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First Do No Harm

“One Gave All” (summer 2016) works hard to make the case that an alumnus was a war hero and martyr because he did his part to save the world by fighting the fascists in the Spanish Civil War. Here is another viewpoint:

All wars are “justified”: Those bad fascists, communists, infidels, capitalists; God is on our side/chooses us; we’re right, they’re wrong; it’s really self-defense, etc.—all conflicting justifications held with equal conviction by the respective warring parties.

One war begets another. Deep resentment has a long memory, as we saw even in the very period described in your article. (Does anybody seriously think World War II was unrelated to World War I and its ending?)

All war is terrorism, all warriors terrorists, despite facile distinctions between “collateral” and “targeted” civilian death. Intention matters only to the killers, not the killed.

There are no war heroes, never have been, only those sorely duped into wasting their nickel for the prolific profiteers.

And all wars require their enablers, such as the Bulletin, selling the idea of war heroism, effectively encouraging more tragic killing for a cause.

—ARTHUR “ARKY” CIANCUTTI ’65, Mendocino, Calif.