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Lesson Plans

conversation on war-long post delete if not interested

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
San D Hasselman (kprs)
Sun, 18 Apr 1999 12:17:44 -0400

First let me qualify that I, too, hate war. I married a conscientious
objector from the Vietnam conflict, and am the daughter of a command
sergeant major career army. That said I think we must talk about how
conflicts are not simply black and white, but usually are a festering
boil from years and years of complicated history. Humans being what they
are, they will always hate, kill, maime and rape. It is the side of us
that I don't understand, condone, or even want to acknowledge, but I
know it exists. (that is precisely why I don't go to violent
films---it's not entertainment to me, it's reality).

So when I speak to my students in highschool, I like to ask this
inherent question:

During our civil war (where 620,000 people died with the complicated
issues from state's rights to freedom for African Americans being
fought for) how would we (the US) have felt if England came over, picked
a side (south or north..for discussion purposes it doesn't matter), and
mustered force against the other side in order to, in effect, change the

In this age of instant images, propoganda on both sides is at fever
pitch. We would all like to think that if we actually saw what Hitler
was doing to displace the Jewish population and eventually eliminate
them, we would stand up and collectively say "no"...but would we? There
is no easy answer to the present conflict in Yugoslavia....but one thing
I do know for sure, that when you play chess, you don't announce your
moves to your adversary in advance. And our present policy of 'clean'
bombing and trying to avoid casualties in the populace is laughable to
anyone who is a military strategist. In the long run, if we don't go in
and stop playing war and actually strategically do it right, we will
probably kill more people, be stuck in a quagmyre like Vietnam, and just
prolong everyone's suffering.

If I were asked how I would have handled the situation, I would say this
started on Bush's watch, and at that point all eyes should have been on
this area and Moloschovic....that would have been when we should have
turned up the negotiation heat. Now he is building up his troops while
we sit around and debate. NATO is in now, there is no turning back.

San D