Amplifying Feelings of Terror (1990)


Amplifying Feelings of Terror (1990)

On the Today Show this morning a soldier teleconferenced from the Middle East with his family in the U.S..

The two young children sat highly polished and prompted upon the lap of their very nervous mother.

The soldier, ill at ease and stiff, attempted to convey his loneliness and caring for them with dignity. Of course dignity won at the expense of true intimacy. The “I love you’s” and “I miss you’s” uncomfortably resembled a crude and trivial computerized audio-visual simulation of human emotion. I felt very sorry for them all.

The pragmatics of the Middle East crisis have dictated human suffering. This is not new. Humans have suffered in such traps forever. But in America, before Vietnam, they suffered without the media amplification of anguish and self-doubt throughout their homeland. Perhaps some would argue that this will end war. I will argue that it will only lose wars.

Some of the media’s lame and maudlin leading questions were as follows:

To the Soldier: “Do you miss your wife and children?”

To the Mother: “How did it feel to lose you husband and father that suddenly?  It must be very hard to be alone with these young children.”

To the Children: “Is it hard to lose your daddy like this?”

All of this was followed by reports of increased depression, poor school performance, nightmares, suicide, etc., among the family members of soldiers who have been sent to the Middle East.

These consequences of war are eternal and they should not be denied. To compassionately give special provisions for the support and welfare of families so separated is an excellent practical idea and also a moral and ethical one.

However, while our Nation sends 400,000 of it’s warriors, half a world away to confront an insane and rabidly lethal force, it assiduously lays the groundwork for it’s own psychological and physical defeat.

I do not wish for war. But once war is eminent, or engaged, there comes a point of no return: a time when individuals and societies must choose to win or lose in mortal conflict.

Our choices and actions in WWII led to the survival of our way of life. Our choices not to win in the Korean conflict and the Vietnam war have weakened us: and now the Persian Gulf Crisis.

To perseverate upon the deprivations, dread, and pain of war, and to amplify them through the mass media, self-defeatingly makes whimpering cowards of ourselves. To do this is to flee in terror from the grace of the forces of natural selection of individuals, species, and societies which once blessed America so richly.

V. Thomas Mawhinney,  11/26/90

P.S. 1. My concerns have not changed to this day, as our troops are fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan. They may also soon be fighting in Iran and other places around the world (VTM, 9/30/09).

P.S. 2. Now our military is fighting around the world. Russia, China, North Korea are moving against the free world that is rapidly growing less free. Iran and the Islamic Terrorists are immigrating and attacking in nations around the world. America is in a steep cultural decline (socially, spiritually, and politically). So far, my sad and fearsome predictions are becoming real. We are now in a world war and most of our citizens do not recognize it (VTM, 2/28/18).

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