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There Are No Winners in War

 a little roadmap to a more peaceful place 

 

   

 

 

   There are no winners in war. Every party in every war has lost. Has lost a lot of something. Lives, degrees of humanity, ideals.

The let’s-do-it-anyway reasons for wars are as complex and far-reaching – geographically and historically – as the tangled dynamics of a peace-seeking (and oftentimes not-so-peace-seeking) international community with no clear definition, no clear common agenda, and no clear force. But there are patterns behind all warring that seem universal enough to fit them in two nutshells, one rotten, the other hard to crack:

Bad reasons. From Caesarian greed to Hitleresque fanaticism, excruciatingly unnecessary wars fester in the abysses of human nature and can often be attributed to a single individual or small group commandeering from atop a mound of corpses they amass in spectacular disregard for human life. Territorial hunger and thirst for resources are manifestations of greed, while ethnic and religious warfare are outgrowths of fanaticism. As if wars weren’t cruel enough, there is a gory brutality to how avoidable this waste (not loss) of human life can be. The saddening and maddening epitome is WW2 for it isn’t much of an oversimplification or overexaggeration to say that some 80 million people died for the megalomanic delusions of one little man.

 

 

Good reasons. While belligerent fanaticism is an extension of life-threatening ideologies, there are benevolent ideals worth fighting for. The French revolution was the first morning of democracy and the American Civil War the last night of slavery. Ideally, such progressive and unifying goals could be achieved peacefully by spanning a rainbow across the aisle, but how can you reason with an oppressor if oppression itself is so very unreasonable? That’s why national monuments commemorate wars of independence, not tea parties of independence.