However horrible and however pointless war appears to be, the very fact that some conflict is always in the news makes one wonder if it isn’t in our nature to be forever at eachother’s throats; perhaps a warmongering gene will be found to define us, just as we have a gene that makes us think in metaphors and so devise new ways of doing things (such as killing each other or defending ourselves in increasingly devious or clever ways).
Would we humans have come so far without conflict? Have not environmental and human challanges caused us to seek ways toimprove our lot? To make us inventive?
Here’s a thought for a story, what if instead of the centenary of the First War in 2014 it was instead the 100th year of a conflict that is yet to end, the entire world bleeding itself dry and perfecting the means to slaughter, defend and produce ranks of fresh combatants in perfect self-destructive balance? The lack of ‘available’ men leading to widespread polygamy, two sides splitting the world’s resources in half, a balanced fight that can never have a winner but choices conflict over peace?
What if the ability and speed of amputating and replacing limbs allowed the ‘modern’soldier to be recycled constantly from spare parts? They would be put back together in a field station and sent out again ’til it got to the stage where you didn’t know who or what you were.
Or the story of a young soldier, wounded and slipping into a deep, water-filled shellhole who apparently goes on to live a fulfilling life but with the nagging feeling that he will drown at any moment only to discover that he’s had no life at all and was still in that shell-hole not celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary amongst family and friends.
Does anyone recall an antewar film that features what the ‘authorities’ think is a brain dead ‘creature’ without limbs or face who to their horror they discover decades after the war, having kept ‘it’ alive is actually conscious? There response is not to put it out of its suffering, but to wheel ‘him’ into a darke, hidden away room.