War is by no means a stranger to us, even if we have not had the tragedy of
having to live through it. Whether in movies or real-life accounts of war
experiences, we are well exposed to the horrors of human crimes, sufferings and
destruction. Many feel that such depictions are usually sensationalized in order
to get an audience, but in my opinion, war can never be as cruel as they are
shown via third-person accounts. In fact, it is worse.
suffering that results from war is unimaginable. Innocent civilians are maimed
or killed, while the soldiers face irreparable physical and mental damage even
years after. A recent news article revealed that the effects of Agent Orange
used in the Vietnam War more than twenty years ago are today still felt by the
young children with enormous heads swollen from the inhalation of the gas. The
kind of destructive rampage that soldiers, excited by blood lust, inflicted on
the people during the infamous Nanjing Massacre is testimony to how much
suffering is unleashed during wars. How then can war ever be justified?
Furthermore, everything around us suffers when there is a war. In Kuwait, the
Gulf War might have liberated them from the invasion of Iraq, but the damage
done to the environment and economy took months to
subside. When the Iraqis set fire to the oilfields in an attempt to
create difficult conditions for the Allied forces to maneuver safely in, they
also inadvertently created one of the worst ecological disasters of the century.
Thousands of wildlife died from the pollution of their habitats and the air
remained black and foul for many months thereafter. Kuwait had to struggle to
rebuild its economy from scratch. Once an affluent country it was barely able to
support its people.
In a war, there are no winners. How then can one say that it is justified
since it does nothing but condones violence
in trying to solve the problems? The amount of resources and lives that are lost
by both sides does not convince anyone that it is good to have war. During the
World Wars, both victors and losers spent years trying to recover from the
devastation. This could have been avoided if other peaceful means had been
employed to forestall the problem instead of
letting it balloon to a stage where nothing else save war will do.
The only justification for going to war is to defend one's liberty. The very
basic right of every human being is the right to freedom. If that is taken away
from any me, all else pales in comparison. When one is enslaved by another
country's tyranny, the primal urge to free oneself and survive is
understandable. Only in such a case, when one is truly threatened, should war
ever be a consideration.
Yet, what is the price of freedom if so much is destroyed in the process? In
the same way what is life if one has to live in shame and slavery? It is an
unfortunate fact of modern living that this is a Gordian knot that has yet to be