Review of the book “war is a force that gives us meaning” by Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges was a New York Times reporter. He took that role for 15 years. He had a history where he had been imprisoned is Sudan, was also expelled out of Libya, went through abuse in Central America and was shot in Kosovo. In his life he asserts that he has seen so much evil which sometimes haunts him. The author has uncovered all what he witnessed as a foreign correspondent. He has done this in a book that is written in a very thoughtful way that would assist everyone in reflecting on the issue of war.
The book “war is a force that gives us meaning” gives the accounts of war that Hedges witnessed. The information in this book is more useful and significant to than the information that the media usually gives to the people regarding war.
The best thing about the book is that it gives information in a way that one is made to reflect so much about war. He expresses his views in a way that it makes the leader to have real first hand information regarding the atrocities of war. When he is refers to the gulf war takes on the
issue on the press complaining that it was being used. He says that it is not that the press was being used but it was the media that had made the choice of to be used they way it was happening. He expresses the way the reporters who are sent to cover war usually do not like engaging close to the war but stays far a way from the battle ground. They end up giving reports that are not helpful.
Reading the books brings back ideologies of Freud in his explanation of the human history where he states that that the history can be seen as a tug of war between the Eros and Thanatos i.e. the urge which human beings usually have in loving, preserving and to do destruction. Hedges in this book states the two are always related too each other always. He gives an example of how people claw in between the onlookers to go to their member of the family who may be injured by a suicide bomb. There is a show of love which radiates like death in an outward way. The two impulses usually crash which each other. According to Hedges its only love which is capable of bringing joy and happiness and brings meaning in our lives. This is that paradox which Hedges relates to the title of his book. He states that when the narcotic of war blind us that is the time we start believing in nobility and the heroic sacrifice that is usually demanded by war. War makes people to discover that they need to struggle like a community. This makes the void in our spirit to be filled. This is one of the characteristics that war shares with love.
The information in the book is so powerful not just because the author had witnessed all the atrocities of the war but because he goes to the extent of self examining which makes him come to a conclusion which to him is certain. He states that love has a covenant that is capable of recognizing the sanctity and the fragility that an individual has. According to Hedges this is the only way that we can be saved. In the book his main intention is not do discourage us about war but he concentrates of giving us good definition of war so that those of us who like starting wars allover the world can be in a position to see that fruit of creation that is in us.
He states that his information intends too make people repent for the atrocities they have caused to each other. He encourages people not to stand and watch people killing each other in wars. He advices that we should find a way that we should stop the war in a way that we shall not feel guilty of our reaction. According to hedges that use of force to stop war is an immoral act.
When one compares what the book states and current society one is in a position to see a relationship. Our society has a tendency to stop war using force. It has happened in many countries where force is employed to bring peace. According to the book this is immoral and I also agree because most of the times when force is used to stop war there is great enemity that is usually created among the people. The use of force most of the times is just temporary way of bringing peace. Using force is just like revenge which will make a person feel guilty for his actions.
Looking at the perspective of love if we would really love each other than we are not supposed to engage in war or use force in solving our societal differences as this would just only bring negative change in out society.
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