The Chris Hedges Report Podcast: Combat Veteran and retired Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich and Chris Hedges Dissect the Mythology of War
West Point graduate, Vietnam veteran and retired Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich discusses his new book, a collection of essays by combat veterans who excoriate the myths of war.
Andrew Bacevich, a retired Army Colonel who fought in Vietnam, and Danny Sjursen, a retired Army Major who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, have just published Paths of Dissent: Soldiers Speak Out Against America’s Misguided Wars. Bacevich and Sjursen, West Point graduates, like many writers in the book, come out of the military culture. They began as true believers, embracing the myths of American goodness and virtue and the military honor code pounded into them as young cadets at the military academy. The reality of combat, as it has for generations, exposed the lies told by the generals and politicians. We are not a good and virtuous nation. God does no bless us above other nations. Victory is not assured. War is not noble and uplifting. The clash between the reality of combat, and the mythical version of combat consumed by the public, one that propels young men and women into war, creates not only dissonance and moral injury, but an existential crisis combat veterans, at least those who are self-reflective, must cope with for the rest of their lives.