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Moral Injury of War; The Invisible Wound of Empire


Moral Injury of War; The Invisible Wound of Empire

Nozomi Hayase

With the failure of the Democratic establishment, the crisis of liberal democracy is now seized by a new rise of power. The US empire with Trump as commander-in-chief has renewed its vow toward colonial domination. With nationalism and militarism in full swing, Trump’s America aims to radically alter the future of this country. His campaign slogan "make America great again" was a kind of historical revisionism, ignoring the deep oppression and inequality that runs beneath this nation’s history.


The soul is as fragile as flesh and blood


The issue of this time must be, “Do you believe in colonial domination, and maintaining the Empire built by the MIC and the Duopoly?”

Or, “Do you believe in peaceful coexistence with all nations?”

Are you “Pro-War”, and willing to have our government spending over 50% of our nation’s budget on Death and Human Suffering all the while maintaining 700+ Military Bases worldwide and consuming and burning more fossil fuels and creating more pollution than any other country on Earth, or, are you “Pro-Peace” and of the belief that maintenance of Empire is unsustainable and destructive to the Planet, the People, and Peace, and that the majority of our budget must be used to support the lower and middle classes, rebuild our infrastructure and assure our air and water and food sources are kept pristine?


I was always sad when certain events brought former enemy soldiers together at commemorations when after the wars former enemies would hug each other, cry and tell each other how sad they felt killing each other’s loved ones. Wishing somehow that it had never happened. My dad had nightmares of the war 47 years after WW2. My brother has terrible nightmares to this day 49 years after his tour in Vietnam. Welcome to reality warmongers. As my brother told me when I asked him to go to the VA, why should I go I am not sick the people who sent me there are the sick ones. Words of wisdom I can find no arguement with.


I enjoyed this piece and think that it provides a lot to consider in how the US – the Empire that dare not speak its name – ought to view its place in the world. The parallels between the US and contemporary Japan pointed out are insightful, and chilling.

That said, I have a few thoughts about the emphasis on the use of atomic weapons that I think would fill a gap in the piece – although, to be sure, I can’t recall a piece of writing that addresses it adequately, although I think it must exist. I have a horror of nuclear weapons that I think most people share. At the same time, I wonder about this horror and how to explain it, because I know intellectually that the allied firebombings of Japan and the bombings of Dresden were more deadly to civilians. So why this horror? I suspect that it is because an atomic weapon seems to be a kind of nihilistic defiling of a people more than any other kind of bombing, no matter how deadly. It condemns the people of that place to continuous poisoning, and even visits that poisoning on that people’s unborn children. THIS is what I think the moral injury of the United States is from WWII. It was not that the bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed many people, although that would have been moral injury enough. It was that war was used as an opportunity to experiment on people, people that were more cultural distant and “alien” to most Americans than the other Axis powers. And it’s not enough for me to say that I hadn’t been born at the time, or to say that the US was tired of the war and wanted it to end quickly, although both things were true. As an American who has to live with everything his country has as a legacy, I can’t explain it away; the country that shaped me was shaped by those acts, as much as it was shaped by the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil War and the Civil Rights Act.

Thank you for this thought-provoking piece.


What is implied but not directly addressed here is the moral damage that is inflicted on the family of the soul distorted survivors of combat. Their children and wives suffer the invisible wounds that continue for generations. The people of the US are still damaged by The Civil War that ended 150 years ago. My father, a flawed but beloved soul before he left, died in the South Pacific. When people learn of that tragedy they feel sorry for me. I tell them I was lucky. My life likely would have been hell if he had returned. I have met several children of returned veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam and most relate how difficult their family life was and how it affected them.
A VA psychiatrist friend of mine put it simply; “A declaration of war is a prescription for domestic violence.”


I choose “Pro-Peace”. Thank you for asking!


The important point to contemplate now is the fact that neither China nor Russia will go willingly into the night. Both of these strong powers will act together to prevent anymore American imperial wars to control the World. EuroAsia is the prize but unfortunately for the US, both Russia and China have their strengths there and will never allow the US to control that major part of the World.


I hope to think we all choose pro-peace. But how do we avoid wars when the entire United States Military Industrial complex is over 1/2 òf the U.S. budget. We have idiots everywhere up and down the Government employ who will aggressively push for war.
So ------ if the damn military draft is brought back they could MAKE MY MANY GRANDCHILDREN JOIN.
I look at Donald Trump and it makes me sick that he could be the one to cause a world War or even another increase in troops. God forbid that any American --a young person or òlder would be drafted and then wounded or killed…for What? For a way to satisfy this Presidents need for utter power. I believe I would break all my grandchildren’s legs rather than allow them to fight in a King Trump war.


Perhaps more fragile.

An excellent piece by Nozomi. I’m ordering Van Buren’s book. I read his other, “We Meant Well”.


It is about much more than Trump. Like his several (most) predecessors, he is but a figurehead, a sock puppet. As Ike noted, beware the complex.

The draft might enrage the populace enough to take action, as it did once before.

Beware the complex.


George, The experiences of your Dad and Brother are more the rule than the exception.

If humans are to exist through climate change, they must learn to coexist.

Strength doesn’t have to mean militarily. It must come to mean ‘of higher intelligence’ and ‘compassion for all’.