War is an unnecessary evil


Madeline Steward

Madeline Steward, Photos Editor

This question was presented musically by Edwin Starr in 1970 and more famously by Bruce Springsteen in 1986, but here I am, in 2017, still awaiting an answer. The concept of war has been bred into Americans since birth, but even after generations of cowboys and indians, and more lessons than I can remember on the topic, I still can’t comprehend who thought this odious act was a good idea.

Clearly, everyone is aware on what war is. But to put it in layman’s terms, one leader of a group/country disagrees with another leader of a group/country, so instead of sitting down like adults and conversing over the subject, they send whoever they are in charge of to risk their lives instead. Keep in mind, that the people who are actually fighting may not even agree with what they are fighting for, but they definitely might lose their life for it.  Explaining war stripped of its specific details sounds more than illogical, but getting into the particulars is even worse.

War, by definition, is a conflict that has taken more than 1000 lives. According to The New York Times, in the just the twentieth century, there were 108 million deaths due to war. That’s 108 million lives that could’ve been ended surrounded by their loved ones, rather than in a place nowhere near home or family. The problem isn’t death, everyone is going to die, the problem is how it was orchestrated. People shouldn’t have to die to support something, nor should they have to be forced into defending a country, something considered home, at an age under 18 in order to fight for something they barely understand.

It’s not the idea of doing what is necessary to defend a country that shakes me to my core, but rather the game of manipulation that is practiced. The military is an expert of taking away the humanity that is at a loss during these conflicts. When thinking of any middle eastern country Americans probably think of three main things: desserts, terrorists and danger. Any one from the Middle East is going to think all Americans are lazy, fat and entitled. What the other lacks to see is the lives and the beauty that is happening in that country. They’re humans too, they care for one another and live their lives, and just because it’s different doesn’t mean it is wrong.

Now, it’s easy to assume that nobody gets excited about war. Granted, if everyone truly agreed that war is terrifying and the worst, then it probably wouldn’t be happening. But, it’s become a universal truth. War is tied into traditions, it’s been a documented part of history since 2700 BCE. Religion is the core and base to what society was built off of. Nearly every religion speaks of peace and love, yet everyone practices the opposite. Would the “God” that everyone believes in truly support the slaughtering of man, man that was created by the same god? If humans are ordered to practice peace, and “love thy neighbor,” war shouldn’t be so normalized.

As stated by the Huffington Post, in 2012 having no religion became the the third most practiced religion. With so many people no longer practicing religion, they have no God to impress, therefore the awful act of war should be excused. But, what blows my mind, is with the advancement of society, from technology to equality, to even the point of people straying away from religion, something that was once the backbone to all civilization, war still remains. Society still can’t find a better solution for war, a caveman act that destroys lives, but don’t worry, because my gay friends can stream anything they want on their phone, at any instant. The technological and societal acceptance advances are amazing, but war is holding us back from uniting everyone.

Instead of war, everyone should be searching for an answer that unites, rather than tears people apart. A world without war seems impossible, nobody can just stop and quit wars cold-turkey. But if everyone starts aiming for the same goal, and starts trying to understand one another, rather than hurt each other, it will start progressing in the right way. Switzerland hasn’t been in a war since 1847 and Sweden was last in war in 1814, it’s clearly not impossible to restrain from killing thousands of people and sending a country into major debt.

Although it’ll be a long time, far from now, it’s time civilization throws out these caveman-like traditions and starts making love instead of war.