WAR IS WAR
Without being judgemental, and whether or not the poor, weak, and vulnerable are so by choice or by circumstances beyond their own control, they are everywhere, like sand. Fronted by women and children, they are prolific like the stars of the universe. Every explosion collapses them into themselves, only to re-emerge with greater force by way of numbers, condition, and distribution. Poverty sucks; like a black hole.
They are by design, conscious or otherwise, ever on the frontline. Be it in times of natural catastrophes, epidemics, or wars. They are hurt before, hurt more, and die before anyone else. In hard times, only the strong, good and/ bad depending on the eye of the beholder, survive. However, the strong who are fools tend to fall in extreme disgrace in the end. That’s the way of the world.
A Tai Chi Grandmaster, emphasizing the crucial importance of minimizing as much as possible one’s own vulnerability in either or both defence and attack, once said to me, “You gonna fight, you gonna get hit!” I like reminding my Karate students that when armies go to war, they carry with them their own body bags too. Everyone dies in war; it’s only a question of time. That’s just the way it is. On either side of the warring parties, it’s invariably the innocent weak, women, and children who bear the brunt of war: Collateral damage.
To the extent that wars are typically bilateral processes once set in motion, carried out in either specific zones, or spread over several geographic locations, the warring parties on either side are equally responsible for the sufferings and deaths of the innocent weak, poor, women, and children. This is regardless of the causes of, or reasons for, the wars. The moment choices and decisions are made such that military engagement becomes the last way out in efforts to solve major national, or regional conflicts, the innocent weak, poor, women, and children are already sentenced to inhuman suffering, and ultimately, genocide: Necropower.
Wars are inherently ugly. And for them to be maximally effective, they are designed to make their executors as cold-hearted, as brutal as possible. The job and intention are, more often than not, to eliminate or annihilate the enemy in order to change the status quo, depending on what each opposing force demands of the other.
Under attack, the warlords will use the innocent weak, poor, women, and children as buffers to protect themselves: Human shields. Genocide of the wretched begins. These will either be compelled under duress, or duped to choose apparently willingly, to die for The Great Leaders in the names of some Supreme Beings, The Revolution, ideology, or some other systems of belief.
In war there are friends and allies on both sides. Friendships and alliances are formed and conditioned by shared values and norms, often over time. Solidarity will hold alliances together: You’re either with us, or against us. Formal alliances sign binding accords to protect and defend one another’s, as well as their collective worldviews and including territories. A member of an alliance whose house is on fire is likely to go down with some of the members if no assistance or backup is forthcoming. As a result, members of an alliance will inevitably be drawn into conflicts which do not necessarily directly concern or affect them, but can/ may be a real threat to them by association in the long run: International Relations.
- Interviewer: So, you will agree that you intentionally and cold-heartedly killed poor, helpless, innocent people, women and children in a stupid war that has nothing to do with our far away, peaceful country?
- War executor: Killing or not killing is irrelevant. Misguided question! We had a mission to execute as promulgated by and in our terms of co-operation with our allies. And this we carried out with acute precision, minimizing casualties, satisfying International Humanitarian Law jurisdiction.
- Interviewer: How do you feel about the innocent people, poor women and children who died in the war?
- War executor: Our mission was to go out and protect the civilian population, create and protect corridors for the supply of water, food, and medicines. We accomplished our mission effectively within the stipulated time. No casualties on our side.
- Interviewer: You actively helped the rebels then? Contributing to the inhumane demise of a legitimate head of state?
- War executor: Ours is a small country which did a great job protecting civilians in a very difficult situation. With the war over now, peace, stability, and prosperity will return. A major achievement for democracy…
War is war. People die in wars. The most natural outcome of war is destruction and death. Period. I am never impressed by those who make noise about justification or non-justification of wars that are, or have been.
- “Tjaaa, but, Simon, we make noise so that the same mistakes are never repeated in the future!”
- Cool. Just heal the injured, bring back the dead.
My heroes are those who work tirelessly to prevent wars taking place, to begin with: Diplomacy. But then again, foolishness as a repulsive human trait is ever so rife in the world. We all gonna go someday, no? Ultimately, who cares really? Shame.
March 14, 2013
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