IF for nothing else — though definitely nothing at all civil, compassionate or humane — what war may actually be good for, besides the obvious proficiency to cause great devastation and an enormity of gratuitous suffering, is to act as an egregious game from which comes the most polarized appreciation and praise for ‘our side’ in the various bloody conflicts, indeed for those of the sordid moral sort raging for the bloody vengeance they left behind in the Mother Land.
It’s good for those who desire to watch video footage consisting of those ‘boys back home’ who’ll fight with firearm and fist until nothing remains but numerous bodies lying torn; and there’s but one purpose left for those bodily remains, for those living at a safe distance (perhaps already abroad in their new home country with their TV set before them) yet still irresistibly interested for but the ugliest motivations of personal partisanships, which is essentially to watch, listen or read the news all about the atrocities committed hopefully by ‘our side’ — no morally less than keeping the latest sordidly wretched score of the war …
Upon the daily, hourly or half hourly updates — even while the combatant parties linger in light sleep as the usual exchanges of rampant volleys of gunfire briefly subside during late night and early morning darkness — those who are truly concerned about those deathly scenes consume and regurgitate whatever morsels of news however repetitious.
The various first, second, third, etcetera, generation immigrants comfortably safe in the Western world watch their television news intently without uttering a word, as though with great appetite consuming their TV dinner’s course of meat … Until the news clip of interest to them cuts for commercial break or to offer other viewers news-story coverage of a mangled bus filled with lifeless broken children, or perhaps coverage of another un-civil conflict violently flaring elsewhere upon Spaceship Earth — all of which are of no score-interest to so many other unmentioned viewers who’ll turn the channel quickly for total lack of ethnic allegiance or racial relevance.
Until upon completion of their news-slots of interest, however bloody, when the couch comfortable score-keepers find it opportune to then discuss (if not rant on about) the warring sides and which one is considered by the viewers to be precisely what good or bad nature — to be deemed the very worst of the bad-guy lot by the news-media and therefore likely the general developed world; all before placing foremost in their minds for that day the current score with its indeterminate give-or-take-a-few-hundred (or thousands to date in the entire run-on inhuman conflict, for those interested but just tuning in) slaughtered or just instantly killed (blissfully, if very lucky) … And, of course, those of the by-far greatest number who are missing or fleeing en masse their homeland for refuge.■
[Frank G Sterle Jr]