Sunday, January 4, 2004


Confirmed. Little brother leaves for Iraq on Wednesday. I can't even speak those words aloud yet. He's going to be driving a hummer... I just can't stand it.

For my historical fiction project, I've been reading a book by Edward Robb Ellis, titled Echoes of Distant Thunder, Life in The United States 1914-1918. He wrote the following of President Wilson on the edge of what would come to be known as World War I:

"Wilson then began to talk about the consequences to the United States. He had no illusions about the fashion in which America was likely to fight the war. He said when a war got going, it was just war and there weren't two kinds. War required illiberalism at home to reinforce the men at the front. We couldn't fight Germany and maintain the ideals of government that all thinking men shared."

According to Ellis, Wilson said "once lead this people into war and they'll forget there ever was such a thing as tolerance. To fight you must be brutal and ruthless, and the spirit of the ruthless brutality will enter into the very fiber of our national life, infecting Congress, the courts, the policeman on the beat, the man in the street. Conformity would be the only virtue, and every man who refused to conform would have to pay the penalty."

Ellis wrote that "Wilson confessed his fear that the Constitution would not survive war, that free speech and the right of assembly would vanish."

Interesting words to consider in the context of today... the PATRIOT Act and similar legislation... FBI presence at anti-war protests... the list goes on and on...

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