Americans don’t understand war

I am an American and I admit that I probably will never understand war until it comes to my doorstep. Most Americans have lived their lives with no wars or a war being fought across entire oceans on another continent. We rarely see the horror of wars unless we are personally fighting there. I am reminded of the problem this creates because it makes the decision to go to war so much less serious than it should be. I remind my reader here that the last war on North American soil was the Civil War. In the Civil War, the casualties were ten times the number of the deaths in World War II. Now the obvious answer is, of course this was the case, it was a contest between two factions of Americans, the Union and Confederates. This would escalate the death toll considerably. However, I also would argue that the proximity of the war is the key to what makes a populace war weary. The European continent has withstood two major World Wars and their countries have suffered for it. This was partially what ensured the American role as the sole superpower after the war. The Soviet Union had personally helped cripple the eastern front of the German war machine but had suffered mightily as a result. The socioeconomic ramifications of this are compounded by the actual threat of mass civilian casualties. How would the fighting have been different if American cities were under the same threat as the British cities? We came into the war late and managed to support the allies with war supplies for a long time. But Great Britain had been fighting the war for the entire span despite the odds. The Soviet Union would only join the war when they were invaded. Most Western powers would have been happy had Stalin and Hitler crippled each other. There is no such thing as a good war. I believe a person who wishes to send people to war, must have personally experienced war and be able to articulate that. We must all be more cautious.


2 thoughts on “Americans don’t understand war

  1. Thank you for your insightful post about understanding war.
    In discussion on diverse forums I often notice the eagerness of some Americans with all connected to war.

    I also have discussed with veterans mainly the Vietnam War but some of other wars
    In general they of know the realities of war and they don’t glorify war.

    An example:
    The custom to put “happy” before several days of remembrance.
    In the Netherlands you have May 4th and May 5th.
    May 4th is Remberance of the Dead (Dodenherdenking)
    Flags are halfmast, at 20.00 hour the country comes to a standstill for 2 minutes.
    There is a National Remberance in Amsterdam, HRH King Willem and his


    1. Sorry, something went wrong
      The King and Queen, Members of Parlement, Prime-Minister and the Cabinet etc.

      In the rest of the country in cities, villages, small communities at the same time people remember the death.

      The conviction is that Remberance comes before liberation.
      May 5th is Liberation Day, the day we celebrate our freedom and the realization how pressious our liberation, our freedom is and the cost in human live of civilians and military (allied)

      My parents were young adults as WWII begon, my father had scars in body and soul for the rest of his life. My mother had her own memories to deal with.

      After seven decades you will notice the scars of battles fought, bullet holes, allied war cemeteries, Dutch warcemetaries, Monuments throughout the country.


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