On War

August 28, 2017
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“The ego that sees a ‘thou’ is not the same ego that sees an ‘it’.” (99)

We are us, and while this might seem a simple phrase, I believe it begins to encapsulate what Campbell describes, that we see us as an us and them as it, somehow we don't see them as them. We see our people as a community, of individuals with lives and families, most importantly connections. Connections make the world go ‘round, separate the classes, hold people in priority. If we openly dissociate ourselves, we lose a vital connection that empowers us to believe in the individually of a people, and this I believe is the heart of the issue.

“And when you go to war with people, the problem of  newspaper is to turn those people, into ‘its’.” (99)

We fight them, a creature from the shadows, massive and blacked with a fore that tains and stinks of pain and suffering and unwhole decrepitness, but mostly around it is a cloud of fogging confused wrongness, incorrect steam wafting from every invisible pore. And as this lurching heavy beast draws nearer, you can smell every scent and hear every sound it has to offer, though none more conceivable than the fear that shocks through the ground that blackens under sloshing paws. And soon the beast is too close, and must be removed, the capital concern efforts, every supply is gathered to fight the beast, if beast you can call it. And this is the enemy. This is the thing to fear and fight, because it is something unholy and unearthly. A chimera of lies and hurt and wrong. An enemy anyone can fight.

“Whether you call someone a hero or a monster is relative to where the focus of your consciousness might be.”

There was some invaluable sentiment from a turkish general after the war of Gallipoli,  a slaughterhouse for the New Zealish who fought before none escaped to the home’s shore’s. A sentiment which we rarely consider, that the lives against ours we're still lives, they had connections and family and friends and live in societies with a local store and coffee shop. That the have a friend who laughs and one who is too sentimental. That there is a corner of a house with a small tree in the yard that they remember for a moment, for one reason that no one may ever know or will ever know for it cannot or will not ever be shared. And each enemy we take on is someone like us, and to fight we must forget, forget that they are something very like us. Not all of them, certainly not every time. Oh, yes there are many, the majority even, who wait hunched for a war that they will only ever fight in, a fight the romanticize and fantasize as it were a lucid and hungry nightmare. But there is somewhere is the skirts, someone as us. And so we must remember who and what not it and what, and listen to what the man told us after a battle that shook the roots of two nations.

“After they have lost their lives on our shore they became our sons.” -Ataturk

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