Discussing war and the perceptions surrounding it.
|A defining schism in today’s society exists between those in support of war, feeling they are obliged to patriotically support the decision made by the government; and those who oppose the concept of battle, seeing it as an unnecessary means for solving conflicts. Clearly, in an age of diplomacy, we should be able to settle disagreements with words, not violence.
Modern man is often showcased and touted as the epitome of intellect and evolution, having made enormous advances in medicine, infrastructure and art. Yet the primordial belligerence that mankind was supposed to have left behind two million years ago, still exists, a blister on the face of the global community.
Wars are always declared by authority figures who, ironically, are never found on the battlefields, but hiding away in offices or bunkers, waiting for the ostensibly puritan genocide to conclude before taking credit for preserving the liberty of their people. Surprisingly, the masses are fully complacent to offer their lives to the government, signing up to join the military and leaving their families behind for years, all because they were told by an imaginary antediluvian national patriarch that their service would be appreciated.
As can be seen in the recent invasion of Iraq by the United States military, the agenda of a ‘democratic’ nation is not always as noble as it would seem. In fact, there is a glaringly fascist tone to George Bush’s actions, attacking a third world country that had somehow - according to Bush - managed to acquire (and subsequently hide) nuclear armaments and was planning to use them to ravage the civilized world. The coalition army never found the weapons of mass destruction, and Bush’s true intentions became apparent: a desire to strengthen his nation’s economy by harvesting the vast oil resources in the Middle-East; and perhaps carrying out a personal vendetta after an attempt on his father’s life, which was blamed on Saddam Hussein.
As long as media has existed, wartime propaganda has been easily available to the public. Even during World War I, civilians were asked to make ridiculous sacrifices in order to help the military win the war: women were persuaded to work in factories for a very low salary to create munitions for their husbands, families were asked to use fewer resources so that more supplies could be sent to the armies. The public was not forced to comply but was forced to feel guilty about not participating in the war, and gave up their own hard-earned luxuries thinking they were contributing to the safekeeping of their freedom.
War is simply the outlet for the greed and narrow-minded isolationism practised by governments everywhere; even hypothetical wars have been fought on these principles, such as The Cold War. Death and mutilation in a foreign country is romanticized, and soldiers are shown as national heroes, but are essentially a band of hired killers, and emerged from the killing fields alive only because when faced with Morton’s Fork, they were more willing to take life than the opposing forces. The state of political and diplomatic systems in all regions of the world serves as proof that leaders are voted into power by an unthinking majority.