By Morris Mabior Awikjokdit
To the modern citizen of the West, peace is an ideal and war is a tragedy. Depending on his or her political orientation, war may even be considered inexcusable under any circumstances. At the heart of this dogma is the idea that war is a disruption of a state of peace, brought on by greedy warmongers like Riek Nyadak, Mabior Nyandeng Chol and so forth, the military industrial complex or some modern day variation on the old 21st century labels. But what if rather than being a disruptive force, war is actually the father of peace.
To pretend that peace is more natural state for humanity than war is to exercise a great deal of denial regarding human nature. We are no more creatures of peace in South Sudan and the entire world, than any member of the animal kingdom. The difference is that we have a greater capacity for choice, to be moral protectors and defenders, rather than predators. But that is a choice that some may make, and others will not. And for as long as men will remain men, there will be men who prey on others for unity peace, prosperity, and stability of the young nation, and men who must study the arts of war and killing in order to resist them.
Peace is not a higher moral state, or even the absence of war, it is the product of wars and conflicts that have been successfully won. Or it is the product of the threat of violence and war. Whether it is the police station a few blocks over, where well armed men sit guarding other more dangerous men, the army base a few miles over or a few states, counties headquarters and Bomas over the peace we have is the product of violence and force. And anyone who pretends otherwise is lying to himself and to us.
To perpetuate peace requires more than mutual understanding, tolerance and a willingness to join hands and dance in a circle with a rainbow of colors regardless of races, ethnics’ background and region. Those things can only come about after a great deal of violence, and also often represent a society that is no longer in touch with the realities of the world and its own need for survival. Because as long as violence remains within human nature, and as long as it represents an effective tool for conquest, dominance and acquisition, we must not only know war instead of peace loving country men and women, but be the best at it that we can be.
There cannot be peace without war, because war is a necessary prerequisite to peace
There cannot be peace without war, because war is a necessary prerequisite to peace. To have peace, one must created a society, a nation and a political space in which domestic and foreign violence is checked. Otherwise the society becomes nothing more than the Riek attitudes of misleading Nguendeng prophetization. And uncomprehending they let it happen, because the Eloi allowed themselves to become sheep, and where there are sheep without sheepdogs, there will soon be shepherds to rule them or wolves to prey on them. With the EU and AU growing fixed interests on one side, and rising immigrant related violence on the other the West looks to be gaining both.
The de-legitimization of war in the West came about for one primary reason, because war no longer seemed like a useful tool for obtaining peace. As the weapons of war became more destructive, war came to seem less like a protective force, and more like an apocalyptic force. With WW1’s generations lost, gas masks and battlefield trenches, war appeared to have become a senseless thing. A revolted under age youth proceeded to embrace decadence, chaos and anarchy, best exemplified by Dadaism. WW2 appeared to restore something of a moral order, but the rise of nuclear war and MAD, took the apocalyptic warfare of WW1 to an entirely new level, with weapons of mass destruction that threatened to destroy everything in sight.
This sort of bleakness caused even otherwise sensible men to put their faith in international orders and organizations, such as the UN, and the growing enlightenment of humanity, believing that with enough education, a form of reciprocal pacifism could be achieved in which no one would find any purpose in harming anyone, thus ending any need for violence or war. As absurd as such a premise may be, variants of it continue to command the philosophies of foreign affairs on both sides of the warring parties.
Diplomacy is considered supreme, tolerance is the watchword, and national defense takes a back seat to both. Even war itself has been transformed into “Nation destruction”, (instead of nation building of South Sudan) becoming a tool for this global educational project of reciprocal pacifism, the thinking being that if we can remove the democratic elected government by force, what will International community and UN gain? We will not give their peoples a chance to assert that just like us they don’t want to fight anymore.
Having learned nothing from WW2 about the causes of war, the illusion of a world of reciprocal pacifism dominates the dialogue and educational processes of four generations of children with the result that the children of the West become Eloi-like, more and more so in every generation. And the Morlocks are sharpening their teeth and becoming more plentiful.
There are no happy endings anywhere in sight, because as it turns out the reasons underlying many wars are not as simple as the proverbial evil tyrant living in his castle and oppressing his people. Yes many of our enemies do have an evil tyrant over them, but the dirty little secret of human nature is that few tyrants would endure if the majority of their people did not support them on at least some level.
The task of the West is to make war meaningless again in South Sudan for their selfish gains. The bleakness of modern war, whether it is gazing at counters that will launch ICBM missiles that will turn the world into a single great sheet of glass, or maintaining endless patrols against insurgents, has a way of making it seem meaningless, a useless tool of stalemate, and an endless waiting game without conclusion or greater meaning.
The fundamental meaning of war is that it is a tool that protects, defends and enables peace. To enable that peace, war must have a definitive purpose and a definitive conclusion. Endless watches on the sand dunes waiting for a possible insurgent attack, negotiating with tribal warlords whose loyalties switch every season and adapting to the local culture is not war, but colonialism or nation building. Such conflicts have conclusions and goals that cannot be achieved by military means, only enabled or protected by the military, and only serve to render armed force into a body guarding role.
To make war meaningful, it must have a true target and goal that can be achieved by military means. “Bring me the head of Osama bin Laden”, is a military goal. “Teach administrative management to four nephews of the local warlord so he can reform local government”, is not. You can use the military to try and reach such a goal, but you can also try to use a gun to turn a screw. It just isn’t the best match of the tool for the job. Turning the military into the Peace Corps is a mismatch of institutions that drains strength and purpose from the military, into a project inspired by neo-pacifist ideals.
There can be no peace without war, but peace is not a military project. Only clean wars that settle conflicts in enduring wars can bring peace. To try and blend the two is to create never-ending wars. Policymakers, who fear to use the military to destroy the enemy, instead draw out war into an endless exercise in bloodletting with no end in sight. And such wars quickly make the public lose faith in the whole idea of military solutions. They transform war into a meaningless hopeless farce, thus making pacifism and appeasement seem moral and plausible by comparison.
The moral way of war is to serve as a protective force for a vigorous and healthy society, to deter and destroy enemies, to protect, defend and maintain the conditions in which peace is possible. When war ceases to become a useful tool, the survival of the society itself becomes endangered. Just as the collapse of the human immune system foreshadows a serious infection, the collapse of faith in military solutions and the growth of anti-war sentiment, foreshadows a major conflict to come. There can be no true peace without war, only the peace of temporary appeasement, to be followed by subjugation and slavery.
The author is a freelance opinion writer and a professional teacher based in Warrap State- Kuajok. You can reached him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org