[Note for TomDispatch Readers: I’ve said it before, but do yourself a favor. If you haven’t read Eduardo Galeano, buy his new book, Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History, right now. You won’t regret it. And when you’re done, pick up Mirrors, his history of the world in 300-odd fabulous pages, and then the Memory of Fire trilogy, his history of the Americas in three dazzling volumes, and so on.
In the meantime, thanks to Nation Books and Galeano's splendid literary agent Susan Bergholz, TomDispatch is able to take a rare summer second dip into Children of the Days, a kind of prayer book for our time: a page a day for 365 days focused on what’s most human and beautiful, as well as what’s most grasping and exploitative, on this small, crowded planet of ours. Today, the focus is war, American-style.]
It could be any week on that great U.S. military base we know as Planet Earth and here’s the remarkable thing: there’s always news. Something’s always happening somewhere, usually on more than one continent, as befits the largest, most destructive, most technologically advanced (and in many ways least successful) military on the planet. In our time, the U.S. military has been sent into numerous wars, failed to win a single one, and created plenty of blowback. But hey, who has to win a specific war when it’s “wartime” all the time?