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Kill 'Em All, Including Us

Marc Munroe Dion on

There are only two really "American" responses to war anywhere in the world.

1. Let 'em kill each other. We can't be the world's police.

2. Let's get in on this!

Generally, American foreign policy begins with the first and ends with the second. Sometimes, we take Berlin. Sometimes, we take off out of Vietnam like a scalded hound.

In a nation that likes either the averted gaze or the bare knuckle, President Joe Biden is a dancer.

He has to be. Vladimir Putin has only to flip the switch and the sun falls.

 

I've lived all my life in the shadow of a mushroom cloud. My father, a sergeant in the Army Air Corps, was on Tinian when the Enola Gay flew off to incinerate Hiroshima.

"We didn't even know what it was," he told me. "'Atomic bomb' didn't mean anything. We didn't even know what it was after they told us what it was."

My father grew up in a house heated by a coal stove. Horse-drawn wagons delivered that coal to his house. He flew over the blasted ruins of Hiroshima not long after they dropped the bomb.

Biden dances in that shadow, pumping howitzers and missiles into Ukraine yet trying to soft-shoe his way past the moment when everything is a bright flash of light.

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