My initial reaction—if we can call two years of brooding initial —is exactly why we need more poetry about the experience of modern war. We need it for catharsis, communication, and reckoning. We need more poetry that forces us to wrestle in the cobwebs and the debris of the darkest corners of the attic. We need to reflect in the mirrors, be they clear, clouded, or cracked, that we find locked away in the trunk. Garcia gave me a key. Maybe it will work for you as well.
In the beginning, being a fighter pilot was all about having what later came to be called “the right stuff:” good eyesight, excellent hand-eye coordination, good stick and rudder skills, and aggressiveness. Fino goes to great lengths to demonstrate that over the course of next three decades these skills did not necessarily change, but they did evolve as pilots had to contend with increasingly complex aircraft systems. The history of fighter aviation rapidly became the struggle to understand automation.
It was America’s good fortune—Manifest Destiny if you will—to rise on a temperate continent with abundant resources. Great Britain ceded its empire in part because it could trust and rely on the United States. America does not share this luxury. Pragmatism must be America’s watchword, for neither isolationism nor unilateralism will work.
In examining another’s ethics and morals, the question often comes up that given the possibilities of time travel, would you be capable of killing Hitler in his youth or prior to his rise to power? The simple answer is yes, while others try a more nuanced approach of convincing Hitler of his promise as an artist, to the inane of stealing his wallet to make his life just a touch more uncomfortable. Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle takes an alternate approach.