Where is the wisdom in war?
As most of Europe has just commemorated the centenary since the First World War, the war to end all wars, it makes you wonder why the leaders of the countries involved didn’t ask themselves ‘where is the wisdom in war?’
Unfortunately the First World War wasn’t the war to end all wars, just under forty years later the world went to war again. Considering the losses suffered during a war just a generation previously, it is obvious that none of the protagonists considered where is the wisdom in war? In fact, they were screaming out for it. Ironically, if we take a look back in history, the progress that Germany was making at the time prior to the first war could have expanded their influence in trade and industry and they would have possibly gained more through peaceful means than through aggressive. As an aside, one of the single injustices after the first war was blaming Germany as the main protagonist. It was the Austrian empire that was to blame with their determination to invade Serbia.
Even after two wars that destroyed the worlds biggest empire, killed millions of people and left former allies as enemies, some leaders have used war as a tool for political gain, to control their own dysfunctional nation or for greed. In hindsight we can look at the causes of a lot of wars and wonder why on earth it happened. Some of the reasons are so petty and ridiculous but the consequences are often paid by the innocent. Those that initiate the slaughter of innocents are never there, they don’t get their hands bloody as they relax in the comfort of their own homes, letting other do their dirty work.
In a twist of irony, the British government have been part of the commemoration remembering the loss of so many British and Commonwealth men and women. The same government (although not the same political party) that has sent it’s armed forces into conflict for over a decade now (not including the troubles in Northern Ireland). The British Prime Minister at the time was Tony Blair and under the administration the British armed forces have been sent from one conflict to another. He has even been responsible for misleading his own political party in order to invade a country, contrary to International Law. Britain is supposed to be one of the ‘good guys’ but we have invaded a country and toppled it’s leader for no good reason. Now that country is in more turmoil than ever before and could pose a significant threat to the region. Our country played a part in that and has Tony Blair taken any of the blame? Of course not. He is now a Middle East Peace envoy; now that is irony of the highest level. Mind you, he isn’t very good at it as the middle east is in complete turmoil!
Russia hasn’t been idle either. In a show of how to really bully a smaller nation, Russia took the Crimea from Ukraine. The west made lots of noises and condemnations but Crimea is now part of Russia and there’s not a damn thing anyone is going to do about it. Not content with taking one part of the country, Russia (although Putin denies it) has instigated and supports a civil war in the east of Ukraine. Innocents are dieing, being tortured and driven from their homes and, again, the protagonist is safely at home, surrounded in luxury and safety.
I cannot compare what is happening in Gaza to my narrative because the reasons are far more complicated but what it does have in common is that countless innocents were killed whilst the leaders were a safe distance away, not getting their hands bloody or risking their lives.
My original question was where is the wisdom in war? Can anyone honestly answer it? There is no sane reason why we should go out of our way to kill each other just because of a difference in ideology, religion or even just the colour of someone’s skin. It is insanity. It is stupidity. Worst of all, it is legalised murder instigated by either a single person or a group of people who claim to uphold our laws, our societies and our beliefs. These individuals never risk themselves or their families, they get others to do their dirty work. They claim this and claim that to justify what they are doing but at the end of the day, killing, unless it is the natural order of things, is just wrong.
This has been a short rant written by a hypocrite. Why? Well, I have been party to all the things I have said are insane and wrong. I’m not a leader of a country but was one of the tools that Tony Blair used in his taste for blood.