Safe war? This dream has fallen to pieces like a house of cards

Once, I had an occasion to write a letter to US National Public Radio (NPR) editors. The letter was very short and I have a copy of it; I at once remembered about it while reading the article of Ivanovo student N.Makarova Human Bombs: Weapon of 21st Century. Here is my letter:

August 6, 1997 Dear All Things Considered, I very much appreciate your July, 31 program on the Mid-East suicide bombers. Like anyone else, I am amazed by the men who, as a matter of military action, reduce to dust a throng of civilians and cheerfully pay for that with their young lives. But I cannot avoid comparing them with those who, sitting in the cockpit of a Mirage, Phantom, or F-16, -- or a B-29, to that matter, -- enjoying relative safety and encouragement of the "world community", do precisely the same, only in much greater numbers. Sincerely, --

Civilians have suffered and died in wars of all times and nations; though here we should pay attention to that one who goes to a battle with a weapon. However dark the figures of Attila, Batyi, Timur, Hitler, and others, similar to them, could be, we understand that under their command there were armies of brave soldiers. The history kept many great examples of military valour, contempt for death and self-sacrifice for the common cause, however that cause not always was the right cause… War has its own logic, and in this logic, such qualities like fear of his own life, not long ago was the subject of contempt.

Yes, not long ago… Within recent five years, security of the “world community” agents while executing their police (or bandit) functions turned from a side factor into a decisive one. American nation, even with all honour to it, cannot be called “peaceful.” At least, it is enough to remember the history of mastering the American continent and a series of wars of the second half of 20th century. Though, who could call this nation apprehensive? Today, its resoluteness to carry the war “without ceremony” could be defined with a well-known formula of meanness: “I will do what I want if it causes no troubles to me.”

I remember that in the time of attacks against Serbia in April-May 1999, in anti-war demonstrations in Boston, Serbs, Greeks, Russians and other “national minorities” exchanged their opinions, while noticing that even three or four brought down US aircraft could radically turn the situation; from clear reasons, we do not attract our American friends to that discussions. And how surprised and even pleased I was (if this word could be used for this sad subject), when an elderly American, Vietnam veteran said to me pointing to the posters with Clinton and Madelene Albright: “This is a band of murderers. Though, an apprehensive band. As bags with dead bodies will be transported from Serbia, they will immediately report about successful finishing the military task and launch ceremonies in honour of the victory. In TV it looks much better.” Though, God decided this in another way…

The culture of cowardice has not appeared from nothing. It has grown from everyday fear which certainly appears among replete and satisfied people who are afraid of losing the source of incomes, of becoming ill, of teeth ache, and poisonous mushrooms and berries, of cold and heat, and direct solar rays. Last points sound like a satire, though everybody who knows today’s America at once recognizes it in these signs. The cowardice has crept over not only the Armed Forces. Everybody remembers the date of April 20, 1999 (Alolf Hitler’s birthday), when in Denver, State Colorado, two satanist schoolboys shot from a short distance 15 people. Nobody speaks about it now, though most of the victims could have been rescued, if the police had not marked time, while the young Hitler adorers were shooting till their last shell. The police unit should have rushed into the building. Though, it did not. Of course, the police officer acted according to the instructions, though this only one more time witnesses that the spirit of cowardice has penetrated to the letter of job descriptions. So, today, “world community” seems to have achieved its aim, and the safe war has become a reality. Thanks to achievements in military equipment and in diplomacy, bags with dead bodies became the past. “Our brave boys” (and girls, too, while this is a subject of another discussion) stay in safe bunkers, go over seas by great aircraft-carriers and fly by supersonic aircraft. And if there is a necessity to attack trenches, be blown up and be burned in tanks – for these aims, there soldiers of the third world. The war, finally, has become a planned, effective, and painless action, a kind of business trip to the neighbouring state.

Though, a new player appeared in the arena, and the New World Order’s military doctrine at once cracked. Courage and readiness to death, written off as not wanted, turned out to belong to the enemy. So quantity literally turned into quality. Almost within several recent years, a new weapon appeared, newer seen before, which now successfully competes with effectiveness and scopes of aircraft and missiles.

The dreams about the safe war with “underdeveloped nations” has fallen into pieces like a house of cards. Moreover, staying on these ruins, today’s average citizen for the first time felt a real menace of a violent death in a shop, in a restaurant, in a sky-scraper, and at home, in a sleepy suburb. So, in this the queen of the sciences of the 20th century – the science to kill – resulted. Is this result unexpected? Not quite. ”The measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given to you".

Hierodeacon Makary Ivanovo Svyato-Vvedensky Monastery

Translated by Vera Solovieva

&to=' target=_blank>HUMAN BOMBS: WEAPON OF 21ST CENTURY

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