If soldiers make it home, the war comes with them. Every day, about 18 of them implode in suicide.
A recent episode of PBS’s American Experience explored how the massive number of deaths in the Civil War sent the nation into shock. The catastrophe—750,000 dead—was equivalent to the U.S. suffering 7 million deaths today. Besides evoking this ghastly experience, Ric Burns’s film Death and the Civil War (reviewed here in the New York Times), which is based on Drew Gilpin’s book The Republic of Suffering, offers a fascinating perspective on current political debates over the size and scope of the federal government.
On Easter Sunday, Jake Tapper interviewed Rick Warren on ABC’s This Week, asking the influential pastor a series of questions on faith and politics. Of particular interest were his comments on soldiers and war (which did not make it into the aired segment but are available here). At the end of the interview, Warren exclaimed, “God hates war, but loves every soldier.” As a combat veteran, I was impressed by and grateful for Warren’s statement. The Bible makes clear that war is at best a necessary evil--the idea at the core of the just war tradition. And yes: God loves each and every soldier. But I want to look more closely at the latter thought, especially in light of the suicide epidemic that currently afflicts our nation’s veterans and soldiers.
Christians would be outraged if they learned of Muslims burning the Bible. Muslims have an even greater reverence for their holy book.
The Pentagon: Women can serve in more, though still not all, critical combat roles than before. Rick Santorum: "I do have concerns about women in front line combat. I think that could be a very compromising situation where - where people naturally, you know, may do things that may not be in the interests of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved." John Potter: "I can't be the only one who thought of" 30 Rock.
In 2008, President Obama accused his predecessor of taking his eye off the ball—the fight in Afghanistan. But the case for a military presence in Afghanistan was already waning.