War is good for something, right?

I’ve never been to war, but I can imagine that it is awful. The buildings around you destroyed, and all the comforts of life taken away. Your friends, colleagues, and other people around you killed. Dead. Looking at pictures of war-torn areas, I imagine war to be the absolute, most hideous thing we can do as human beings.

Casus belli

On the other hand, there are times when war is inevitable and maybe even necessary. I wish that it wasn’t, but there are times when an enemy comes at you in an attempt to destroy you or one of your friends.

Ostrich
Don’t hide your head in the sand

Looking back on history, there probably was no other way to stop the Nazi war machine other than through war. So I’m thankful that millions of men and women around the world decided to not be pacifists and launched into action.

The Other Side Of The Coin

But there are times when war seems totally unnecessary, stupid even. As I read and listen to stories coming out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I keep wondering what the point of it all is. Jerusalem, a city that has been at the crossroads of history for millennia, should not have a property deed. No one should claim it as their property. Certainly, no one should die to occupy it.

Occupied Sign
Occupation stinks

No More Taking Sides

I was listening to “On Being”, a radio show and podcast about the intersection of religion/spirituality and the human condition. The show for the week was titled “No More Taking Sides“. It was about two people, Robi Damelin and Ali Abu Awwad. They both lost a beloved family member (a son and a brother, respectively) in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead of being angry and vengeful about those senseless deaths, they joined a group called The Parents Circle Family Forum. Their group aims to bring together people who have lost loved ones during the conflict. People from both sides, Israeli and Palestinian, come together and work to end the conflict.

They explain their point on the radio show that we shouldn’t take sides on a war we watch from the sidelines. This is because people are getting killed left and right, and it’s kind of immoral to root for that. I agree.

What Is It Good For?

I’m not going to deny that a lot of good science and technology advances come from war. I just wish there was a simpler, more peaceful way.

 

I'm a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Doctor of Public Health program at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. All opinions posted here are my own, of course, and they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my school, employers, friends, family, etc. Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @EpiRen