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War: The Mysterious Noun

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Since the beginning, this great country we know as the U.S.A. has been in and out of war; as a matter of fact, we’re involved in war today, and I must ask why. What is war besides a means to terrorize another country, making them feel inferior to you? What is war besides an act that kills thousands and demolishes entire cities one bullet at a time? Can war ever be justified or it is done for no other reason than ‘because’? Again I ask, what is war?

According to Philip Caputo, war is a teacher. It teaches us that we’re not immortal; in fact far from it. It’s a false pretense that attracts young men and women who like their adrenaline to max out; then it gives them a sense that is noble and good but Mead begs to differ. Margaret Mead, a prominent anthropologist, states that war is omnipresent; it lies in the words of poets, the toys of a child, the weapons of a soldier, and the hearts of those statesman and diplomats who believe war is the answer. War is the enemy; we should be at war with war. “A poor invention will usually give place to a better invention” and Boswell agrees.

James Boswell agrees with Mead by stating that war has been refined by civilization. We try to justify war by calling it “a method in our madness.” Even though religion states that thou shall not kill, we turn to war as a way out. Maybe President Kennedy’s 1960 inaugural speech challenge “ask what you can do for your county” is the force that drives our ambition; or at least it used to be. Lotta Harbor statistically shows that as years progress, war occurs less often around the world. Maybe Mead’s plea that war should be obsolete was heard; maybe that new invention is no longer a fantasy or a dream. But will war ever really be obsolete? So again I ask, what is war?

War can be many things-a teacher, a destroyer, maybe even a mender- but war’s actions may never be justified. The war in Iraq, which has been occurring for eight years, is seen as a means of self-defense but is that a justified reason. Will that in actuality prove that war is okay? Several excuses, along with self-defense, have been made but not one can justify the cause. So can war actually be justified? Should war be obsolete? Guess one will never know until a true definition for war is given. So, what is war?





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