Because of our good friend 13-year-old porch pisser Dzz, we had no anniversary post yesterday, so let me double up. Yesterday in 241 BC, the Roman Republic defeated Carthage at the Battle of the Aegates Islands — thus ending the First Punic War (thus named because it wasn’t the last — there were three of them). And then, on this day in 1387, Padua defeated Verona at the Battle of Castagnaro. None of it really matters to me in any personal way. I could do military battles every day for ten years without repeating myself. There’s always a war, always a battle.
What stuns me is that roughly 10,000 years ago, humans settled down and invented agriculture. In many ways, since that time, we have become far more civilized. Yet the wars just keep on coming. The United States is now on a constant military campaign. It’s absurd to talk about Congress declaring war because we don’t start wars; we just have a single war, it is global, and it will never end — at least until the American empire falls (which is coming).
But all this time! Thousands of years and we keep thinking that war is the way to solve our problems. And it always turns out the same. People think wars are a good idea to start with and then afterward, it is never clear what everyone was in such a big rush for? I’m very fond of Norman Soloman’s documentary, War Made Easy. The subtitle of it is, “How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” That really is what it’s all about. In general, I am convinced that people just want to go to their jobs, raise their kids, have the occasional barbecue, and that’s about it. But there are always powerful people around who have “bigger” ideas.
The following table from War Made Easy is sobering:
If you want to put it in the most basic of terms: it seems that war is becoming more dangerous for children. You would think after all these thousands of years, we would have figured out how not to fight wars. But maybe it is just too basic. I do think of humans as just machines. What are we to do but what we are programmed for? So the Battle of Castagnaro or the Battle of the Aegates Islands. It doesn’t matter. Humans just like to kill each other.