Unmaking War, Remaking Men: How Empathy Can Reshape Our Politics, Our Soldiers and Ourselves
Phoenix Rising Press of Santa Rosa, 2011 - Basic training (Military education) - 235 pages
In Unmaking War, Remaking Men, Kathleen Barry probes what happens to the value we hold for human life in making war. She explores combat soldiers' experiences through a politics of empathy. By revealing how men's lives are made expendable for combat, she shows how military training drives them to kill without thinking and without remorse, induces violence against women, and leaves soldiers to suffer both trauma and loss of their own souls. She turns to her politics of empathy to shed new light on the experiences of those who are invaded and occupied and shows how resistance rises among them. And what of the state leaders and the generals who make war? In 2001, a fateful year for the world, George W. Bush became President of the US; Ariel Sharon became Prime Minister of Israel; and Osama bin Laden became the de facto world terrorist leader. Analyzing their leadership and failure of empathy, Unmaking War, Remaking Men reveals a common psychopathology of those driven to ongoing war, first making enemies, then labeling them as terrorists or infidels. This book -with its expose of how blinding macho at home finds its way into war- challenges the U.S. preeminence in the world with a program for demilitarization of all states, and remaking the masculinity that drives men to combat. In uncovering how resistance forces come about under occupation with its high civilian death toll, house raids and humiliations, Barry shows that aggressor states are in the business of making enemies to perpetuate ongoing war. Considering Israel as an arm of US military power, Unmaking War, Remaking Men examines how both states have misused the term 'terrorist' by refusing to acknowledge that both Hizbullah and Hamas are resistance movements of self-determination. Kathleen Barry asks: 'What would it take to unmake war?' She scrutinizes the demilitarized state of Costa Rica and compares its claims of peace with its high rate of violence against women. She then turns to the urgent problem of how might men remake themselves by unmaking masculinity. She offers models for a new masculinity drawing on the experiences of men who have resisted war and have in turn transformed their lives into a new kind of humanity; into a place where the value of being human counts.
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