Saturday, March 29, 2003

TIME WARP

Wonderful essay by SAM SMITH: I was 34 when the draft ended. In the preceding years my own views had shifted from those of a cold war liberal to those of an ambivalent apathetic and finally to those of a situational pacifist. But whatever my personal beliefs, I was deeply and constantly conscious of the inevitability of the military's involvement in, and power over, my life ... I have had this feeling in recent months, as though - totally unexpected and unprepared - I had been tossed back into a Jurassic ecology surrounded by violent creatures I believed gone except in memory and that my sons would only have to confront in books and on film. This is frightening, it is surprising, it is unpredictable. But history moves in both directions and America may well have run out of progress. Yet even in the barbaric awfulness cabled into our homes there is reason for hope - if the protests are truly what they seem: not merely a complaint about policy but the rising of a new definition of decency, calling not just for the end of a war but for an abolition of our deepest assumptions about the inevitability of war ..."

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