Movies, said film critic Roger Ebert, are like an "empathy machine." Their mission: to help us understand a bit more about others' hopes, their fears, their dreams. Movies allow us to walk in others' shoes. They help us "identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us."
The last thing the U.S. should be doing is sending more DU to the Middle East. It is long past time for the Obama administration to acknowledge that the U.S. has a legal and moral obligation to make reparations to Iraqis and U.S. servicemembers and veterans for the toxic legacy of the Iraq War.
We're bombing Iraqis again, and Syrians. These new campaigns will slaughter more civilians (a large percentage of them children) and further radicalize the opposition. It will also spread more toxins, poisoning land, air and water. We can pursue war or we can pursue healing. We can't pursue both.
The unforgivable sin of the Post's pro-war blather about our vital interests -- democratic values be damned -- is the utter dismissal of the harm we inflicted on Fallujah, Ramadi and all of Iraq in pursuit of them, and the smug acknowledgement only of American loss and "sacrifice."
When "non-Westerners" make use of weapons of mass destruction, there is outrage and calls for military intervention from "the West," but when "Westerners" themselves use them, it is totally permissible, and the world can hardly react.
Acknowledging the tenth anniversary of the Iraq invasion seems at once crucial and meaningless. The Iraq war is "over" but in fact it has just moved elsewhere. How do we get the poison out of our system? As long as it's present, we'll go to war again.
Might it be that war isn't something we wage, so much as a force that wages us? And if that's the case, it doesn't particularly matter whether we win or lose because it's not in our control anyway, at least not in the way we think it is.
The failure of the Iraq war is the failure of all wars, past and future: national policy grounded in the dehumanization of a people. Iraq Syndrome may be our best hope in thwarting the power of the war consensus.
The most serious crime implicit in the planning, waging and reporting of war -- especially the "just war" -- is the selective focus on consequences: We limit our curiosity to the success or failure of our strategic goals.