“I watched Yugoslavia divide until you had these completely polarized, antagonistic camps that were speaking to each other in the language of violence. And I know from covering war that it becomes a very short step. Once you begin to speak in the language of violence to actually carrying out violence and that’s what’s happening.”— Chris Hedges
However, knowing it and stopping it are two different things. Is there a way to prevent war when one or more parties seem determined to fight…when our beliefs, values, and perceptions differ wildly…when a few benefit greatly by war, as others pay heavy tolls? Is it more logical, if tied to a train track, to keep our eyes open as the train approaches swiftly, or to cover our eyes and wait on the coming death? Are we powerless to stop the coming war…or do we have agency in the role we play in setting the stage for war?
I’d like to believe we have agency – but, I know it’s more complex than that. It’s more complicated than even understanding the motives and drivers of those who seek war. We have been warned, but I wonder what we do with that warning. I suppose it’s up to each one of us to choose our response – as if we have a choice – fight or flight – war or peace – life or death. In the coming civil war, we will be forced to choose sides.
I hope we are clear about what we value, what we want to support, the kind of world we want to see, and what we are willing – and unwilling – to do, in the war to define who America will be. — LMO