Friday, August 19, 2011

The Inhumanity of War

Editor's Note: I originally had this article published by Global Research on March 23, 2011

The world is engulfed in wars, now in Libya, where the US and its allies have begun bombing a sovereign country, as well as in the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

While there are those who condemn the use of violence on all sides and stress the need for dialogue, it seems that world leaders do not realize just how inhumane war is.

Wars are detrimental to everyone involved.

Our servicemen and women suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and are sometimes physically scarred as well, while civilians are often killed, sometimes brutally and without remorse. In these killings, the soldier becomes deeply damaged on a psychological level because in order to kill someone, one must first detach themselves from the situation and see the person or people he is killing as ‘the enemy’ and herein lies the danger. To see certain people as ‘the enemy’ is essentially dehumanizing them and thus relieving yourself of any wrong doing.

This mindset extends not just to the people you are fighting, but to the entire population at large, then it is not difficult to understand just how easy it is for people to massacre civilians indiscriminately.

Yet, in this dehumanization of other human beings, soldiers also dehumanize themselves. By killing others, the soldier allows his/her empathy, compassion, and value of human life to slowly erode.

This dehumanization continues when it comes to the situation of civilian deaths.

The political and military elite use such terms like ‘collateral damage’ to describe the situation. In reality, what they are saying is that civilians don’t matter and they, like the soldiers, detach themselves from the situation.

This is only made worse when soldiers commit war crimes and the elite act with haste to produce a coverup story. One recent incident being a so-called NATO (so-called because whenever civilians are killed, the US likes to say that it was a NATO weapon, when, more likely than not, it was an American weapon) helicopter killed nine Afghan boys, they are complicit in the destruction of their own morals by protecting what is wrong.

What needs to occur so that this will end, is that the public at large needs to see the inhumanity of war and this is not meant just for the United States, but for the world at large.

If the masses see how inhumane and wrong war is, they will be more likely to demand the need for dialogue between parties. Also, we need to change the thinking of the military and political elite so that everyone realizes 
exactly what they are doing when they declare war on another country or launch Tomahawk missiles into a country- killing people, whether they have a uniform on or not. If we do not do this, the cycle of inhumanity will continue and so will the moral destruction of our soldiers and politicians.

We must realize the inhumanity of war, for only then will it be stopped.

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