War is an integral part of humanity.
I know that sounds terrible but history is replete with this scenario: Peace > War > Peace > War > Peace > War… It is uninterrupted to this day.
WWI came to an end when an armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany in a train carriage in the forest of Compiegne, just North of Paris on Monday 11 November at 5.00 am. Six hours later at 11 am, guns went silent, and the fighting was over.
That said, negotiations between the belligerent forces went on for another seven months before the actual Peace Treaty of Versailles that officially ended World War I was signed in the Hall of Mirrors in the Chateau de Versailles, just West of Paris.
It is now realized that The Treaty of Versailles, by its terms, laid the seeds that led to World War !! some 30 years later. WWI claimed about 17 million lives of which 7 million were civilians. It also had an estimated 20 million casualties. Together that represents more than the entire population of Canada.
This is not a pretty picture, and as I said, the final terms which took six months to author and, which included terms of surrender, reparation and were suitable for the Allies left bitterness and unacceptability on the losing side, the result being this short-sighted approach of the Versailles Treaty didn’t avoid an even larger, in fact the largest conflict to date: WW2
WWII claimed about 25 million military lives, 25 million civilian lives, and another 25 million deaths related to war deprivation like famine and sickness. These totals represent about 4 out of every 100 people alive worldwide at that time. This does not even take into account the wounded. Few families were unaffected by this worldwide conflict.
I don’t like presenting war in terms of ‘figures and statistics’ because it in no way represents the trauma horror and deprivation nations, families and individuals went through. I don’t have to tell you that there are innumerable books, documentaries and movies that expound on these horrific experiences.
Between the two World Wars
Did we learn from WWI? Was warfare curtailed in those 30 intermediary years? Unfortunately, the answer is no. About 170 conflicts of varying degree are history. In naming these conflicts here are some terms used: Revolts, massacres, incidents, rebellions, terrorism, coups, invasions, putsches, uprisings, clashes, civil wars, revolts, agitations, revolutions, riots and crises.
Since WWII, all the above terms are equally valid… if not more so. War is an integral part of humanity… it’s a fact.
The Explanation is dedicated to the question: How would you bring peace and prosperity to Earth? In the light of the 96th commemoration of the Armistice of 1918 (celebrated 2 days ago, Nov. 11 2014) and the passing from the scene of the last surviving soldier of the WW1 conflict we have to look the situation right in the face and ask not only… is the situation improving or regressing but even more importantly:
Why war? How to get out of the spiral of Peace > War > Peace > War…?
If we want peace, then we can’t help but ask fundamental questions to see if there are valid answers and what those answers are.
Here’s a list of questions amongst others:
- How can we satisfy needs of winners and loser?
- What to do with recalcitrant peace acceptors, or flagrant warmongers?
- How to deal with the hurt and pain, both physical and mental?
- What about the dead?
- How to rebuild the lives of the injured, traumatized, and captives…?
- What about the injured who’ve lost limbs?
- The shocked soldiers who have lost their mind?
- How to integrate them into society?
- How to develop a ‘new society’ for a devastated country/people?
- What about those that committed themselves to the war effort?
- And those that resisted the war effort and are in conflict with the above group?
- Who has the wisdom, strength and authority to run a ‘rebuilding’ program?
- Can winner and loser be reconciled?
- How does reconciliation take place?
- Can a definite end be put to War?
- On a national level? What about on a community, city, gang, family level?
Dozens of questions like these really remain without solid answers… even today in our advanced society.
None of this is ‘fiction’, we can’t think that solutions will just ‘show up’. This is serious business. Real peace and prosperity depend on real answers to these and many other fundamental questions.
Stay with The Explanation for the next months I’ll not only ask more questions but propose solutions to show what an eventual positive outcome could be.
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