Thursday, August 30, 2012

Civil War - A misnomer.

Why do we call them civil wars? There is nothing civil about it.

The Latin term “bellum civile” was first used in the roman civil wars of the 1st century BC and it’s been adopted for other historical conflicts.

If you look at the pictures of slaughter and the mass graves coming out of Syria you wonder how such cruelty and dispassion can exist in this day and age.

If you know your history you know that all wars are bloodied in cruelty. Our weapons are more powerful now, but it is an individual who gives the order and it is the individual who pulls the trigger.

All wars, all battles kill. They kill the combatants and they kill the innocent. Compassion fails when death and weapons  surround you.

Power struggles and ideological survival always corrupt the divine within each person and the innate kindness of life disappears into the dark chambers of the heart. Only to surface when remorse releases the guilt into a hope for forgiveness.

The American civil war was no exception. Our history books are filled with civil war atrocities on both sides. The South and the North killed indiscriminately and cruelty was a weapon employed by both sides to both soldiers and civilians alike.

Many people believe that Americans are the paragons of fighting a fair war. They think we have ethics in battles and morals in capture like John Wayne and Audie Murphy and Alvin York and we give quarter and ration. That’s the stuff of movies and propaganda; there are some exceptions, but historians will tell you it is rare.

There were 31 civil wars around the globe from 1800 to 1945. There have been 66 civil or internecine wars in the world since 1945 and nine of them are still going on.

It does not speak well for humanity.

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