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Was War Worth It?

Asked an NPR journalist
of U.S. soldiers
damaged in Afghanistan
direct fire
for one hundred everydays,

“Was it worth it?”

“I can’t answer that question.”

She asks more hesitantly again
of another veteran,

“Was it worth it to you?”

A good soldier,
“I can answer that question
only as an individual.
It was what our Nation
asked of us.”

Neither the question,
nor the answer,
starts at the beginning.

What were this Nation’s goals?
What were these objectives worth
to our Nation’s interests?
Did we pay more
or less
than that?

Who would dare answer such questions?

With a Yes, of course
the price was right

With a No, of course
life,
like health,
is fathomlessly priceless
miraculous
exquisite
elegant
sacred.

How was your time in deadly conflict
worthwhile to you?
How was it not worthwhile
to you,
your family and friends,
future generations?

What would you have done instead
if your Nation
had not asked this soldiering on
from you?
This calculated exposure to high stress,
anxiety,
environmental toxins,
destroyed property,
collective terror
fear
anger
loss
wounds
death of friends,
allies
other organic species,
death of people you aimed toward
with lethal accuracy.

Why are we civilians
so quick to celebrate
our soldiers’ shared response
to what our governments ask
of our young adults?

Why is “I can’t answer that”
a sufficient answer
to “Was violence worth the price to you?”

But,
when we consider tragedies (despairing comedies?)
for all EarthTribes
from global climate degeneration,

When will curious journalists ask,
Was our violence against terror
worth our peaceful returns?

When will global soldiers ask
and answer
It was what Earth asked of Me
and asks of We,
planting trees and grasses,
healing rivers
lakes
wetlands
organic topsoil,
protecting parched forests
and thirsty endangered species.

What does Earth ask of us?
What are Her public health care goals?
What are these objectives worth
to our resilient EarthTribe interests?

Are we,
as a species,
and as individuals,
paying too much?
Not enough?
Just right with left
bicameral
bipartisan
even-handed bilateral intelligence
for future EarthTribe
wealth optimizing regenerations?

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