The Art of War
For years now our country has always showed the lighter side of war, and the glorifying experience between tragic deaths and bloodshed. The mere fact is the definition of war has always been condemned by many as a brutal act of killing for the sake of nothing. A series of firearm shot creating pandemonium and uproar for something we simply don’t need. We don’t fight for our freedom, we don’t fight to save lives the true purpose of war is simply the display of countries with false pride and an enormously big ego. With all the hullaballoo of war, we as a nation still accept this horrible act of violence. This is not due to the fact that we love and accept violence but the fact that we have established a preconceived opinion of the matter based on how the media displays war. Through misleading commercials and general publicity we as the general public or left with the notion that war is a glorifying experience and all soldiers receive the status of hero. The art of war is surely a subject that I would like to go into detail through based on what it means not only for our country but the entire world in general. With all the media coverage surrounding the benefits of war it is hard for us to configure our minds to the mindset that “war” can have a negative flipside. Even with plenty of ad-busters and media awareness we still fill victim to the impact the media has on us. Even with all that encompasses my mind on the negativity of war, I too am just another product in cooperate America and I too comply, with the way they nullified the hardships of war. So leaves us pondering with the age old questions in relation to war. What is the true purpose of war? Why do we elect to glorify it (alternative motif behind it)? Where is the line between hero and killer when in war? Truly if we as life form stop to examine the actions, conspiracies and cover-ups that come with war, maybe just maybe we as a society will rectify this problem and banish the dark cloud that hinders within our blind-side.
Although war is quite the general topic there have been several incidences, where the media broadcasted the plus rather than the negative side of war. Prime examples consist of World War 1, 2 and the war that is going on within Iraq. A clear incident of how the media has changed the atmosphere of war was within World War 1, where the leaders of all nations stressed the importance of war. Within the recurrent process the government spent millions of dollars creating countless promotional advertisements stressing how Great War is. For men at the time, it was something amazing and those who refused to serve were condemned to life of being mocked by other. That is just one example of how media had its effect on people at the time, the juxtaposition between a man at war and one was significant. Within the year of 1914 Canada alone through recruitment process and others methods were able to summon an additional 330,000 soldiers to fight (statistics-Canada). Recruiting, handled by prewar militia regiments and by civic organizations, cost the government nothing. By the end of 1914 the target for the Canadian army was 50 000; by summer 1915 it was 150 000. With all of these volunteers one must bear the question why? Did they really want to serve their country? Or did they just did not want to live outside of societal norms. In a society where a man at war is prototypical and expected of one, it is hard to pry away from this trend. The reason why we glorify the experience of war is for a deeper purpose, to simply attract more soldiers within the army. To be frank, it is hard for any country to attract participants if it does not glorify war. Let’s be honest, it sounds a lot to fight for ones country than to lose a leg. Even when the war was in full effect most nations refused to let members of the army withdraw despite the harsh conditions. When looking at the situation, I’m sure more than a few soldiers would’ve put their hands up if one offered them the chance of salvation for the battle field. Regarding the topic of, why do we glorify war the answer is simple and right in our faces. War is a mere chess battle challenging the wits and strengths of each nation, with more pieces gives an advantage. In a nutshell the soldiers were mere pawns oblivious to the road they were taking. Call them war-hero’s call them pawns. Regardless the media has failed to display the hardships of war. The media and government never highlight the hardships of war, only those who look at it from a reminiscent point of view can see all that has gone wrong with war. DUCLE ET DECORUM EST by Wilfred Owen is one of the most prestigious poems that have been frowned upon by the government as it truly exposes the hardships of war. It reads.
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares2 we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest3 began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots4
Of tired, outstripped5 Five-Nines6 that dropped behind.
Gas!7 Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets8 just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime9 . . .
Dim, through the misty panes10 and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering,11 choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud12
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest13
To children ardent14 for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Dulce Et Decorum means to “its sweet and right” the irony within the title is simply attempting to convey the lies the media has thrown in front of us and expects us to swallow. The poem itself shows the hardships of war, one that the media will never off you. Dulce Et Decocum Est, truly the old lie.
Furthermore war has always registered a biased view point between soldiers from one nation to soldiers from another nation. The irony is, they all serve for the same purpose to kill. Yet some are deemed to be villains and others are deemed to be heroes. Generally the line between the role of hero and anti hero is quite significant but in regards to war the line is quite narrow. What truly justifies a hero between the anti-hero. The answer is nothing but mere demographics and a strong level of bias. The medias portrayal of this is very biased and inaccurate. A prime example of this is during the war of Iraq summed up within the George W Bush era. Although both sides fought for the same purpose to kill, we viewed our fellow American soldiers as heroes. While the opposing side were given the status of terrorist or monsters. Within all the media coverage going on, we as Canadians and Americans were offered only a small sip of what had actually gone down at that point. Through research I discovered the things that the Media had locked away and hid from the general public in regards to the war. Through a few small murders and hardships on our side we were oblivious to what our soldiers were causing down in Iraq. Within the war of Iraq and the George Bush era, Iraq had suffered one of its worst crisis. With our soldiers brutal attack we took away many homes and families on the other side, with their casualty totals in the millions. Yet through all the strife, all we North American citizens were exposed to was the mere fall of one soldier, if that’s what you would like to call him. The statistics of the Iraq war were simply awful but you will never find that on TV or on statistics USA. Here’s some words for though, even though after the first year more than 70% of the Iraq population wanted to pull out of the war, the united states still went with full force.
The last issue I would like to address is the purpose of war, and the “benefits” it has within our society. War has always been described to us as a fight for our freedom and rights. A bevy of gunshots and fire to protect that nation, but could this yet again be another false testimony that the media presents itself with. With local journalist unable to broadcast the full truth, we as the public are left with the question. Why and what is the true purpose of war. This is an open ended question, and all I leave with you is one last fact about the benefits of war. Since America entered Iraq at this very moment he have used, Spending at this minute 12/06/2010 11:37 Am
Current Cost of the War in Iraq …
courtesy of costofwar.com