On the evil that is war

With the insipid time and resource wasting debate over the debt limit and entitlement cuts now in our ears, it is too easy to forget that the United States continues to fight and kill unarmed civilians around the Mediterranean and the South Asian subcontinent. There is no rational excuse for this killing and the irrational excuses have been made ridiculous by time and circumstances. War, of course, is always an evil, a peculiar evil as Rimbaud describes in his poem (1997, pp. 102-103) with that name:

While the red gobs of spit of the grape-shot whistle all day through the infinitude of blue sky; while scarlet or green, close by the King who jeers at them, whole battalions fall crumbling into the fire;

While a terrible madness grinds down and makes of a hundred thousand men a smoking heap; — Poor dead men! — O Nature! In summer, in the grass, in your joy, you who fashioned these men in holiness!…

— All this while, there is a God who smiles at the damask alter-cloths and incense, and at the great golden chalices; who dozes to the lullaby of Hosannas,

and who wakes up when mothers, drawn together in suffering, and weeping under their old black bonnets, give him the penny which they have tied up in their handkerchiefs!

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