Life During Wartime

This year, which has been a long one, is finally drawing to a close. Now, it is by no means over. But it is approaching its welcome end. And, granted, many wonderful things have come out of this school year, yes. But there have been so many issues looming over us on both the local and global level that the positives are somewhat overshadowed. Several crimes on campus have been particularly outstanding, dabbling in the realm of the potentially racist and the overtly sexist. Yet the global problems have overwhelmed even the largest of those on campus, for before our very eyes, the world is exploding. Literally and figuratively. The most recent turn of events in Iraq is that the regime of Saddam Hussein is no more, fallen from former dictatorial glory. Naturally, there are a variety of views as to this latest U.S. ‘victory.’ Some reflect people who fully support the American intervention in Iraq. These views spotlight people who are genuinely pleased that America has taken out such an inarguably violent and dangerous man. Some people, though, consider the whole of America’s actions in Iraq to be imperialistic and totally self-serving. These folks cannot help but at least shudder in disgust at the damage our country is causing. However, whatever label the entire Iraqi conflict receives is completely subjective. A matter of opinion. All perceptions are relative. But there is one concrete statement in the grand sweep of it all. Regardless of people’s opinions of war, a timelessly tragic entity that is never a product of healthy, settled emotion, the ladies and gentlemen behind those opinions are not bad people. They themselves think as and insist upon what they do during wartime because they truly feel that their judgments are the best for the given situation. No one is simply trying to be a hassle. War just happens to bring out and stir up in people exceptionally strong sentiment. Now, that sentiment can sometimes cause the kindest and gentlest of people to act and speak out in ways that are uncharacteristic and normally exclusive from their nature. But let us bear in mind that these unnatural comments and actions are merely products of the most heated and terrible and atrocious of all disagreement: war. Anything so massive that it can bring about fatalities to nearly everyone who fights in its name is bound to drive people to a slightly elevated degree of madness. People are not blind; they are not heartless; they are not separate from the rest of their fellow humans. So if you are angered by the opinions and stances of some of your peers, some of your contemporaries, remember this-whether or not they share your opinions, these people, too, act out of their pure feelings. They, too, cry out in the name of what they honestly feel is the best interest of the current state of affairs and all of its victims.