On this day last year, the last of Syria’s chemical weapons were shipped out for destruction. Also, on this day in 1180, the Genpei War started in Japan. Also, on this day in 1758, the British beat the French at Krefeld. Also, on this day in 1940, Hitler came to Paris to celebrate the fall of France. I could literally go on and on and on. In fact, today isn’t a particularly great day for war. But every day is a great day for war!
As I do these anniversary posts, I stay away from wars. But I am inundated by them. Humans really are vile. There is always someone going to war with someone else. They all have their reasons but ultimately, they are all land grabs — whether for resources or tax revenues or just some king who wants more people to pretend that he is a god. Whatever.
What amazes me is that nothing has changed. As we went to war this most recent time in Iraq, I was struck by how gullible people were. They seem totally clueless. Why don’t people realize that the people of Nazi Germany were also given plausible sounding justifications for invading Poland? Leaders don’t go before their people and say, “I’m evil so I’m starting a war!” No, they say things like, “We don’t want the smoking gun to come in the form of a mushroom cloud.” Remember that Saddam Hussein didn’t think the US was really going to invade Iraq for a very good reason: it didn’t make any sense. Certainly all the justifications for that war were bunk.
So wars go on. And on. And on. And now the United States is constantly at war. War itself has lost its meaning for us. War is just where we are going to concentrate our attacks. But we have good reasons to support this state of things. We are all so very, very afraid. But it isn’t the “terrorists” who are making us afraid. It is our leaders. And that’s been true since at least the Neolithic period — over 12,000 years ago.
So happy anniversary war: it’s your anniversary every day!