Tuesday, April 8, 2014


I suspect all our hearts go out to the families of those on this missing plane. They need answers; the world need answers.

But a pair of books this week reminds me of the much larger answers the world needs also…as we still hear occasional calls for war. (Crimea, Ukraine, Iran, Syria, North Korea, etc.)

83,000 American service personnel are still missing over the past century---their families need answers, too.

“Vanished: the 60 year Search for the Missing Men of World War Two” details the attempt to find just 11 of them, the crew of one bomber, of one flight of one day in just one part of the vast Pacific War. And half of those 83,000 vanished during our Pacific campaign.

Efforts continue to find, and return home to families those missing in ‘Nam, occasionally Korea, but this much, much larger group from the 40s gets scant attention. In trying to locate and answer the fate of this one plane, we get a view into so  many things  a nation and its people never contemplate when they go blithely off to war..even justified war as this one was.

But how even more chilling is the thought that there are still families without fathers, sons, brothers from wars that might have been avoided…had governments tried harder. The second book is “The Sleepwalkers: How Europe went to War in 1914.”  This war could have been avoided.

And then there are  the Fort Hoods that seem to inevitably happen after all wars…and the bombs and mines that still turn up after a century or more to kill and maim those who didn’t know they were there, if they even knew there had been a war.

As frustrating as diplomatic maneuvers can be, as tempting as it is to punch Putin in the nose, or Abbas (this week, maybe Netanyahu next week), and as slowly as they grind…better diplomacy. War solves many fewer problems and leaves many more agonies to fester over much longer time.

I'm just sayin'...

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