Saluur2 strode forth, flutecaster ready at tentacles, battlesuit smartly congealed. Then, tragedy… Headshot!
The late Carl Sagan once said, “War is murder writ large.” While it is true that not every nation on Earth is friendly with every other, given geopolitics and the existence of rogue states, war, I feel, is a necessary evil, but an evil nonetheless.
What other human activity produces death and suffering, much of it gratuitous, on the same scale of armed and armored military conflict with modern weaponry?
In nearly every war, regardless of what we call it, like “pacification campaign” or “police action,” or any number of other weasel-words we choose, innocents have suffered.
The lives of soldiers, however bravely lived and fought, however good their training or competent their leaders, have been needlessly wasted, and even survivors traumatized however lucky they were in somehow escaping permanent physical injury.
The youngest son of a friend of mine lost his legs during a mission in Iraq, and some years afterward took his own life. I was there to see his final post on Facebook just before he ended himself.
I shall never forget.
How much more tragic would warfare be in future eras, with battlefield weaponry unknown to current science, far beyond the reach of current technology? With each advance in combat weaponry and armor, combat efficiency goes up, and so do casualties, including combatants themselves.
But not only civilian casualties of war, my sympathies also lie with those who do the grunt work combat, those young people, our best and brightest, soldiers, pilots, sailors, whose lives are tossed away carelessly by uncaring, cowardly, and incompetent political leaders, lives full of promise cast aside for a moment of, to paraphrase Carl Sagan this time, ‘fleeting dominion of a fraction of a fraction of a dot.’
As with current-day humanity, so it likely is with any other species engaged in warfare unencumbered by the niceties of truces, cease-fires, honorable conduct, scrupulous avoidance of ‘collateral damage,’ and diplomacy.