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Isn't war a fusion of hell, purgatory and exhilaration?

Stephen Hornsby-Smith

Apart from the pageantry and acts of outstanding valour,isn't war a fusion of hell, purgatory and exhilaration?

The real nature of war isn't just a living organic, regenerative life form that should be 'pruned' after it has flowered, but a ugly guerrilla war against oneself, an anti-immune system breaking down and a socialized pathology that actually humans need to experience? Could war ever be an example of non hatred but self-sacrifice? Could war ever be a reinvention of how to die rather than how to kill?

Here are some observations of some recent European wars:

- In the 20th century we invented a civil war in Europe to demonstrate Total war. - Modern warfare involved the dehumanization of individualism. - The inevitable social and psychological problems of integration back into civvy street after war have united all soldiers into a common experience that doesn't discriminate in terms of rank but has become a recognized and legitimate after effect of war - soldiers are no longer shot for cowardice like they were in the 1st world war. Indeed post traumatic stress disorder has been successfully introduced to society as a measure of just how terrible a war soldiers had fought. It offers society some understanding and some individualism to the soldiers concerned, and it has developed into sociably acceptable social issue for charity status. - Did Europe choose between Hitler and Stalin in ending the 2nd world war? - Hitler reinvented social classism by the class war against Jews not just on a racial but on a social demographic to be 'eliminated'. - Hitler tried to invent a society wide guilt free attitude for the Holocaust. - War was a tsunami in 20th century Europe whose after affects were felt up until the end of the Cold War. - The bombing of Dresden was bomber Harris' Hiroshima that symbolized the prevention of German scientist's from making an atomic bomb to be used in Europe. Conclusion When humans engage in political argument they barely conceal the potential for non-political forms of violence. War is in our DNA, but there is an acceptable form of a just war. It is just that people are divided at what morality informs the claim of a just war. Cyber warfare is the latest white-collar weapon to destabilize and undermine countries without a foreign soldier stepping on foreign soil. Is that a just war? Or is water shortage or climate change a weapon that just because it doesn't use 'guns' is a just war?

I believe that it is part of human society that has to redefine what a just moral war is. Like PTS Disorder we are all culpable of enjoying stories of heroism in war but are less sure about how to respond to a hidden warfare that might be the future.. Or not. You decide.

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