War: the oldest enemy of humankind
Moana Muller writes an insightful response to two articles, To bomb or not to bomb? and Syrian Airstrikes, that were featured in our previous issue.
War seems to have become the normal and natural way for the world to solve its problems. We send metal to other people, not for them to use, but to make all things un-usable. Along with the craters and the thrown earth, there will be the smell of death mixed with innocence. And the type of war that causes all this is controlled by those who have never been to war and only hear about it from those on the frontline. The people who decide are the people who break into a sweat wondering if the creases will unfurl from their charcoal grey suits.
My next paragraph was going to be this: ‘When someone is murdered in our country, they make headline news. Their life story is told (no matter how short) and flowers fall from all corners. But when someone is murdered in war, murdered is changed to ‘killed’ and someone becomes people. Yet these people remain nameless and the…’
You see, I couldn’t finish this paragraph and I didn’t know why. Anything I tried at the end of that sentence didn’t fit. I was trying to blame modern society for creating this monster, but when I looked closer I found out that this was something more than 4,000 years old at least. This ancient procedure seems to be a constant in human times. Words cannot stop it. Words cannot shield and cannot comfort those who are lost in the battle. No matter whose side you are on, some will fall: soldiers, civilians, mothers, fathers, brothers, daughters, sisters and sons.
Yet war is waged to try to help those who cannot help themselves. Perhaps this is a way to look at it: it’s like trying to carry water from a stream in your hands to a dying man. You must let some of the water fall for the man to drink. This is all in the hope that the man will live – not just survive his terrible scars, but walk and run back through the burning tin rooves and concrete rubble of his once-home to reach his own lake. And when he reaches this lake he will be able to drink with his own hands and no water will need to fall.
War is legalised murder. In some ways no different from those murders committed by those with raging minds and bitter hearts, yet its reasoning is ultimately to save and to mend and that tears at me.
Moana Muller, Year 10