Your Opinion: Testament to futility of war

Dear Editor:

As another anniversary of the American bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki comes and goes, I have no wish to lend my voice to the still raging argument as to whether the dropping of those nuclear devices shortened the war, saved American lives or was merely a heinous calculated ploy — the first gambit in the Cold War of Mutually Assured Destruction.

I am writing here only to testify to the futility of war itself. Everyone speaks of the Last Good War. Even many of those who opposed our recent wars of choice and folly in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, reluctantly admit that WWII was justified.

And yet wasn’t it that same war that quantitatively and qualitatively increased man’s indifference to man beyond all previous expectations? The quality of this indifference found evidence most notably in the Holocaust, the fire bombing of Dresden and that abandonment of all humanitarian restraints: the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When will mankind come to realize that war always and ultimately results in the abandonment of our humanity and our very reason?

Robert Fisk is the Middle East correspondent of The Independent. He has reported on nearly every war in the Middle East for the past 30 years, including the combat zones in the United States’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He holds more British and international journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent. Robert Fisk is a man whose knowledge of war is extensive and intimate. I cannot imagine a more eloquent anti-war statement than this:

“If you go to war, you realize it is not primarily about victory or defeat, it is about death and the infliction of death and suffering on as large a scale as you can make it. It is about the total failure of the human spirit. We don’t show that because we don’t want to. And in this sense journalists, television reporting, television cameras are lethal. They collude with governments to allow to you have more wars because if they showed you the truth, you wouldn’t allow any more wars.” — Robert Fisk

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