Men and Women and War

I was not aware of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which was passed in 2000, until I read Ann Jones’s article “Why Peace Is the Business of Men (But Shouldn’t Be).” The Security Council’s idea, according to Jones, called for “women to participate equally and fully at decision-making levels in all processes of conflict resolution, peacemaking, and reconstruction.” It is so full of common sense and, at the same time, so revolutionary, I’m not surprised that the idea has been largely ignored.

Looking at what is generally called “history,” the purported record of human activity over the last 10,000 years or so (a teeny blip in existence), it is clear than human beings haven’t learned how to get along with each other except in isolated cases for very short periods of time. History recounts endless stories of the death, destruction, and suffering that is caused by war, which looks to me to be the Ultimate Human Failure.

War is largely a male endeavor. If you’re not absolutely sure of that, ask yourself what your chances would be of getting tens of thousands of women to dress up in the same uniform and go off somewhere to kill strangers because somebody told them to. Seriously! Can anyone put that in motion? Unless a woman’s life or family are directly threatened with malice, they don’t easily find cause or honor in killing.

Men, the primeval protectors, can have that instinct easily manipulated and will go off to kill strangers because someone convinced them to. It’s happening today and has been going on for far too many years. Some men actually enjoy causing others pain and killing people and things. Sadly, that is happening widely today too.

Yes, sometimes wars are necessary to engage in and the people who go off to fight them, who risk their lives to protect others, are genuine heroes. World War II is the usual example. But generally, war is more often a matter of twisted ambition, aggression, and greed. According to twice-decorated Medal of Honor winner Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, War Is A Racket! He wrote a small book with that title and lectured on it in the 1930s to alert Americans to what he felt war was really about.

Peace is what most people everywhere want. Why has it been, and why does it continue to be, so difficult to achieve? Please read Jones’s article (linked) and see if your view of war and peace can gain some insight from it.


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