War should never be debated in the abstract; it's only at our own peril when we reduce it to mindless entertainment. We must always remember how hideous the face of war can be, and how pitiless it is to those caught in its path of destruction.
As two hellish, costly and needless wars struggle toward collapse, this is the time -- now, right this minute, before the next false alarm goes off -- for us to look honestly at the cost and quality of national security based on militarism.
We must address the elephant in the room. Black males have a history in the U.S. of being labeled threatening and suspicious even when they have broken no laws. The legal assumption of innocent until proven guilty rarely applies.
A new way of thinking about the inner wounds of soldiers and vets is emerging. In war, some -- perhaps most, perhaps all -- participants suffer from moral injury, a transgression of deep belief in how to treat others.
I pushed my finger against the trigger. The bullet leapt out. I shot. The grenade dropped. I fired again as the grenade blew up. It was the first time I'd killed anyone while I was on the sniper rifle.
The small percentage of Americans who have borne the brunt of the human costs of our Afghan war, the utter corruption of the government we are supporting, and the toll in civilian casualties all make the continuing of this war immoral.