Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Create Account now to join.
  • Login:

Welcome to the Online Debate Network.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.

Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1

    War and Sanctity of Human Life

    Alot of people are apalled by the amounts of casuilties and injuries suffered by our troops in iraq. In past wars there have been many more casualties even in single battles than we have lost in this entire war so far. Why do you think so many people's views on war and sanctity of human life have changed?

  2. #2
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location, Location
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: War and Sanctity of Human Life

    Moved to from "Current Events" to "General Debate" ~Dio

  3. #3
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Sheffield, S.Yorks., UK
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: War and Sanctity of Human Life

    Families personally affected by conflict have long seen war for what it really is, but reporting and imagery were for thousands of years controlled by the 'powers that be' - usually on the winning side.

    For Europeans war reports and early photographs coming back from the Crimea started to clash with the 'romantic imagery' previously portrayed about battles - the sanguine reflection by Wellington after the Battle of Waterloo:
    'Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.'
    Dispatch from the field of Waterloo (June 1815)
    Had stayed tucked away from the glare of publicity at the time.

    People's views about war started to change in America to a certain extent after Gettysburg. Photographs and war reports started to bring the reality of slaughter and suffering to homesteads distant from the battlefront.

    The 'industrial killing' of the First World War trenches - the casualties on the Somme particularly impacted the British mind - in like vein Verdun was seen as the slaughterhouse of French manhood - and put into question the the reality of poems such as Newbolt's poem that likened war to a game of cricket!

    Vitai Lampada
    THERE'S a breathless hush in the Close to-night -
    Ten to make and the match to win -
    A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
    An hour to play and the last man in.
    And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
    Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,
    But his Captain's hand on his shoulder smote
    "Play up! play up! and play the game!"

    The sand of the desert is sodden red, -
    Red with the wreck of a square that broke; -
    The Gatling's jammed and the colonel dead,
    And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
    The river of death has brimmed his banks,
    And England's far, and Honour a name,
    But the voice of schoolboy rallies the ranks,
    "Play up! play up! and play the game!"

    This is the word that year by year
    While in her place the School is set
    Every one of her sons must hear,
    And none that hears it dare forget.
    This they all with a joyful mind
    Bear through life like a torch in flame,
    And falling fling to the host behind -
    "Play up! play up! and play the game!"

    The author Sir Henry Newbolt came to dislike his most famous poem Vitai Lampada; during a 1923 speaking tour of Canada he was constantly called upon to recite the poem: “it’s a kind of Frankenstein’s Monster that I created thirty years ago,” he complained. The poem retained its popularity in Canada long after it fell out of favour in Britain.

    The WWI poet's who saw and faced death had already seen the BS in such words. As can be seen in the following poem (deemed by many as the greatest of war poems), penned by a diminutive Private soldier, the son of refugee Jewish migrants to England; and who along with many other poets did not live to enjoy the Armistice - Isaac Rosenberg.

    Dead Man's Dump.
    The plunging limbers over the shattered track
    Racketed with their rusty freight,
    Stuck out like many crowns of thorns,
    And the rusty stakes like sceptres old
    To stay the flood of brutish men
    Upon our brothers dear.

    The wheels lurched over sprawled dead
    But pained them not, though their bones crunched,
    Their shut mouths made no moan.
    They lie there huddled, friend and foeman,
    Man born of man, and born of woman,
    And shells go crying over them
    From night till night and now.

    Earth has waited for them,
    All the time of their growth
    Fretting for their decay:
    Now she has them at last!
    In the strength of their strength
    Suspended--stopped and held.

    What fierce imaginings their dark souls lit?
    Earth! have they gone into you!
    Somewhere they must have gone,
    And flung on your hard back
    Is their soul's sack
    Emptied of God-ancestralled essences.
    Who hurled them out? Who hurled?

    None saw their spirits' shadow shake the grass,
    Or stood aside for the half used life to pass
    Out of those doomed nostrils and the doomed mouth,
    When the swift iron burning bee
    Drained the wild honey of their youth.

    What of us who, flung on the shrieking pyre,
    Walk, our usual thoughts untouched,
    Our lucky limbs as on ichor fed,
    Immortal seeming ever?
    Perhaps when the flames beat loud on us,
    A fear may choke in our veins
    And the startled blood may stop.

    The air is loud with death,
    The dark air spurts with fire,
    The explosions ceaseless are.
    Timelessly now, some minutes past,
    Those dead strode time with vigorous life,
    Till the shrapnel called `An end!'
    But not to all. In bleeding pangs
    Some borne on stretchers dreamed of home,
    Dear things, war-blotted from their hearts.

