War and Peace

From [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Tolstoy|Wikipedia]]:

In Episode 14, Season 5 of Seinfeld titled “The Marine Biologist,” Jerry falsely informs Elaine that Tolstoy originally intended for his book “War and Peace” to be entitled “War, What is it Good For?” but that his mistress disagreed with the former title.

Jokes apart, I think that phrase holds a lot of meaning. Just say it aloud, ask yourself — “War, what the hell is it good for?”

Sometimes I pity the human race. Us. Humans. At other times, I’m confused seeing that much of the turning points in our (not always glorious) past were driven by war — be it the Trojan of Troy, or the advances in mettalurgy and crypto during WWII.

Is there no way we can jump out of this loop? Is some kind of destruction necessary for civilization to advance? Is it an inevitable fate of man kind? Is there no way we can overcome this ferocity, this hatred, and just live in peace and harmony?

See with animals, its different. There, the insticts are very basic, raw, natural. Mostly its hunger. Humans are capable of vile, higher order thoughts. Ulterious motives. Jealousy, hatred, racism, violence. Animals don’t do this.

Look at the Israel-Lebanon war. More than [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_2006_Israel-Lebanon_conflict|1000 civilian casualties in Lebanon]]. And what is the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Israel-Lebanon_conflict#International_reaction|international community doing]]? Waiting for the UN to do something. What is the UN doing? Pretty much nothing. What is the US doing? Supporting Israel (atleast definitely not actively criticising Israel).

And what about the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Israel-Lebanon_conflict#Environmental_consequences_of_attacks | environmental damage]]? More than 1 million gallons of petroleum in the ocean. What about damage to the infrastructure? Bridges, roads, dams, hospitals, power stations. Step by step, piece by piece, Israel has //deliberately// brought a nation to its knees within a matter of days.

My mom used to say — its very hard to build up a reputation, it takes years and years of commitment, hard work, networking to build reputation. But it takes one small mistake to bring it all crashing down. Scientists say its going to take decades to rebuild the ecological system off the Lebanon coast. And what about Lebanon itself? How long will it take to recover? Forever? Think about it for a second. What if you were born in Lebanon in 2007? How would life be for you?

Fighting the Hezbollah is a hidden agenda for Israel. And the Hezbollah should be ashamed of themselves, putting their brothers and sisters through this torture. Just pisses me off no end.


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  2. Naveed

    “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” – Joseph Stalin

    There is an inspiring incident we can recall from history. King Akbar the great and King Ashoka, gave up war after seeing that lakhs of innocent people were killed in war. Our contemporary leaders should learn from those great kings.
    Moreover, I personally feel, division of India into India and Pakistan was one of the biggest blunders ever commited by mankind. That division apparently never took place completely as India-pakistan conflict has become perpetual. Soldiers and military officials of both countries involved should refuse to go to war. A country’s military should be used only to maintain law and order and solve serious probems within the country and not kill innocent soldiers of other neighbouring countries. In the name of patriotism human beings are murdering each other.
    Pakistan should be included in India, and there should be only one country – secular India. I think this is the only solution to kashmir problem.

  3. Diwaker Gupta

    *@naveed*: Haven’t seen you around here before, so welcome :)

    Your vision of uniting Pakistan and India is admirable, but unrealistic. I don’t see it happening in my lifetime, and certainly not in a peaceful manner (meaning that if something does happen, it would be likely a consequence of some savage war).

    Its amazing how much impact some key individuals can have on people long after they’re gone. I wonder what Jinnah and Nehru would think if they were to see the continuing struggle between India and Pakistan today.

    Apart from the points you mentioned, a country of course has a right to defend itself. But sometimes a country starts to get soft, like India seems to be getting now. The current Indian government seems spine-less — whether it is acting against elements inside the country or outside the country.

    I just hope that our generation can slowly inch ourselves towards solidarity, one person at a time.

  4. Naveed

    Thanks for ur warm welcome Diwaker :)

    Jinnah and his Muslim league destroyed India. Its logically absurd to have a separate nation for people following a particular religion. My role model is Maulana Abul Kalam Azad; my vocabulary is not rich enough to choose proper words to appreciate Azad. He never associated himself with just Muslims. He called himself an Indian first.
    Azad’s brilliant analysis on why creation of a new country called Pakistan is absurd can be read here: http://www.globalwebpost.com/farooqm/study_res/azad/azad_statement1.html
    India appears to be soft at tackling terrorism and anti-social elements but I think this attitude will do more good than bad in the long run. We are a country that is highly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s principles.

    “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.” – Mahatma Gandhi
    So true!

  5. Diwaker Gupta

    *@naveed*: Thanks for that link, I’ll read through soon. I’m happy to see you think this way. As for India’s not acting doing more good than bad, I hope you’re right, but somehow I feel it is wishful thinking.

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