|LITTLE TOKYO, FIRST AND CENTRAL,|
The other morning at Mass we prayed "that we may have not a single more day of war."
I am so on board with that.
To that end, here's some material I've been pondering:
1) A documentary called White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki:
2) A piece by Jill Lepore in the January 28, 2013 issue of The New Yorker:"The Force: How Much Military is Enough?" A single sentence should give us pause: "The United States spends more on defense than all the other nations of the world combined." [italics mine]
3) A new book: Kill Anything that Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, by Nick Turse. Here's an NPR synopsis, a review by Jonathan Schelland a youtube:
4) An interview in The Sun with Vietnam veteran turned war resistor S. Brian Willson, who lost both legs when a train ran over him as he was protesting munitions shipments. The piece (you have to actually buy the magazine to read it) is called Praying the Price for Peace: The Story of S. Brian Willson.
Here's an excerpt from the interview, by Greg King:
King: In Vietnam you accompanied a South Vietnamese lieutenant into a village that had been napalmed just an hour before. Burned and blown-up bodies of women and chidren lay scattered about. But when you broke down, the lieutenant couldn't figure out what your problem was. How was his reaction humanly possible?
Willson: I think we're all capable of being in denial of our humanity. And we're all capable of participating in evil.
When I looked into the eyes of a dead woman I saw there, what I experienced wasn't a thought, it was an overwhelming sensation that hit my body. The lieutenant asked me what was wrong, and my brain and nervous system struggled to come up with words. "She's my sister," I finally said. It was just an interpretation of what I felt. It's like when a father goes home and sees his child and just wants to hug her. It's a response that comes out of your whole being. It's love. It has nothing to do with thought.