War is the devil's sacrament. It promises to bind us not with God but with the nation state. It grants not life but death. It provides not liberty but slavery. It lives not on truth but on lies, and these lies are themselves said to be worthy of defense. It exalts evil and puts down the good. It is promiscuous in encouraging an orgy of sin, not self-restraint and thought. It is irrational and bloody and vicious and appalling. And it claims to be the highest achievement of man.
It is worse than mass insanity. It is mass wallowing in evil.
And then it is over. People oddly forget what took place. The rose wilts and the thorns grow but people go on with their lives. War no longer inspires. War news becomes uninteresting. All those arguments with friends and family – what were they about anyway? All that killing and expense and death – let's just avert our eyes from it all. Maybe in a few years, once the war is out of the news forever and the country we smashed recovers some modicum of civilization, we can revisit the event and proclaim it glorious. But for now, let's just say it never happened.
Of course, being a country that fights wars exclusively overseas, Americans have the luxury of being able to forget. People who've fought at home, or close to it, have to live with the consequences of war every day. They can't forget, even if they want to. The only people who call war glorious are those who profited from it - or whose lives have been so shattered, they would have no meaning unless the war was good, just, and necessary. And this is what breeds new war, time and again.