Thursday, July 26, 2007

War- what is it good for?

Recently I just finished reading Band of Brothers. I got interested in it after I watched the mini series on the History Channel. Both were really well done and they helped to personalize the second world war by telling the story of E Company in the 101st Airborne Division. However, as I was reading it struck me how odd it is that winning or losing is determined by killing other people and that is what war consists of, is killing others of the human race. If you think about World War II I believe that there were many good German soldiers who were fighting for the honor of their country, just like our boys were. Of course Hitler was an evil dictator and had to be stopped, just as Saddam Hussein was, but it's just sad and puzzling that the way to solve these problems is through blood shed. I have come to realize that war is a necessary evil. Weak people need to be protected from those who would try to control them but it just makes me really sad to think of all the thousands, actually more like millions, of men who have died, on both sides fighting and killing and suffering. Perhaps the title of this rant isn't fully appropriate because I am perfectly aware what the purpose of war is but you'd just think there would be another way.


Em said...

I've had that thought to. It seems like ony men would think of war as a rational solution, doesn't it? But then I am assured that the few matriarchal societies out there have been just as violent, so who knows.

Watching the Ken Burns Civil War documentary last night, I reflected on how war, and real life-and-death situations, and dealing with fear and fragility becomes such an important right of passage for those who survive it. At least in the case of the Civil War, it made a lot of men softer, and more cognizant of how complex the whole human dichotomy is.
There are not many ways for men to become aware of that in this world. Although lucky for us, Mormon missions also serve as a similar right of passage. Something to turn a boy into a man (hopefully an insightful, intuitive, compassionate mature one).

But war can also have the opposite effect and just desensitize people, depending on what they decide to do with the experience.

It's enough to make me very glad that God is in charge, and I'm not.

Libby said...

Well written article.