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The Misery of Wars and Armed Conflicts

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By: Dr. Ashraf Lone

There is no denying that wars don’t happen in a vacuum but are waged between two or more countries. For centuries, wars have ravaged countries and brought misery to millions of people on this planet. Wars, which were fought to bring peace, didn’t achieve the desired results, instead brought ruin and more wars with them, thus throwing people in despair and countries in ruin. Be it wars and armed conflicts waged in African countries or the recent wars fought in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Ukraine, and Kashmir, these have brought unimaginable suffering and trauma to the inhabitants of these lands. Wars have brought poverty to people, to its victims.

Most of the wars waged by the US and other imperial forces were justified by these on one pretext or the other, be it Afghanistan war or Iraq war. But the real motive and purpose behind these and other wars was to grab resources and land. Warlords and manufacturers, who sell arms, made a fortune out of these wars, by selling weapons and other materials, but at the cost of civilians and poor people. As Viet Thanh Nguyen has righty said in his memoir on Vietenam  war “ Nothing Ever Dies”,

‘War grows on intimate soil, nurtured by friends and neighbours, fought by sons, daughters, wives, and fathers.’

The war between Palestine militant outfit Hamas and Israeli forces, which started after Hamas attacked Israel and its forces, has claimed thousands of lives so far. The people killed in this escalation have nothing to say directly in these wars, caught in the crossfire. Like before, thousands of Palestinian children have been killed in this war so far and there seems no end in sight to this mayhem.  This war has given birth to thousands of orphans and widows. Gaza City, an open air prison, a besieged land has been ravaged by Israeli airstrikes. Israeli right-wing PM Benjamin Netanyahus call to wipe out Gaza from the world map and turn it into the rubble.amounts to calling for a genocide of a particular community.

The massacre of Palestinian children by Israeli forces should make us think about the devastating consequences of war and armed conflicts which are fought on petty issues, and even to satisfy the ego of some of the warmongers. The bombardment of hospitals and schools in Palestine should open our eyes to the horrors of war. Children maimed and killed in this war which has been brought on by imperialist and colonialist forces, should wake us from the deep slumber. The slumber which has made us dumb and blind to the miseries of war and its destruction. This war like other wars has snatched the smile from the faces of mothers fathers, sisters and brothers. It has snatched the smiles of children and assassinated the dreams of these children and parents.

War brings with it the loss and trauma, loss of dear ones and the trauma associated with this loss. The scars which it leaves behind are hard to heal. The trauma and stress war brings on people is hard to be cured. War makes people, young and old disappear, never to be traced, leaving a trail of trauma behind.

One man’s war is another man’s money-generating machine. One nations destruction and one mans’ killing is another nations and another mans’ pride. That’s where the war becomes a commodity and some kind of enterprise. In war, women are molested and graveyards spread everywhere. Families are destroyed.

Soldiers who fight in these wars also feel the brunt of these wars. The families of dead soldiers are also shattered. Their children also become orphans, their wives also become widows. Their mothers and fathers also have to live with the trauma of war and these armed conflicts. If these soldiers survive the bullets and battlefield, they take the trauma and horror of war with them the trauma of dead comrades and killings in which he is involved. BaoNihn’s novel ‘ The Sorrow of War’ captures the horror of the war, of soldiers, in which a soldier remembers the dead and who he killed, and this memory of war shatters him.

“ With canine one smoked to forget the daily hell of the soldier’s life, smoked to forget hunger and suffering. Also, to forget death.And totally, but totally, to forget tomorrow”.

That’s what the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine and Palestine are doing, bringing miseries, death and destruction everywhere and upon every one. War is a monster which consumes everything coming in its way. It destroys cultures. It not only demolishes the bodies, but souls also. War brings with it trauma and terror which last for centuries. Hopes are devastated and dreams are shattered. The attack on Gaza have demonstrated that there are no winners in a war. Only losers and victims.

The writer is a student at JNU, New Delhi.

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