My personal opinion is that if someone writes honestly about war, it will inherently be anti-war. Kevin Powers
Kevin Powers (born July 11, 1980) is an American fiction writer, poet, and Iraq War veteran, he enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of seventeen. He attended James River High School. Six years later, in 2004, he served a one-year tour in Iraq as a machine gunner assigned to an engineer unit. Powers served in Mosul and Tal Afar, Iraq, from February 2004 to March 2005. After his honorable discharge, Powers enrolled in Virginia Commonwealth University, where he graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in English. He holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a Michener Fellow in Poetry.
A nice little anti-war speech in this episode of The Twilight Zone, No Time Like the Past, a little time travel, a man tired of the hate, wars, and all the problems of the present days goes back to live in 1881. Written by the man himself, Rod Serling.
Hanford: … You some kind of a pacifist, Driscoll?
Paul Driscoll: No, just some sick idiot who’s seen too many boys die because of too many men who fight their battles at dining room tables… and who probably wouldn’t last forty-five seconds in a REAL skirmish if they WERE thrust into it.
Hanford: …I take offense at that remark, Mr. Driscoll!
Paul Driscoll: And I take offense at “armchair warriors” like yourself – who clearly don’t know what a shrapnel, or a bullet, or a saber wound feels like… who’ve never smelled death after three days on an empty battlefield… who’ve never seen the look on a man’s face when he realizes he’s lost a limb or two, and his blood is seeping out. Mr. Hanford, you have a great affinity for “planting flags deep, high, and proud.” But you don’t have a nodding acquaintance of what it’s like for families to bury their sons in the same soil!
If you have never watched All Quiet on the Western Front (1930 version) go do so, but if you want a glimpse of this great movie from 1930 read this speech from the main character who returns to his old school in Germany and tells the young men who sit in the sames benches he did a short while ago.
I can’t say anything…I can’t tell you anything you don’t know. We live in the trenches out there. We fight. We try not to be killed; sometimes we are. That’s all….
I’ve been there! I know what it’s like…. I heard you in here reciting that same old stuff, making more iron men, more young heroes. You still think it’s beautiful and sweet to die for your country, don’t you? We used to think you knew. The first bombardment taught us better. It’s dirty and painful to die for your country. When it comes to dying for your country, it’s better not to die at all. There are millions out there dying for their countries, and what good is it?…You asked me to tell them how much they’re needed out there. (to the boys) He tells you, ‘Go out and die.’ Oh, but if you’ll pardon me, it’s easier to say ‘go out and die’ than it is to do it….And it’s easier to say it than to watch it happen….
It’s no use talking like this. You won’t know what I mean. Only, it’s been a long while since we enlisted out of this classroom. So long, I thought maybe the whole world had learned by this time. Only now, they’re sending babies, and they won’t last a week! I shouldn’t have come on leave. Up at the front, you’re alive or you’re dead, and that’s all. You can’t fool anybody about that very long. Up there, we know we’re lost and done for, whether we’re dead or alive. Three years we’ve had of it — four years. And every day a year, and every night a century. And our bodies are earth. And our thoughts are clay. And we sleep and eat with death. And we’re done for, because you can’t live that way and keep anything inside you. I shouldn’t have come on leave. I’ll go back tomorrow. I’ve got four days more, but I can’t stand it here! I’ll go back tomorrow. Sorry.
Here is an audio clip of the speech.
And the longer Youtube clip.