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War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning

Chris Hedges has been a war reporter for the past 15 years and during the most recent time for The New York Times where he was a part of team which won Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for a report on global terrorism. Chris Hedges also won AI’s 2002 Global Award for Human Rights Journalism which characterizes him as a talented journalist. The article which won this award was adapted from War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning and we can regard this work of Chris Hedges as an outstanding description of war’s role in the life of mankind.

In this work, Chris Hedges develops the idea about the war being not only a horror in the life of a nation but also a kind of drug, an addictive which makes people want it even though they know it will bring lots of deaths and destruction. Chris Hedges devotes lots of attention to analyzing a war as a myth which people believe in only because they haven’t really seen the terrors of war. The authors emphasizes that it’s impossible for anybody to find out all the truth about war from the mass media because most journalists don’t even come close to fighting: “Most reporters sent to cover a war don’t really want to go near the fighting.

They do not tell this to their editors and indeed will moan and complain about restrictions. The handful who actually head out into the field have a bitter enmity with the hotel room warriors. But even those who do go out are guilty of distortion- maybe more so. For they not only believe the myth, feed off of the drug, but also embrace the cause… But they believe. We all believe. When you stop believing you stop going to war. ” If the myth goes away and you see the reality, you realize that war brings only sufferings.

Chris Hedges gives an example of one Muslim soldier who had a daughter and who went fighting on the front lines around Sarajevo. It happened so that he killed a 12-year old girl by chance and when he saw her dead, he could never fight anymore because she reminded him about his own daughter. Once a person realizes what real destruction he can bring and what pain he can cause, all the myth about war vanishes into thin air and the person never wants to do that again.

Chris Hedges also speaks about war as a crusade which good people organize against all the evil in the world, like the United States declares war against terrorism: “We go forward,” President George W. Bush assures us, “to defend freedom and all that is good and just in the world. ” Crusades were also taken in middle ages to protect Christianity. However, it’s impossible to use murders and destructions as means of fighting with evil.

God teaches us to answer with kindness for everything and doing evil can only bring more evil to the nation. According to the page 106 of “War Is The Force That Gives US Meaning”, in wartime nearly everyone becomes an accomplice. That means that people cannot choose whether to take or not to take part in the war and the war finally leads to lots of losses for them, needs to leave their home and thus huge dislocations and in lots of cases, those who lose homes and property are compensated with the property of those that were forced out.

As the result of those measurements, as Hannah Arendt pointed out, a population of stateless individuals, refugees with in their own countries, who to survive must share in the loot of war. It takes a very long time for people to get adjusted to the new conditions and there is nothing what they can do about that. As an example of the controversial war we can regard Iraqi war about which major discussions are being conducted. It has been a year after the war in Iraq, and it has shown that discontent with America and its policies has intensified rather than diminished.

The reality has emphasized that perceptions of American unilateralism and the war in Iraq has undermined America’s credibility abroad. In the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed, anger toward the United States remains strong and they don’t support the actions of the United States, they suffer because lots of people lost their homes and their relatives and have experienced horrors of war. Despite the fact that many people died in the Iraqi war, 60% of Americans continue to back the war and find it a necessary means of war with terrorism.

At the same time, in Germany, France and Russia most of the people still believe their countries made the right decision in not taking part in the war. There is broad agreement in almost all of the countries surveyed that the war in Iraq hurt and not helped, the war on terrorism and there was no sense in conducting it. Americans have a far different view of the war’s impact and think the war helped in the fight against terrorism, illustrated the power of the U. S. military, and revealed America to be trustworthy and supportive of democracy around the world. Victims in Iraq were innocent victims but they can also be regarded as Saddam’s victims before the American soldier liberated them. However, these notions are not shared elsewhere.

Publics in the surveyed countries other than the United States express considerable skepticism of America’s motives in its global struggle against terrorism because they tend to believe the U. S. is conducting the war on terrorism in order to control Mideast oil and dominate the world.

People in Muslim nations who doubt the sincerity of American anti-terror efforts see a range of hidden motives, like helping Israel and targeting unfriendly Muslim governments and groups. No matter how controversial the real meanings of the Iraqi war are, the fact that it started already shows that this war does have a meaning for the American nation. Despite the fact that many people, including American soldiers, got killed in Iraq, and the life of others will be ruined, there are still many people who support Iraqi war and believe that they had to fight at any cost.

As far as the investigations have shown, war is a very controversial phenomenon is the world. People suffer because of it when their beloved get killed but at the same time they get attracted to war like to a magnet because it gives a meaning to their lives. However, in my opinion, the only real meaning in life which people should have is a desire for goodness.

Bibliography. 1. Chris Hedges. War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning.

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