Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Earhart the Pacifist and Afghanistan in the now

Amelia worked as a nurse in Toronto after the First World War. She got to see the aftermath firsthand. “I realized what world war meant, instead of new uniforms and brass bands I saw only the results of a four years’ desperate struggle; men without arms and legs, men who were paralyzed and men who were blind.” She became an ardent pacifist, yet she was also a strong supporter of a woman’s right to serve. She had the idea that in leveling the playing field, she would be able to do away with war completely. That was naïve, she was wrong in “feeling men would rather vacate the arena of war altogether than share it with women.” War seems to be a constant human condition.

Today the president has announced a plan to add thirty plus thousand troops to bolster our presence in Afghanistan. I can see no good outcome here. Am I surprised? No. Am I saddened? Yes. Do I think this will lead to an end in our imperial purpose? Likely. We will spend money and lose good men and women and in the end gain nothing for it. That’s what war is; loss. Some wars are necessary, but this one clearly isn’t. It’s a mess and a muddle. Do I know what Amelia would have felt about it? I think so. She would have opposed this so called “surge.” She would have spoken out against it. She would have done now, what she did then, and listened to her conscience.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not that pacifist that you are, but I think this is a TERRIFIC post