Letters & Opinion

No Victor In War

By Stevaco Joseph
Image of Republican candidate, Donald Trump

The scars of Hiroshima
Still haunts me
The wounds of the atomic bomb
Still aches my body
The blood of Vietnam
Still agonizes. …

THE news of threatening war and the callous words espoused by world leaders, Donald Trump and Kim Jung-un, have me feeling the blues.

I want, through this medium, to say something about war and why we should forcefully oppose and condemn it. No thinking, sentient and conscious human should support war. We should not accept the deception implicit in phrases like: “a war to attain peace”, or “a war to liberate”.

The experts, critics, analysts and strategists who are often featured on the media scene speak of war as a competitive event: “the showdown”, “the endgame”, “the final countdown”; they speak glowingly of a splendid grandeur of technological superiority: “precision bombing”, “3 out of 4 surgical strikes” and “a spectacular blaze”.

They harness the illusion that there is a winner in war and appeal to us through their knowledge to accept it. But, to the contrary, I would like to propound a lucid simple truth: there is no victor in war. To adhere to the inane notion of a victory in a war is to ignorantly participate in the celebration of mass murder and destruction.

The brainless capering fools who project war as necessary in human affairs appear to me to promote death-making as something supportable, perhaps pleasurable. This mode of thinking is constructed through the mediums of mass deception. Through Rambo-type movies, Star Trek and many video and online games, our children play and consume, we are processed into thinking that we can win a war, that we can celebrate mass murder.

In the debacle between the U.S.A. and North Korea, can you sense sanity, sensitivity and humanity? Who is the sane one? The Great U.S.A.’s ‘moral principle’ of the world is to be the only one to possess nuclear armament. It commands everyone to de-nuke but who will convince the U.S. to de-nuke, especially when its President seems no saner than the other guy?

President Trump trumpeted: “Military solutions are fully in place, locked and loaded”, “fire and fury”, to de-nuke North Korea. “America must have the best and toughest nuclear arsenal” and perhaps the rest of the world must be defenceless when America goes mad.

Whenever a war intervenes in human relations, it immediately means that the humans who are the protagonists in its manifestation have reached a point of barbarity. Napoleon described war as “the business of barbarians”.

I want to propose that war is premeditated mass murder. Its pre-meditativeness is vividly visible in the staggering escalation of capital and resources put toward the manufacturing of sophisticated implements of death-making. The military budgets escalate annually and the industrial military complex is fortified amidst growing hunger, environmental degradation and terrifying poverty. Social programmes such as daycare, Medicare, low-cost housing and others are being brutally butchered while capital allotted to death-making continues to grow, justified in the name of national security.

War cannot be justified and there is no victory — the human family pays a considerable price; it is desecrated, and we all lose in turn. The Nigerian poet, John Pepper Clark, speaks:

…We fall
All casualties of the war,
Because we cannot hear each other speak,
Because eyes have ceased to see the face from the crowd,
Because we know or
Do not know the extent of wrong on all sides,
We are characters now other than before
The war began, the stay-at-home unsettled
By taxes and rumours, the lookers for office
And wares, fearful every day the owners may return,
We are all casualties…

Brothers and sisters of our insane world, “many of our problems are due to our inability to exercise our wisdom of justice”. Know that war is “the misdirection of our intellectual effort and that is our greatest tragedy”.

1 Comment

  1. Wow
    The aftermath of any nuclear exchange on this fragile planet means million year half life cycles of detrimental contaminants in air land an oceans. For all
    We shall sing…. Water food everywhere and not a droop or morsel to drink nor eat⏱🎆

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