War

Atran, 2009 in Brockman (ed), 2009

Page Number: 
236

“Farhin, in all those years, after you and the others came back from Afghanistan, how did you stay a part of the jilhad?” I asked.

I expected him to tell me about his religious fervor and devotion to a Great Cause.

"The [Indoncsianl Afghan Alumni never stopped playing soccer together," he replied matter-of—factly. "That's when we were closest together in the camp.” He smiled. “Except when we weiit On vacation to light the communists, we played soccer and remained brothers."

Fagan, 2008

Page Number: 
Lecture 17 (Legions of Rome) at 26:25

Describing Roman warfare with two opposing lines of troops facing each other in protracted (day long) battle that lasted until one side broke and ran. At other points in the lecture Fagan hypothesizes that one of the main uses of calvary was to chase down and kill fleeing enemy troops. Massacre of the losing troops seems a consistent feature of ancient battle line oriented warfare.

Hedges, Chris - 2002

Page Number: 
40

We are humiliated in combat. The lofty words that inspire people to war—duty, honor, glory—swiftly become repugnant and hollow. They are replaced by the hard, specific images of war, by the prosaic names of villages and roads. The abstract rhetoric of patriotism is obliterated, exposed as the empty handmaiden of myth. Fear brings us all back down to earth. Once in a conflict, we are moved from the abstract to the real, from the mythic to the sensory When this move takes place we have nothing to do with a world not at war. When we return home we view the society around us from the end of a very long tunnel. There they still believe.

Hedges, Chris - 2002

Page Number: 
39

The imagined heroism, the vision of a dash to rescue a wounded comrade, the clear lines we thought were drawn in battle, the images we have of our own reaction under gunfire, usually wilt in combat. This is a sober and unsettling realization. We may not be who we thought we would be. One of the most difficult realizations of war is how deeply we betray ourselves, how far we are from the image of gallantry and courage we desire, how instinctual and primordial fear is. We do not meditate on action. Our movements are usually motivated by a numbing and overpowering desire for safety. And yet there are heroes, those who somehow rise above it all, maybe only once, to expose themselves to risk to save their comrades. I have seen such soldiers.

Hedges, Chris - 2002

Page Number: 
38

The myth of war rarely endures for those who expericnce combat. War is messy, confusing, sullied by raw brutality and an elephantine fear that grabs us like a massive bouncer who comes up from behind. Soldiers in the moments before real battles weep, vomit, and write last letters home, although these are done more as a precaution than from belief. All are nearly paralyzed with fright. There is a morbid silence that grips a battlefield in the final moments before the shooting starts, one that sets the back of my own head pounding in pain, wipes away all appetite, and makes my fingers tremble as 1 ready myself to go forward against logic. You do not think of home or family, for to do so is to bc overcome by a wave of nostalgia and emotion that can impair your ability to survive.

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