    Maniac Earth! howling and flying, your bowel
    Seared by the jagged fire, the iron love,
    The impetuous storm of savage love.
    Dark Earth! dark Heavens! swinging in chemic smoke,
    What dead are born when you kiss each soundless soul
    With lightning and thunder from your mined heart,
    Which man's self dug, and his blind fingers loosed?

    A man's brains splattered on
    A stretcher-bearer's face;
    His shook shoulders slipped their load,
    But when they bent to look again
    The drowning soul was sunk too deep
    For human tenderness.

    They left this dead with the older dead,
    Stretched at the cross roads.

    Burnt black by strange decay
    Their sinister faces lie,
    The lid over each eye,
    The grass and coloured clay
    More motion have than they,
    Joined to the great sunk silences.

    Here is one not long dead;
    His dark hearing caught our far wheels,
    And the choked soul stretched weak hands
    To reach the living word the far wheels said,
    The blood-dazed intelligence beating for light,
    Crying through the suspense of the far torturing wheels
    Swift for the end to break
    Or the wheels to break,
    Cried as the tide of the world broke over his sight.

    Will they come? Will they ever come?
    Even as the mixed hoofs of the mules,
    The quivering-bellied mules,
    And the rushing wheels all mixed
    With his tortured upturned sight.
    So we crashed round the bend,
    We heard his weak scream,
    We heard his very last sound,
    And our wheels grazed his dead face.

    WWI little impacted the American consciousness, since Uncle Sam had been little engaged in the battles and suffered 'few' casualties. Indeed America profitted greatly in political and economic terms for 'little cost'.

    WWII disturbed the European mind from the beginning, since the cost of the previous war was still all around to see, in the maimed and traumatised veterans and millions of families who had lost loved ones. It was Dec 7th 1941 that started the real wake-up call for the Americans - Europe, and numerous other countries were already fully engaged in warfare and it's outcomes.
    But even then for the West the euphoria of victory did to an extent mask the tragedy.

    It takes the bitterness of defeat, or a messy withdrawl, or not being permitted to use all the military 'assets' available, and the conflict appearing to have no clear 'end game' - to make most people wonder if war is worth it. For America that was the experience of Vietnam! And now that message is being reinforced by coalition and NATO experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

  4. #4
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Palace of Kubla Khan and bovine worshippers
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: War and Sanctity of Human Life

    Quote Originally Posted by naturefreak827 View Post
    Alot of people are apalled by the amounts of casuilties and injuries suffered by our troops in iraq. In past wars there have been many more casualties even in single battles than we have lost in this entire war so far. Why do you think so many people's views on war and sanctity of human life have changed?
    The views on the sanctity of human life haven't increased. On the contrary, we've forgotten what 9/11 meant. We should be even more appalled by those casualties from 2001, because those were on our soil, and they were not in a war zone. Certainly every human life is valuable, yet dying is what war is all about. That's the whole idea behind it. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Bush said four years ago that this was going to be a lengthy process. War requires sacrifice. It's a tragic part of life, but a necessary one in the climate we find ourselves.

    The public consciousness has difficulty with a constant barrage of reports of death, even in small bits and pieces here and there. It's the frequency of it that becomes taxing. If the World Trade Center casualties had instead been spread out over 15 different attacks of 200 people each across a couple years, it would have struck more of a chord with the American public. A one-shot deal of 3000 people doesn't seem like that much to them psychologically. We wake up to it, and then we go asleep again after a few years have passed. That's what the terrorists want.

    We still seem leery of Vietnam, and so the mindset is that every military action becomes Vietnam II, Vietnam III, etc. There's no escaping the comparisons, because Vietnam is so firmly entrenched in the public psyche. We're gun shy of another Vietnam occurring, even when it's not.

    Many protesters are misguided in that they would have also protested our involvement in World War II. That should tell you something right there. Ask them that the next time you talk to one. What they are really protesting is the idea that people would ever go to war at all. But it happens. It's sad. It's a reality of life. Protesting all war efforts is utter idealism with one's head in the clouds. Uh, yeah, maybe if there were no evil forces in the world that wanted to annihilate our way of life, we wouldn't have to fight. But which do you want? I side with those who want to protect my children and give them a future. Whatever it takes to accomplish that is worth it.
    anything could be an illusion and we wouldn't know the difference... proof schmoof...

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Wilkes Barre, PA
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: War and Sanctity of Human Life

    Most people want to have a good time and leave the rest of the world to it's own misery. If the war isn't over in a few years or if we seem to be losing they want to pull out and go back to their materialistic worlds.
    The most rigid trees are the first to be snapped in the wind.




Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts