The Many Faces of War is a well-researched, creative, historical, mythological and academic look at war, in the cold and often harsh light of trauma, damaged brains, mythology and a very broad sweep of literature. It cast a light on the shadows lurking in dark, hidden and often unspoken corners of our minds, souls, our faces and the timeless and historical territory of the battlefield.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Tom note: Here is the fifth entry in our 10 Long March posts for 2018, the 6th most-read item of the year, which originally ran on April 1, 2018. These posts are selected based on what’s called ‘total engaged minutes’ (the total number of time spent reading and commenting on an article) rather than page views, which the T&P; editors see as a better reflection of Long March reader interest and community. Thanks to all of you for reading, and for commenting–which is an important part of this column.
When looking at interstate wars, conflict between groups may actually be more about internal group dynamics than about the actions of the other side. Thus, much as groups will fight back when threatened by others, if war is motived by a threat to individuals’ sense of belonging to a cohesive group, then they will fight to reestablish their own group’s cohesion. The same goes for leaders seeking to reinforce their internal status in their groups. If the group problems are not being adequately solved in a particular group, then war is about re-establishing coherence, or ‘order’, around the solutions—re-establishing the group’s internal cognitive clarity. In this argument, the enemy is, in fact, tangential to the motivating force of the war. I would like to highlight two current trends that further illustrate this argument.
Editor’s note: The Long March will be closed for inventory the month of August. We regret any inconvenience this causes our loyal customers. In an effort to keep you reasonably content and focussed, we are offering re-runs of some of the best columns of the year. We value your custom and hope you will stick around for . . . the Long March.
My earliest television memory other than my Saturday morning cartoon ritual was watching Operation Desert Storm occur live. And since it was the first American war to have 24-hour news coverage — and since, like many families, we only had one TV — it was the only thing I saw.