The Religion We Call War !

Syria and the Civil War

Al Jazeera has posted a history of the Syrian War on its web page.

Syria’s civil war explained from the beginning

Looking at this documentary makes your blood boil with anger , looking at it makes you resent the rotten core of humanity and what we are capable of doing to each other in the name of some specious cause. In any conflict the equation is simple – you hurt me and I’ll hurt you back and so the cycle spins out of control and we sink into the dark abyss of barbaric behaviourism.

The disbelief I have in the notion that people are still clinging to some religious authority to justify or codify these events beggars belief.  Sitting back in the safety of armchair politics and surveying these cruelties I can only imagine at the desperation and lingering threats that have become daily rituals for people living in war zones. I know that the will to survival is a strong potion; however, the phenomenon of martyrdom and a secure place in an imagined afterworld is also a frightening prospect the modern world is having to contend with.

Why is it that war has been and remains such a glorified subject in our history?  in our lives? in the institutionalised pages of our collective memory? The likes of Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Genghis Khan, Napolean Bonaparte are indelibly imprinted in our shared narrative yet has anyone really questioned the logic of this adulation? Has anyone stopped to think of the senseless slaughter, the whimsical insanity that these power mongers have perpetrated on their fellow species?  Have we seriously considered the vanity and the lunacy of these individuals? in their quest for power through the killing and the maiming of their fellow comrades in life?

Why is it we devote so much social paraphernalia to the institutions of war? We have Academies and Museums devoted to war, we honor the heroes and the dead of war and we commemorate the sacrifices that war has come to symbolise in the social traditions of sovereign states. We are obsessed with war. War is the illusion of greatness in a species destined to destroy not only itself but everything and anything that stands in its way. And yet when the conflict settles and the dead are buried and gone, we rinse and repeat our worship at the gates of wars’ institutions.

War is the religion that feeds our insatiable desires to outdo one another and if we resist then, the old adage” Might is Right” creeps back and shuts down the political will to oppose.

Carl Sagan sums it up in his eloquent speech reflecting from a vantage point in space looking back at the Pale Blue Dot we call Earth when he reminds us :

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.

The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

Image result for planet earth from space

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