war

by - 6/27/2015 06:17:00 pm

Veterans.

It's such a heavy title isn't it? To let other people know that you're familiar with war.

17% of America's homeless population is made up of veterans. Half suffer from mental illness, two thirds suffer from substance abuse. We show respect and grieve at memorials but turn tail at survivors because the dead are easier to face than the living. And then people, human beings, become just another statistic.

I've been thinking a lot about this, and I wondered. They say war brings out the best in men and women and there could be no higher honour than dying for your country. But I think they needn't die at all.

Because yes, sometimes war is inevitable but it should always be the last resort. Sometimes violence is a weapon to fight back against oppression but sometimes it is used to oppress. Sometimes war is in self-defence, but other times in self-promotion.  As the Hippocratic Oath says, "First, do no harm".

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Now, I'm not saying that soldiers don't deserve our respect; they do. They have bought hope and safety for many civilians when there could have been none. All I'm saying is that governments should stop pretending life is a video game with dispensible soldiers because it's not always about politics. Because many times, under the guise of morality, one will enter a war to test new weapons, or for some economic gain, which isn't a good enough reason.

I say this because I am sick of war being advertised as glory, only to find that people are left in a worse state, more often than not. And I want to educate and make you think about how we ourselves accept that our superiors know best and turn a blind eye to war's effects.

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17 comments

  1. OH. This is so important. War's always been a distant prospect myself, but for my grandparents, not even that long ago, it probably happened a few times or more in their lifetimes. And we love to glorify our heroes, our leaders, we forget the people who have been harmed irrevocably by war.

    I basically will now provide two quotes to contribute to this. First is the one by Laini Taylor, "do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?" And also a rough translation of a Chinese idiom: that for every successful general, there has been a thousand corpses on battlefields.

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    1. I know what you mean. My grandfathers fought in wars, and all throughout history, male relatives were forced to join the military and serve for a certain amount of time (this still exists in South Korea today). I'm not familiar with war myself on that level.

      Thanks for sharing the quotes. :') I think I've heard of the first one before..."war makes monsters of men". But I like how it's phrased as a question. What do you think? War makes monsters or monsters make war? I think it goes both ways. It's true isn't it, the second quote? If success is guaranteed for one, then there is always a cost. Perhaps not exactly a phyrric victory, but a cost nonetheless. :)

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  2. I think that the problem goes deeper than just the government(s)...it's the attitude of our society. Personally, I think most of it is due to the fact that the sanctity of life has been lost. Well, it's still there, people just don't bother to understand it and let it influence their lives. Plus, violent video games and movies don't help that "disposable" attitude.

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    1. Absolutely. Politics are just one factor, but another big one would have to be the way society views war, like you said. The violent video games and movies are definitely debatable, I'm not sure if they contribute to that attitude myself. One thing's for sure: they have made us a whole lot desensitized than previous generations. And they DO glorify violence, you have a fair point. :)

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  3. I think we have to remember that even if we lay down our weapons, it doesn't mean other countries will, so to some extent having an army is important. BUT that doesn't make war right, or the way many governments use the army and treat it's veterans. There is no glory in killing other human beings, even if you are against something like (to use an extreme example) Hitlers Germany.

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    1. I believe in defense. But yes, there are very few things that can justify war, and even then some argue that war is always wrong. Yeah, I agree, there is no glory even if you feel as though you're going right. No glory, but perhaps a sense of duty. Thanks for commenting. :)

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  4. Before anything else, I think all the leaders of the world should understand the importance of equality. They shouldn't be greedy and dominating. I think they should have discussions calmly, not resort to violence and weaponry.
    If they do that, there won't be any wars anymore.
    But ah well. There's a long way to that route...
    Stay awesome as ever,
    Much love,
    Archie <3
    http://eeriefairy.blogspot.com

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    1. Definitely. Coercion and violence should be the alternative option.
      Thanks, Archie. :)

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  5. YOUR POSTS ARE JUST WOW. I totally agree with all this, economic gain and just to test out new weapons is stupid. I wish war would end.

    But I feel like we still need war, we need to defend ourselves. There has never been a time in history (and there most likely never will be) a time of full world peace. War is important sometimes, but sometimes it's just stupid.

    Maybe we can figure out a way to not go to war, and just discuss it. No guns, no weapons or anything, just a real human conversation. Hopefully, that can happen.

    This post was amazing Jo :)

    ~Noor

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    1. Yeah, agreed. :)
      I believe we need wars sometimes. Just not...petty and pointless ones. We should be careful not to cross the line into madness. But of course, sometimes people are forced into a war and need to defend themselves, so I agree they have little choice in such circumstances.
      Hopefully in the future. I think with each passing generation we become a little better at this!
      Thank you so much! :D

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  6. I don't really know much about War. :( It's not even a topic that comes up very much on the Australian news and such, although mostly when we lose men (half the time it's from a weapon mistake in friendly territory...gah) so I have no idea if it's seemingly glorified or romanticised. I just know war is horrible and asking people to kill other people is dreadful and the idea that leaders/government might not be doing their best to stop war and make sure people live? That's horrifying.

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    1. That's cool, me neither. :) Yeah, it doesn't come up on our news much, does it? Occassionally there is stuff about the Iraqi War, I suppose. I don't think war is necessarily glorified in the news; I was thinking more like pop culture. But it's true that some of them tell stories in ridiculously flowery ways. It is horrifying indeed. Maybe it's just a pacifist thing. :)

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  7. I agree with you on this, Jo. I wrote a poem on my blog once upon a time about the price of war, and If anybody actually wins. How much are we prepared to sacrifice in order to triumph, and even when we do, was it really worth it?
    My view? Nobody wins in a war. We lose many young soldiers, desperate to prove themselves. We lose many civilians, whether their deaths are accidental or deliberate. Children are robbed of parents, countries are robbed of beloved landmarks due to bombing, and overall we lose what makes us human.
    We lose ourselves in war.

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    1. I saw that poem! It was a good poem. :D
      Yeah, agreed. No one really 'wins'...one side can come out advantageous but usually they find themselves with heavy losses. And your right, civilians are caught in the middle of a war they didn't want. Just look at the current situation in Iraq, for example. The US government is supposed to be conducting airstrikes to contain ISIS, but some argue that they are also terrorists because of their civilian casualties and invasion of another country for economic gain. Often we forget these civilians have lives too.
      We do, that is a great summary. :)

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  8. Jo, this post is great. Great, as in true. Great, as in moving. Great, as in inspiring.
    You're a talented writer. You know how to make people think.

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    1. Thank you so much Tane. I'm glad you liked the post. :)

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