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Old Wednesday, August 13, 2008
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Default In war, no one wins

In war, no one wins


Though it has been years since a major regional conflict has threatened the fragile balance of peace that exists today, the horrors of war and the memories and lessons that were the bitter fruits of the acts of monstrosity must not be forgotten. It is true that with the collapse of the former Soviet Union and the subsequent end to the Cold War that had more than once threatened to throw the world back into chaos, the world has become more peaceful and the foundations for a lasting peace have been set in stone. However, the frequent occurrence of minor regional hostilities such as in Bosnia and Kuwait serve as constant reminders that the vengeful ghost of war still poses a threat to our peaceful survival, and affirms the fact that in a war, that are no winners only losers.

The act of war, as many perceive, is the act of hostility between two factions that develops with explosive force into a full scale conflict, with both sides pouring their entire resources into attaining victory by crushing the enemy in a military campaign. The violent and militaristic nature of war itself ensures that the spilling of blood and loss to human life is inevitable. The death count for a war that embroils the entire globe may run into the millions as shown in World War Two, where more than twenty million out of a population of just over a hundred million died in Russia. The method of presentation of those figures lulls us into the deadly tendency to write off these figures as being merely "statistics", but it must not be forgotten by mankind that each and every single one of the "statistics" represents a precious human life, forcibly taken away by the simple declaration of war.

In any war, there will be two opposing sides, or maybe more, but what remains as solid as stone is the fact that lives from all sides are lost in the battle, taken by the grim reaper who turns a blind eye to any allegiance one may have, regardless of victory or defeat. In the end, it is humanity as a whole which loses.

With the development of a "civilian's war" since the last World War, the loss of innocent lives has broken out of the traditional confinement among soldiers on the battlefield. Unsuspecting citizens are killed in their sleep, or on the streets, by an assortment of advanced weaponry that includes planes, rockets and bombs. For now, there is nowhere that is "safe" from the onslaught of the enemy. Science has become an even uglier monster with the invention of weapons of mass destruction, intended to wipe out entire populations with just a touch of a button. This act of extreme brutality only serves to deepen the sins of mankind for the acts of cruelty inflicted on their fellow human beings for just being on the wrong side. There are no benefits to this step backwards to the barbarianism that characterised early civilisation, and the only loser is society.

The destructive aims of war, of wiping out the enemy to ensure success, ultimately must result in a general loss of personal property, whether in the simple destruction of homes and lands by advancing troops, or the forceful seizure of property by one's own authority to further the cause of the war. This leaves many unfortunate civilians homeless and destitute, desperate in their continuous struggle for survival against the plague of starvation and disease that afflicts everyone in its path. Devastation of the land occurs with almost periodic regularity in the event of war, laying to waste in hours or just minutes what might have taken years of hard toiling and work to erect. The plague of war leaves in its wake a bleak and unproductive wasteland, useful to no one. The purpose of seizing this piece of wasteland that is often the main aim in wars over territorial occupation, cannot be comprehended by common logic. While one party might have gained some benefits out of it before, it serves no purpose to anyone anymore. It is as we say, a "lose-lose" situation.

While some may attempt to present their argument that the victor in a war is a winner by the fact of increased territories or the acknowledgement of defeat by the other party, this remains a myopic view. What the winner of the war has really gained, is in fact a stagnation of otherwise productive trade, a termination of thousands of innocent human lives and an irreversible outflow of resources that had been made use of to continue the war. War, economically speaking, is non-productive as it channels resources into products that are ultimately destroyed, whether during the war, or after the war. No single country stands to gain much from participating in a long-drawn conflict with other nations.

Some critics of the stand that war produces no winners, only losers, may claim that wars are fought for heroic and noble causes by providing examples of wars fought for unification of territory as in China, or against barbarians such as in the case of the Crusades. However, they have forgotten that these are merely excuses for more sinister and dark agendas, such as genocide and for the lust of power. The ugly head of genocide and racism has again been raised in recent years, with the occurrence of ethnic-cleansing in Bosnia between the Serbs and the Muslim Croats. Further away from home, in Africa, was the mass murder of thousands of Tutsis in the civil war in Rwanda that has shocked the international community in its cruelty and inhumanity. After thousands of years of civilisation, the human kind has yet and again failed in its quest for equality and a civilised society. War makes every single one of us losers, sharing in the humiliation of defeat.

The act of war arouses hatred and breaks human bonds, takes innocent lives and destroys our homes, taking away all that we have cherished in replacement of a darker and bleaker world, making everyone an equal in their failure to stop a war.
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Salamz!

A very good descriptive essay shape it is but i want to ask that will we not be supposed to write a para or two on kinds of warfare of recent times such as,Economic warfare,technological and theoretical warfare as surreptitious as Clash of civilizations in the making,psychological warfare,environmental warfare,etc.

I mean under an essay heading like this,won't it be more fitting to give all connotations a Warfare in recent times imply and then advocate "Peace by Co-existence" as remedy to avoid catstrophies a war brings forth,particularly in an atomic era??Or,it will simply do the way it is conveyed above??Nevertheless, thanks for conceptual feedback into the topic.
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