The Futility and Stupidity of Wars Being Fought On an Increasingly Crowded Planet
The Paper Tiger and the White Elephant
Could It Be That War Is Finally Going Out of Style?
by Rev. Paul J. Bern
This is going to be still another antiwar rant that you can add to your current collection of antiwar postings and video’s from yours truly. The ongoing stalemate between Russia and Ukraine is now well into its sixth month as I write this. Up until recently I would have added ‘and there’s no end in sight’ to that last sentence, but not anymore. It seems there are a lot more people than ever who are arriving at the same conclusion. Everybody everywhere is fed up to here with waging war. Besides, military campaigns are so 20th century.
War Sucks for (hundreds of) Millions of Reasons
I think the overwhelming majority of people have concluded that war is an atrocity on a multitude of levels. Let’s have a look at some pertinent facts:
- The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was about 40 million: estimates range from around 15 to 22 million deaths and about 23 million wounded military personnel.
- World War II was the deadliest military conflict in history. An estimated total of 70–85 million people perished, or about 3% of the 2.3 billion (est.) people on Earth in 1940.
- Approximately 3 million people died in the Korean War, the majority of whom were civilians, making it perhaps the deadliest conflict of the Cold War-era.
- In 1995 Vietnam released its official estimate of the number of people killed during the Vietnam War: as many as 2,000,000 civilians on both sides and some 1,100,000 North Vietnamese. If we round off those numbers and add them up, it works out to 106,000,000 people, the majority of whom were innocent civilians.
- America’s war in Afghanistan, according to the Costs of War Project, killed 176,000 people in Afghanistan: 46,319 civilians, 69,095 military and police and at least 52,893 opposition
- Nobody knows how many civilians died in the 1991 war in Iraq, but estimates for civilian deaths as a direct result of the war range from…