You already knew that, of course – one of the more obvious comments that one could make. But, it used to be uglier.
I’m not referring to ten years ago, or even fifty – I’m referring to hundreds of years ago, in the medieval era. How was it uglier? Distance.
In the Medieval period, (with the exception of the trebuchet, or launching arrows from a distance), when armies met it was hand-to-hand. The soldier wasn’t shooting people from hundreds of yards away – he was hacking them with a sword or battle-axe as he looked at him. And it didn’t stop . . . for hours. Can you imagine? Swinging a heavy sword for hours, slipping and being splattered with unimaginable gore at every side, seeing the face of every one you struck down? It was glorious.
Yes, glorious – at least that’s what the writings of the period indicate. That’s just a reminder of how people can become completely oblivious to atrocity, to murder, to sights that no man or woman should ever have to witness, and to acts of such barbarity that . . . well, in hindsight, we can only cringe at the unspeakable horrors that people of those days would gather to watch, and to not only watch, but to be participants.
“For God and King.” For King, yes . . for God, not hardly. “God,” He/She/It, has nothing to gain from such a thing. But it can feel good to us, nonetheless. The ego has found no better playground than the field of war. The elixir of power that comes with “winning” is strong, and delicious. Problem is, not much of that sweet nectar makes it down to the field, where exhausted combatants are slipping in the blood of their friends. No, the honey gets poured in the King’s chamber. The person on the field gets paid, and maybe some trinkets to display on his/her sleeve, and that is about it. Better than nothing, I suppose.
George McGovern, who passed away in the last day or so, was once quoted as saying:
“I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.”
Back when he was running for President, when I was much younger and a lot dumber, I detested George McGovern – probably because my parents did; I didn’t know squat about war or politics. Now, having been to war myself, I can say with certainty that “I’m fed up to the ears,” too.
No amount of killing will ever bring an end to killing. All it will do it what is has always done – wreck lives while enriching a few. Can’t we evolve? Isn’t it time?
Many Blessings To All…