US has made death due to war routine, normalized in glorification of military

Bryan Eberly and Bryan Eberly

Let me tell you something about war.

War is death. Period.

Being at war is one of three states: causing death, waiting for death or dying.

I know this because I am a Marine combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallujah, Iraq, from September 2006 to March 2007.

I’ve seen war. Look up my record if you have to.

War is death. There is no roundabout way to avoid that, and it’s about time the citizens of this nation realized it.

Too many times in America’s recent history, people have ignored this. War has been altered into some glorious myth to be perpetuated by propaganda to be patriotic, heroic, nationalistic and somehow honorable.

Let me be clear: there is honor in war. Heroes are made during any time of crisis and this editorial is not intended to be any sort of outright lashing at the troops.

But war is not honorable.

The entire point of war is to make sure, at the end of the campaign, the other side has more casualties than your own side. It is atrocious and absurd to say killing people is honorable.

Here is the point I want to make: the next time you hear about politicians or media pundits hinting at the thought of any sort of military campaign, keep death in mind.

Specifically, when you hear the words “war,” “military maneuvers,” “boots on the ground,” etc., immediately think that someone is going to die.

Don’t let the euphemisms, double-speak or political jargon fool you. When someone official mentions utilizing the military, someone is going to die.

Or suffer horrid injury. Or suffer the sort of traumatic stress that will leave them a suicidal wreck with insomnia and sensitivity to loud noises for the rest of their lives.

There is always some sort of casualty.

And ask yourself whether or not it’s justified. Are the buzzwords of “liberty,” “freedom,” “security” or whatever other intangible abstract noun,

worth death?

Kick it up a notch and ask if it is worth your death. Or your children’s. Or your parents’.

Think about a friend or loved one dying far away from home – maybe look them in the face while doing so – and ask if it would be justified.

It is about time this country stops throwing around the thought of utilizing its military overseas as if it’s somehow routine.

That is what it has become to the people of this country. Routine. We have been at war for more than a decade now.

This is literally the longest period of warfare in America’s history. Just for the record, a few statistics.

According to the Washington Post, to date there have been 58,784 U.S. military casualties since conflicts started in 2001. The number of civilian casualties on either side is unmeasurable.

That is, there’s no way of knowing how many civilians have been killed or injured. The number is already that high.

And now to slide into my liberal hippie speak. How long is this going to continue? How long is warfare and death going to be seen as routine, justified or necessary?

Isn’t it seriously about time we actually band together and give peace a chance? Or, if not peace, at the very least, not war?

And if it happens that we have to keep fighting, can the media at least stop trying to glorify it? War is death. Period.