Oh, the Absurdity

One theme I’ve found pertaining to war is that war, in itself, it is ridiculous. In retrospect, past conflicts are, even if explained, wildly unreasonable — fought for, sometimes, arbitrary reasons, spiteful, and just plain illogical. Results of war are not always good. Once the fighting commences, wages, and ceases, what is left? Nearly everyone is affected by violence; but this is not a lucid concept. The world is dark; Vonnegut was pessimistic at best, very convinced we live in a world of continuing atrocities, where ideals fail again and again. Brook tried to mask the violence with stoicism and patriotism. The characters The Ghosts May Laugh sought comfort through stories, because the realism of wars horror were unbearable.  These examples show the true struggle and difficulty violent conflicts manifest. So it goes.

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”  – Frederick Douglass

Many conflicts leave children stripped of their childhood and forcibly more adult-like. Many find nothing a more compelling to stop violence than for the sake of the children. On November 20th, National Children’s Day, marks also the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. “The effect of war on children is devastating. Girls and boys, and even babies, are killed, maimed for life, imprisoned or raped. Exploitation and abuse remain a sad reality for millions of children who suffer the consequences of armed conflict,” said Kristin Barstad, the ICRC’s adviser on children and war. “There is no valid excuse or justification for this. Universal Children’s Day is an appropriate time to reiterate that children have a right to be protected and are entitled to education, food, water and health care, even in times of war. Those who violate the rights of children must be held accountable.” The UN’s Declaration of the Rights of the Child has, unfortunately, suffered a similar fate also shared by many of the Geneva Conventions provisions; ultimate failure. The convention has done little to keep children safe in war zones. Not only do the young find themselves homeless, hungry, parentless (in some cases), some children are forced to become part of the “war effort,” becoming soldiers themselves, forced to do the dirty work, carry out dangerous missions — exploited, used victims. Sadly, not a new concept.

So it goes.

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1 Response to “Oh, the Absurdity”

  1. 1 seaandrhythm November 27, 2009 at 5:11 am

    This is a problem that I have looked at a large amount in my blog. There is one bright side to the problem and that is some new war crimes legislation. Recently the UN has started prosecuting the use of Child Soldiers as a war crime. I believe that the age for the is 15 meaning that any army that employs younger soldiers can be tried for this. Currently a general from the Congo is under going trial for this very crime, but the effect of this law has also been more widespread. Many armies and militias in Africa are kicking out child soldiers so as to avoid punishment, which hopefully will be good for the children.

    Time will tell whether this law will have positive long term effects, but we can hope.

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