The entire world is at war. Across the Middle East war rages on. War is the greatest plague that can afflict humanity, it destroys religion, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any scourge is preferable to it. War and killing, shatters speech, ends communication, isolating us into different acknowledge. War forms its own cultures.
The lessons of war are clear. Killing is what war is all about, and killing by its very nature, especially in combat, causes deep pain and guilt. The language of war helps us to deny what war is really about, and in doing so makes war more palatable.
It was Charlie Chaplin who said, “We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery.” Power has poisoned men’s souls, barri caded the world with hate, has driven mankind into misery and bloodshed.
The violence of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug. Politicians’ endow it with qualities it often does possess: excitement, and power and the chance to rise above small nations. War dominates culture, distorts memory, corrupts language, and infects everything around it, even humour, which becomes preoccupied with the grim perversities of smut and death.
It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Wars are not paid in war-time, the bill comes later.” War is indeed a crime against humanity.
Farouk Araie, by email
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