"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

With honor

I think it's been a week now since I started working on a draft posting about "The Generals' War", my latest history read, and since I can't seem to finish and no one will read it anyway, I give up. It was a good book about Desert Storm that revealed many things about the war I didn't remember or intuit when I was a kid. I'm now working on the last Assassin novel, Heart of the Assassin (Robert Ferrigno), volume one of Tolkien's collected writings on Middle Earth, and debating whether to stay modern for my next history book or jump back and crack open some Livy. Recommendations are welcome.

So instead of boring you with strategery, I'd point you instead to this brief obituary
(
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/29/AR200908290
2014.html
) about Marine Captain Matthew Freeman, who was buried the same day Ted Kennedy died and the week America learned Wacko Jacko might have been 'murdered' with painkillers. He was killed in a firefight in Afghanistan, six weeks after marrying his high school sweetheart. With the headlines dominated by men of part-time integrity, Freeman died whole, his honor clean. Would that Americans like him got the same headlines as pop stars and politicians.

1 comment:

The Accidental Blogger said...

I just finished David Sanger's 'The Inheritance'-strongly recommend it. Currently I'm working on John Kenneth Galbraith's 'The Great Crash 1929' and 'Civilian Surge: Complex Operations', which has been tough going.