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Pick of the Day: Keeping the war in view


It can be hard writing about war when no one gives a damn. That might be a bit strong, but after eight years, it can seem as if every war story has been done, covered to death. Two wars have strained our military, but also journalists’ ability to tell original stories. War is hell, we get it, and full of terrible acronyms—PTSD, IED, TBI—we’d prefer never entered the lexicon. Editors have gone numb. Readers turn the page. Hollywood flees at the sight of an Iraq War script. "The Hurt Locker" may have cleaned up at the Oscars, but it was a far different story at the box office.

Still, it’s an important story. Perhaps the story. And if journalists don’t cover them, a pair of wars that are already in our blind spot will fall even deeper into oblivion. Fighting war out of public view is a dangerous prospect. So journalists have to be smart, creative and original; we have to tell stories that grab people’s attention and make them look even when they don’t want to. So look at these pictures in the New York Times and read these words. Not because you have to, but because they are moving and artful, sad and real—and, perhaps, above all, original. Join in on the “terrible secret.”

By Christian Davenport  | March 24, 2010; 8:13 AM ET
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Fighting a war is a means to an end. The objective is victory and the resulting change of forces. That is why it is so insulting to claim to be against "endless war." The choice is not to quit now of fight forever. It is to win or lose.

Wars are not pretty and perhaps should always be the last choice. But there are worst things than fighting a war.

Many opposed the war with Germany before Germany attacked the Soviet Union. Th3n they changed positions. Being against the war may mean only that one wants that side to lose.

There ought to be a place to be against all war. I can see that and appreciate it.

But I want to sort out the others first.

I was in Vietnam for three tours. We attained our objectives and won a peace treaty. We also learned lessons for future conflicts.

But people do care. Do not say they do not care when you can not get them to quit too soon. We must perserve even when it is difficult.

Posted by: gary4books | March 31, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

About the pictures, I cried. But I also cried when I saw the pictures from the pockets of NVA soldiers.

The price we pay is so very high.

Posted by: gary4books | March 31, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

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