War And Pain: Nothing New Under The Sun

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Gaither Stewart, 18 April, 2008.

The world goes round and round and human beings say and do the same things again and again, so that it seems there is truly nothing new under the sun. The perplexing unchangingness of man’s behavior and the ways of the world have again led me back to the ancient Greeks. And what do I find there? I find the same warmongers and pacifists of today, identical war parties and peace parties, arms industries and anti-war writers, the generals who predictably “just love war,” and, as one might expect, the same identical massacre of women and children as everyday in Iraq, now conveniently called “collateral damages.” We are used to that military euphemism dating from the Vietnam War. We nearly skip over those terrible words.

Someday collateral damage might be called by its real name: Crime against humanity. …

… Eighth element: patriotism. This is the difficult obstacle for modern Americans. We have seen the difficulty of being pro-Iraqi. However, the Athenian Euripides resolved the problem in this way: he was less against his Athens than opposed to all war makers. The purpose of his Trojan Women was apparently an attempt to shock and shake people to their senses as their leaders continued on their warlike path of conquest and the spread of their empire with the sword. The same dilemma goes for America today: in my mind opposition to the Iraqi war, rejection of Washington’s Cold War-terrorist bugaboo, convictions of a Washington-organized Twin Towers tragedy, are not unpatriotic principles. On the contrary.

Who in his right senses is not in accord with Euripides who screamed across Athenian stages 2500 years ago the same word pacifists cry today: Enough! (full text).

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