War and Peace

As we advance it is even harder to believe that humans, complex and advanced animals that we are, still have to depend on something so primitive as war to resolve our misunderstandings and conflicts. But it is not surprising that since the beginning of time, there have been two opposing viewpoints constantly at each other's throats, eager to win the moral battle.

War has resolved some of the most difficult problems. For many people, war is perhaps the only way they could possibly be heard, the only way they can gain their independence, like the American Revolution. Such a war was fought only because it was the last choice. All attempts for compromise have proved fruitless, and it had come to the point when the common man had to stand up and bear arms to defend his home and his beliefs and what is his own. War, if at all necessary, has been fought mainly for defense and protection.

Of course, there is another point to consider. War has never brought any good, not even to the victor. The casualties and damage are astronomical and make many people think twice whether war is, in the long run, more good than evil. This damage can not be stressed enough. And even though war is a last resource, it is an act of desperation. Only when all peaceful attempts have failed has war been declared, and that same attitude of desperation was reflected in the battlefields.

I have always doubted that war could be more good than evil. Nevertheless I must admit that war is sometimes the only solution to a problem. Even then, we can not have a war that does not bring forth destruction, despair, and hatred, except for the wars that we fight in our minds. Neither can we always come to peaceful decisions, for men do not think alike. We all have opposing beliefs, and we are all willing to fight to the death to protect our homes and what is ours.

Even though peace is so much better than war, many wise men have noted that there is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others (Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince chapter 3). Sometimes we simply have to face war and its consequences. And sometimes we have peace. That is how the world works, and perhaps it is best that we treasure every moment of peace that we come across. For war can start again at any instant.

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Copyright (c) 1998 by Gemma Truman
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Nothing off Leo Tolstoi (although I would like to read it), just another French IV essay. Honestly I'm rather disappointed that I could only write this much on such a large topic, but heck, I had what, two nights to write this? One to plot and sketch, another to translate, restructure, and review. Whatever. It's still a great topic worth exploring.