Introduction and a series of articles and poetry concerning the war on terror being imposed by the U.S., and more.

Writes Kevin Bowen:

One year into the war in Iraq, the ugliness of the undertaking has become more and more inescapable. If anything, the experience has reaffirmed a few simple facts that deserve reiteration. There is no such thing as an easily winnable war. There is no such thing as a humane war. In every war, long after the fighting ends, peace will remain elusive, and memories of suffering will endure through generations.

Of course we knew all this before. Writers have been trying to tell us such things for centuries. The writings that follow illustrate ways contemporary writers confront these truths. From Tony Aiello's memories of the First Gulf War, a war that Colin Powell told us was "conducted more humanely than any war in history" through Almira El-Zein's incredible evocation of mortality in "Is this Desolation for Me Alone"; through Carolyn Forche's testimony to the role of writers; Chris Agee's meditation on conflicts in Bosnia and Rwanda to present-day Iraq; Fred Marchant's essay on war poetry and Fanny Howe's beautiful understated testiment we are reminded of the ways good writers take the complicated pulse of war and why now, more than ever, we need their voices.



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