November 11, 2005

Horse 436 - That It Should Never Happen Again

87 years ago today, the guns fell silent on the Western Front, and the War To End All Wars came to a close. 4 years of slaughter, lives shattered, communities gutted. Never again, people vowed, would nations indulge in such excesses of violence.

But they did. The list of subsequent conflicts makes for depressing reading, though the following is not exhaustive, it does cover most conflicts since 11th November 1918 that involved more than one nation:

Allied Intervention in Russian Civil War (1919 - 1921)
Second World War (1939 - 1945)
Ecuador - Peru Border War (1941)
Madagascar Rebellion (1947)
First Kashmir War (1947 - 1948)
Israeli War of Independence (1948 - 1949)
Korean War (1950 - 1953)
Mau-Mau War (1952 - 1956)
Algerian War of Independence (1954 - 1962)
Suez Campaign (1956)
Lebanese Civil War (1958)
French - Tunisian Clashes (1958)
Dhofar Rebellion in Oman (1960s - 1970s)
Congo Crisis (1960 - 1967)
Cameroon Rebellion (1960 - 1963)
Liberation of Goa (1961)
French - Tunisian Clashes (1961)
Angolan War of Independence (1961 - 1975)
Sino-Indian War (1962)
Eritrean War of Independence (1962 - 1991)
Tutsi Invasion of Rwanda (1963)
Algerian - Moroccan Border War (1963 - 1964)
Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde Islands War of Independence (1963 - 1974)
Vietnam War (1956 - 1975)
Laotian Civil War (1960 - 1975)
Mozambican War of Independence (1964 - 1975)
Somali Border Wars with Ethiopia and Kenya (1964 - 1967)
Tutsi Invasion of Rwanda (1964)
Second Kashmir War (1965)
Dominican Intervention (1965 - 1966)
North Yemen Civil War (1966 - 1968)
Namibian War of Independence (1966 - 1990)
Sino-Indian Skirmish (1967)
Nigerian Civil War (1967 - 1970)
Six Day War (1967)
Jordanian Civil War (1970)
Mercenary Invasion of Guinea (1970)
Cambodian Civil War (1970 - 1975)
Bengali War of Independence (1971)
Yom Kippur War (1973)
Lebanese Civil War (1975 - 1990)
Angolan Civil War (1975 - 2002)
Mozambican Civil War (1975 - 1992)
Saharan War (1975 - Present)
Egypt - Libya War (1977)
Ogaden War (1977 - 1978)
Uganda - Tanzania War (1979)
First Persion Gulf War (1980 - 1988)
Casamance Rebellion in Senegal (1980 - Present)
Ecuador - Peru Border War (1981)
Falklands War (1982)
Israeli Invasion of Lebanon (1982 - 1984)
Grenada Invasion (1983)
Israeli-Lebanese Border War (1984 - 2000)
First Intifada (1987 - 1993)
Panama Invasion (1989)
Sierra Leone Civil War (1990s)
Kashmir Border Conflict (1990 - Present)
Somali Civil War (1990 - Present)
Second Persian Gulf War (1990 - 1991)
Third Balkan War (1991 - Present)
Yemeni Civil War (1994)
Occupation of Haiti (1994 - Present)
Chiapas Uprising (1994 - Present)
Ecuador - Peru Border War (1995)
Yemen - Eritrea Border Conflict (1996)
Zairian - Congolese Civil War (1996 - 1997)
Congo Civil War (1997)
Saudi - Yemen Border Conflict (1998)
Kosovo Conflict (1998)
Congo Civil War (1998 - 2002)
Guinea-Bissau Civil War (1998-1999)
Liberian Civil War (1999)
Second Intifada (2000 - Present)
The War in Afghanistan (2001 - Present)
Third Persian Gulf War (2003 - Present)

Every year, at the cenotaphs and at remembrance services throught the world, the following words are spoken:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

And indeed many of us do remember. But how many have learned the lesson written in the blood of slaughtered youth? That war is no solution, but instead creates more problems than it addresses. And where are the memorials to the innocent civilians, the aged, the infirm, the children? People who's deaths are, in too many cases, simply not recorded, subject to estimated casualty figures, described as collateral damage. Yet these are human beings like you and me, people who think and feel, who hurt and can be hurt. And we don't even accord them the smallest dignity of recording their passing.

Bombs and Guns do not discriminate who they kill, be they soldier, civilian rich or poor.
I can't help but think that it's all a bloody waste.

1 comment:

Jules said...

It was also 30 years ago today that the government was fired.

Long may we save God Save The Queen, because nothing will save the Governor-General.