By Ptdtch (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
There was a time not many decades ago when warfare was defined by the combatants wearing uniforms to identify who they were and also to separate them from the civilian population and other non-combatants. Within this arena there were also codes of practice on how the actual war was conducted, including an ‘etiquette’ for dealing with the wounded and captured prisoners.
We have moved a long way from these ‘Marquis of Queensbury rules’ as combatants no longer wear uniforms to identify themselves. Indeed we now see them in civilian clothing, actually merging with the civilian population and carrying out acts of warfare against those same civilians they hide amongst. It seems as though nothing is sacrosanct any more as rape is now used as a tool of warfare, instead of ‘collateral damage’, and children are targeted with growing regularity.
Unmanned ‘drones’ carry out bombing raids that remove their operators from any risk, and cause further mayhem to an already traumatised civilian population. Terrorism is the perfect description of modern conflict as it seeks to aggravate our greatest fears with acts of barbarism in our day to day lives we struggle to comprehend.
From certain aspects I see a correlation between the excesses of Capitalism and the excesses of religious fundamentalism, taking us more and more out of balance as a species, as one belief system seeks to dominate the other. Both are becoming increasingly abusive in their desire for global power, with scant regard for the chaos and misery they inflict upon the majority in their futile quest for domination.
There was a time when traditional religious belief was the line over which Society did not tread, providing a moral value that contained the actions of aggressive power struggles. Sadly our religious institutions have lost sway over Societies values having sowed the seeds of their own destruction by not evolving as our species has evolved, and abusing their own powers in the process.
So where does this leave us now, in a world that has had its traditional moral values erased by the onward advance of Capitalism and its shallow lust for profit over all else, countered by the traditional values of religious fundamentalism?
Certainly governments should be Societies protector but they too have succumbed to the shallow values previously mentioned. Global institutions like the United Nations have shown time and time again that they are impotent in controlling abusive nations and countries, as they too succumb to the interests of powerful governments working hand in glove with giant corporations.
If children and airline passengers are no longer safe from senseless power plays it can only be a short step to nuclear war. Already we hear of unstable organisations and countries desperately seeking this capability as the ultimate weapon with which to achieve their quest for power. If there is no longer a set of global values with which to curb these desperate acts it might not be long before they achieve their obscene goals.
Oh . . . and the reward for this achievement? A Planet that resembles a lunar landscape, unlivable because of nuclear fallout and bereft of people to rule because the violence continued beyond children and airline passengers.
Until the next time.