Planet in trouble

Across the planet, wars are raging across both hemispheres. It was Edward Gibbon who once said, “as long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.”

By (Farouk Araie, by email)

Published: Sun 17 Mar 2013, 8:24 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:48 AM

The environmental consequences of war are staggering. One example is cyclonite, a toxic substance that may cause cancer. Rocket propellants deposit perchlorates, which damage the thyroid gland. Millions of landmines still cause the death of men, women and children today.

The destruction of one’s own homeland is a time-honoured, albeit tragic wartime custom. In a scorch-earth policy, an entire land mass is destroyed, to deprive the enemy.

Response to aggression must not exceed the nature of the aggression. To destroy civilisation by waging a “total war” as it could be waged would be a monstrously disproportionate response to aggression on the part of any nation.

In today’s wars the whole country becomes the battlefield. Bombs are dropped and missiles fired at villages, towns and cities, killing innocent non-combatants of all ages, razing to the ground buildings and houses, schools and hospitals and in the process, destroying the environment and the eco-system.

If the campaign to make war as a crime is carried out assiduously and persistently, the day will come when war as an option to settle conflict between nations would be rejected and classified as a crime. Then, we can say that our civilisation is truly a civilisation.

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