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Please Read Joseph Heller's Catch-22 on Your Vacation, Mr. President

• Common Dreams
 As the Obama family heads to their annual summer vacation on Martha's Vineyard, perhaps the president should take along a copy of Catch-22 for some beach reading. Joseph Heller's classic, satirical anti-war novel, published in 1961 and based on his experiences as a bombardier in the second world war, is sadly relevant today, as Obama's wars, in Afghanistan and beyond, drag on.
 
Heller's title refers to a fictional military rule that said you could get out of military duty if you were crazy, but if you requested relief from military duty, you were clearly sane, so must serve. He wrote:

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr [a pilot in the novel] was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions.

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