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The Mental Limits of War


The Mental Limits of War

Robert C. Koehler

A Morning Consult poll winks at me from my inbox: 57 percent of Americans support more airstrikes in Syria.

My eyeballs roll. Hopelessness permeates me, especially because I’m hardly surprised, but still . . . come on. This is nuts. The poll could be about the next move in a Call of Duty video game: 57 percent of Americans say destroy the zombies.


Robert, I feel your sense of hopelessness with our fellow Americans.

Seems as though in today's America, you are either Pro-War or Pro-Peace.

Seems as though sanity in America is losing 'that' War.


Great article, Mr. K., on many points.

One of them:

I think most people who frequent CD are struggling with how we can not-so-quietly re-set our collective mental limits frameworks to accommodate a less dishonest, more humane approach to being in the world. Not an easy thing. When the difficulty of it overwhelms me (about 40 times/day lately), I sometimes find solace in remembering the title of an old folk song: "Ain't gonna study war no more."


If only this article would have appeared first in NYT or WaPo. Finally realized that nagging at the back of my mind was that the footage from these most recent Tomahawk launchings is indistinguishable from footage from earlier glorious campaigns of the righteous homeland. A 57% still trade in this currency, but a growing percentage associate these images with the whole failed package.

The next time you see the repeated images of these launching imagine the warheads being filled with the million dollars in greenbacks. Your greenbacks, not the wealthy, 'cause they don't want to pay for the war, they just want to use it.


Somehow I feel that the survey is rigged , as the surveyors have never surveyed anyone I know ,,I suggest they have a selected phone list ,, perhaps it's because I don't watch tv but I can't grok how seeing the rockets red glare instills the patriotic fervor of backing another illegal endover creating more collateral damage ,giving the Raytheon folks some work,,,,, you can bomb the world to pieces ,but you can't bomb it into peace


"Has any network ever hired a retired peace activist as an analyst?" Great question, but peace activists never retire.


I would like to agree with you as well. Polls are so easy to skew, especially if the people behind the poll don't reveal their methods. And in this age of constant propaganda from M$M, polls should be taken with even more skepticism. The quote "Lies, damned lies, and statistics" from Mark Twain comes to mind.


I agree- many have become desensitized.


Does anyone see this situation as a parallel to the international scene during the build-up to World War I? Lots of petty military actions around the globe. Huge social and political polarization. Several insane dictators in place. Multiple international treaties among disparate "allies." Chronic political mistrust. Economic exploitation of poorer people and nations. The media beating the drums of war.
What will be the trigger that sends us into WWIII? The war that will devastate the globe and send the world into Nuclear Winter? Perhaps two sociopathic egomaniacs at the head of the two most powerful nations on Earth? Fighting over control of a long-devastated patch of sand in the Middle East? With lots of nuclear weapons at their disposal?


If the MSM presents the attack as a video game, then people will respond to it as a football or video game. If people were shown the true horrors of war, then they would be whole heartedly against it, in my opinion anyway.


Totalitarian governments have always refused to fix the solvable problems of their country using distraction. In the end it had caused more suffering for the citizens as the regime eventually goes bankrupt morally and economically.


I vote for a boycott of all these irresponsible networks. I don't watch live TV, but almost everyone else I know does. And they swallow the crap hook, line, and sinker.

Stick it to the networks!


"I feel that the survey is rigged”

Obviously, like those stuff that said Hilary had so many more votes than Bernie Sanders and later, Trump. Generally, opinion polls and the mass media coordinate to manufacture consent at the behest of the ruling class.


I don’t see Putin as an egomaniac, and Russia, with its vast lands and natural resources and comparatively small population, hardly needs the “small patch of sand in the Middle East."


"Suddenly, Cable TV's Well Paid Squadron of Retired Generals appeared out of nowhere, to Bestow their Blessing. (Has any Network ever hired a Peace Activist as an Analyst?)"

Ever since the Media was Deregulated, to no longer act as the Public Airwaves or Free Press, we have been given only the News, and the Slant, that the OWNERS deem useful to their Agenda, and every Fact that actually could shed the Light of Truth is Hidden and Suppressed .

That the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity produced the actual facts of what happened in Syria and NO News Outlet chose to share it with the American Public, is Prima Facie Evidence of such.

(Syrian aircraft bombed an al-Quaeda-in-Syria Ammunition Depot, which was full of Chemicals, and inadvertently released Noxious Gases that blew over to a Populated Area.)


Corpress command


We're always ready"


It was in RT, as a quote of Putin.. And it was on yahoo.com for a day maybe, cited as Putin's story. Too believable to keep up long.


I remember W.'s early attempt at branding himself as the Education President, and how the media decided that that could not be enough to get him re-elected. But 911and Iraq were.

I remember how dismal the media said Obama's ratings were in his first months. His shift to multi-war certainly fixed that.

It appears to me from this that media is even closely connected to our warmongering machine than I thought. Trump's threats to be impeached seem to have died down in the news, replaced by such lovely press for his very dutiful recent bombings.


If you don't see Putin as an egomaniac, you're not looking. As for the “small patch of sand in the Middle East," it should be obvious that this refers to Syria--certainly not Russia, which is huge and is mostly forested. And Russia is certainly not in the Middle East. Is English your native language?


Sometimes I ignore comments from those whose illiteracy disqualifies them from the courtesy of a reply. The need for Russia, with its massive landmass and ample natural resources, including oil, to acquire that “small patch of sand in the Middle East” is minimal. Russia, however, is much closer to the Middle East than the US (which claims to have “interest” all over the world), and thus, geopolitically speaking, has better reasons to ensure that the region is not totally dominated by the Exceptional Nation.

Other than your inability to understand simple English, there remains the question of whether logic is your native trait.