Adam Hochschild: What Will It Take To End Our Destructive, Pointless Wars?

If you can still obtain the World War I Classic: "Joyeux Noel" I urge you to buy it, and make your children and grandchildren sit in front of this classic movie and observe the consequences of destructive wars to our "enlightened humanity". My grandfather served in our German Army on the Western Front, and every time he was reminded of the horrors of that war, even that very strong man cried incessantly: Even more than my experiences in Vietnam, where I had the misfortune to order our mortars in Trung Lap to fire on enemy soldiers near our base, the First World War was a triumph of absolute butchery, ultimately leading to the government of Adolf Hitler, himself a victim of Allied Mustard Gas attacks. What if, from the very beginning, everyone killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars had been buried in a single large cemetery easily to the American public? Would it have brought the fighting to a halt more quickly if we could have seen the hundreds and thousands of tombstones, military and civilian, spreading hill after hill, field after field, across the entire landscape? I found myself thinking about this recently, while visiting the narrow strip of of northern France and Belgium that has the densest concentration of young men's graves in the world. This was the old Western Front of the "First World War", but today it is the final resting place of several million soldiers, all of those who died during the prime of their life!

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