Do We Need Kids’ Shows About War?

❝ For family entertainment, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is remarkably complex. The animated Disney show is about military strategy, chain-of-command, civil-military relations, diplomacy and statecraft.

More importantly, it’s about wartime ethics.

❝ What constitutes acceptable losses in battle? Would you torture a prisoner if you thought it would help save your friends? Should you obey the orders of a commander you believe to be reckless and unethical? And how do you even define victory?

I’ve talked to friends who were slightly taken aback by the frankness with which the show depicts violence and death. Kids watch this show. And it’s a good thing they do.

❝ 2018 will be the first year that Americans born after 9/11 will be able to join the U.S. military. It’s far past time that Americans began having some frank conversations with their children about America’s wars. A show like The Clone Wars can help.

Lots of worthwhile conversation can flow from this article. Or not.

Through my decades of political activism, one form or another, I’ve had to realize time and again it’s better to move discussion, facts and feelings out into the open. That presumes an open and free society where you needn’t worry about recrimination. I’m not certain where that might be. Having lived through McCarthyism and COINTELPRO it certainly isn’t the GOUSA. But, you try, anyway.