War Is an Injustice Perpetrated Against Our Troops

Anti-war journalist and long-time Middle East bureau chief for the New York Times, Chris Hedges argues that war is necessarily a betrayal of one group by another governed by a patriotic script. 

What's the Latest Development?


Anti-war journalist and long-time Middle East bureau chief for the New York Times, Chris Hedges exposes the difference between the reality of war and how it is conveyed to American civilians half-a-world away. Hedges argues that a patriotic script blinds us to the realities of armed conflict, which is necessarily a betrayal of one group by another, and encourages the token support of our troops, such as barbecues and yellow ribbons. The reality, he says, is that our troops do not engage in the high-minded political discussion that occur in living rooms and government offices, nor do they appreciate yellow ribbons on automobile bumpers. 

What's the Big Idea?

Hedges, a prep school graduate, says the military never approached him or his colleagues, but that impoverished central Maine was something of a hunting ground for military recruiters. According to Hedges' anecdotal accounts, recruiters were given information on students' class schedules and pitched the armed forces by telling recruits they could 'blow shit up' and get cheap prostitutes in countries like the Philippines. He concludes: "War, for all its horror, has the power to strip away the trivial and the banal, the empty chatter and foolish obsessions that fill our days. It might let us see, although the cost is tremendous."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Big Think
Sponsored by Lumina Foundation

Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!

As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.

Keep reading Show less
Videos
  • What distinguishes humans is social learning — and teaching.
  • Crucial to learning and teaching is the value of free expression.
  • And we need political leaders who support environments of social peace and cooperation.


A bionic lens undergoing clinical trials could soon give you superhuman abilities

We're talking Ghost in the Shell type of stuff. 

popular

Maybe you watched Ghost in the Shell and maybe afterwards you and your friend had a conversation about whether or not you would opt in for some bionic upgrades if that was possible - like a liver that could let you drink unlimitedly or an eye that could give you superhuman vision. And maybe you had differing opinions but you concluded that it's irrelevant because the time to make such choices is far in the future. Well, it turns out, it's two years away.

Keep reading Show less

The philosophy of tragedy & the tragedy of philosophy - with Simon Critchley

Tragedy in art, from Ancient Greece to Breaking Bad, resists all our efforts to tie reality up in a neat bow, to draw some edifying lesson from it. Instead it confronts us with our own limitations, leaving us scrabbling in the rubble of certainty to figure out what's next.

Think Again Podcasts
  • Why democracy has been unpopular with philosophers
  • Tragedy's reminder that the past isn't finished with us
  • …and why we need art in the first place
Keep reading Show less