance against evil, and we are becoming more every day. There are also big names, men and women, leaders of integrity who, as we know: If we don't fight now, we will open the floodgates to injustice and violence; if we don't fight now, the enemy will have an easy time, then we'll be lost. But we will not allow that, we will protect our country and our people and our children. We're very sober about it. Oh yes, we know a war is not a nice thing, let's not fool ourselves, but it has to be. You have to make sacrifices for a good cause. But in the end, in the end there is victory and freedom. If it's not worth fighting for, what is?


I have one more question. Actually, why don't the warlords go to war themselves, man against man? It would be so much cheaper. And their message would seem more credible to me if they were at the forefront of the steel storm and sacrificed themselves for their people instead of sending their people forward to sacrifice themselves. For whom?

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Written by Bobby Langer

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