We just watched In the Valley of Elah last night. It stars Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron (both great actors) and is a kind of murder mystery which brings out the ways that war can twist a young mind. Really well made — patient, exciting, intelligent. Jones probably should have been nominated for some award, though it was a tough field last year, with Day Lewis and Clooney out there as well.
It made me think that any U.S. president, before declaring any kind of combat action, needs to have spent some real time connecting with those paying the highest costs. Eyes need to be wide open. I’m not saying that would remove all needs for military action, but it might temper the whoop-ass mentality. Lincoln knew all too well the “full measure of devotion” he was asking of his young men, and fought through a bloody but necessary war with that devotion keenly in mind.
CORRECTION: I have learned that Jones was nominated for “Best Actor” by the Academy. Richly deserved.