Kathy Kelly

By Kathy Kelly
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

The following book review of Norm Solomon’s War Made Invisible was published in the Progressive magazine.

Following a string of U.S. “forever wars,” a profusion of well-written, often riveting novels, memoirs, and analyses have been published. Talented authors have aimed to promote understanding about the human cost of war.  

In the same period, mainstream media sources have continually developed ways to make war appear normal –something necessary, justifiable, or in some cases, “humane.”

Norm Solomon’s War Made Invisible (The New Press, 2023) erects an edifice of evidence showing deliberate, consistent, coordinated and well-funded efforts to squelch movements opposing the vicious consequences of war.

Solomon asks why people identify more with the bombers rather than the bombed. Then he traces the history of embedded reporters. He shows how the presence of “embeds” (journalists who live among and travel with units of the military) has changed the way wars are covered. The embeds are beholden not only to the military that protect them but also to corporate heads who collude with war profiteers and war planners.

Militarists’ justifications for wars often emphasize the terror wielded by insurgents using bloody tactics. Solomon points out the similarities between suicide bombers causing slaughter on the ground and sophisticated warplanes maiming and killing civilians from the air.

The legendary peace activist Phil Berrigan once likened racism and threats of nuclear war to the many faces of the hydra written of in Greek mythology. Cut off one head and another appears. The many-faced hydra of racism and war now turns to all corners of the globe. Any country refusing to subordinate itself to serving U.S. national interests risks being devastated by U.S. military and economic wars. Increasingly, war planners invoke the nuclear threat. …

Use this link to read the entire review at the Progressive’s website.

Photo:  An Iraqi T-55 battle tank is towed during Operation Desert Storm, June 3, 1991. Photo credit:  U.S. National Archives 

One thought on “Book review: War Made Invisible

  1. Thank you, Ms. Kelly for your incisive review of Solomon’s War Made Invisible. Many have commented on the subject of how we as a nation glorify war and make it palatable, but none with your poignancy. Every time I hear our Catholic president talk about “winning” the obscene war in Ukraine that he and his arms merchants prolong, it’s just another example of how our morally vacuous leaders equate the destruction of human bodies with a sporting event.
    David-Ross Gerling, PhD

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