Randy’s Reviews: The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family – by Martha Raddatz (Randyjw; January 18, 2020)
Raddatz, Martha. The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family. Copyright © 2007, 2008 by Martha Raddatz. Published by BERKLEY an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC; 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014. G.P. Putnam’s Sons hardcover edition / March 2007; Berkley trade paperback edition / January 2008; Berkley trade paperback edition (TV Tie-in edition) / October 2017. 338 pages, plus photos. ISBN 9780451490797.
And He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Translation: https://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1002.htm).
I wish we were at the aforementioned point in time, as noted in the prophecies of Isaiah, as seen above.
Instead, we are far from it – – spiraling even quicker towards its counterpart of constant battles, skirmishes and full-out war between regions, countries and partnered nations vying for ultimate world power and dominion.
Though only a relatively minor percentage of a people’s nation actually participate in the fighting of a nation’s army, the entire population bears the consequences of the outcome of war, whether favorably or to their collective detriment. It matters not whether the war is enjoined on the offensive or defensive side, but to which side the favor falls. It is not an easy matter to enter the fray, especially when having war thrust upon one’s country, or in marrying powers to aid one’s friendly allies, betrothed to what each feels are the just cause, besides political, economic, religious, and other interests beholden to one’s beliefs.
Nevertheless, it comes as a surprise to learn that the honor of a “gentleman’s war” is a silly notion; when fighting for one’s life, some do so with dignity, and some scrap ’til the final breath, using any mean or method deemed necessary to survival – – the ends justifying the means.
This is what a war in the Middle East looks like. Though I’ve never seen one, up close and personal, I’ve been in the vicinity to support the noncombat efforts of one: the ongoing war of attrition faced by the Jewish people and citizens of Israel, who are surrounded by hostile forces intent on their destruction throughout the entire region of the mid-East. It’s not that the wishes of the populous twenty-two Arab nations couldn’t make the reality of Israel’s existence disappear, nor that an additional thirty Muslim states have lacked in trying to make that so… it’s just that the wars come in dribs and drabs, with great public perception in trying to stage it to appear otherwise.
Therefore, we see war by attrition: a constant picking off of the enemy through all means possible, including car-ramming attacks, stabbings, improvised explosive devices (i.e., creatively camouflaged these days in balloons. kites, books, printer ink cartridges, etc.) and other means.
It is essential that a book such as the New York Times Bestseller, The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family, by Martha Raddatz has been written to bring the realities of war to consciousness, rather than as an abstract concept fought by far-off people in distant lands. This story, a reconstruction of the true events facing U.S. soldiers on Iraqi soil during the Iraq War (which, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Iraq_War) truly portrays in the U.S. perspective what it is like to be facing war in this region. Here, the boys are surprised that the enemy uses women and children as human shields; that regular neighbors are all armed and turn on you in a dime. Here, the war dead mount quickly and suddenly.
This is a must-read book.