Although provocative, I believe the following to be a human impossibility – Human nature being what it is.
But it’s nice to ponder.
Guest Posting by: J. Moore
We have plenty of laws on the books making it illegal to take, or even endanger life. Why not go the logical limit and enact a law making it illegal to start, or even engage in a war, the most notorious life-taker of all? Crazy idea? Of course. But hope springs eternal.
The amount of blood shed in these past ages would hardly fill an ocean; and the pile of bodies killed in action since then would make Mount Everest look like a sand pile. And we forgot, these were flesh-and-blood human beings, folks, with families, friends, occupations, objectives and dreams. Which brings me to the reason I wrote this article.
In WW 1, my father, a soldier in the American army, was fighting in Germany with the French. Because he was a musician they made him a stretcher-bearer. While “doing his duty” a shell landed near him and filled his back with mustard gas. It was in this war that the town of Verdun became famous as the longest battle of the war. Within the first four days, the French divisions had suffered 60% casualties, and German losses almost as heavy.
With a German death toll of 143,000, and a French and American toll of 162,440, Verdun would come to signify, more than any other battle, the grinding, bloody nature of warfare on the Western front during World War I.
Yes, I said grinding and bloody; and I might add bestial, hateful, and ungodly. But that was war in 1916. Fighting another human being in a two-foot, rat-infested, mud-deep trench, with rifles, pistols, daggers, anything that would tear a man’s guts open, disfigure his face for life, or cripple him and left him to die in the stinking trench. If you saw “ All Quiet on the Western Front”, you saw WWI as only the doughboys at war saw it. And if that didn’t turn your stomach and shock your mind you must have had on a different channel.
Man to man combat to the death in tight quarters surrounded by other bodies
is strange to us. Even our so-called modern wars with bigger guns, night glasses, hundred-pound packs, jet planes, and an invisible enemy, is critically different than the wars that went before; particularly WWl where hard-core, man-to-man, no-holds barred clashes were everyday expectations.
But today’s wars with their armor-piercing ammo, drones, long-range rockets and other high tech equipment have made a deadly impersonal game of war.
But in this game, one thing is missing. Human beings. In today’s wars we seldom if ever get to see human beings, real living, breathing human beings. Yesterday’s wars, however, were different. Men struggling hand-to-hand in mortal combat fighting face to face, had to know—he was trying desperately to kill another human being before the other human being killed him—both men not wanting to kill anybody, but in this case, having no choice in the matter. Kill or be killed.
Down where man meets man, no soldier or sailor really wants to go to war.
Only the greedy men see war as a way to assuage their greed: greed for money, greed for territory, greed for revenge, greed for religious differences.
We can’t rid the world of greed, but we could rid the world of war, by enacting a law against war. Before you say, “This could never be done, so why try?”, think hard about the human toll of fighting and dying in the trenches.