A Country Divided? Go to War. – KSInsights Feb 2024

Published on 05 Mar 2024

War is seen as a tricky subject because of the permeating loss that is associated with it. The destruction it poses is like no other even if it encourages social changes – for good or for worse. Positive changes are few such as the Women’s rights movements that subsequently came out of WW1 and WW2, but regardless, it remains a force to be reckoned with, and how much that conflict shapes society for decades to come. When a country is in the middle of political instability, unrest, or a straightforward power grab, it does well for the morale and patriotism of them to go to war. It seems archaic, but this tactic is used. This article does not explore those principalities, but defines the specific action in place that makes part of war feasible in the first place; warmongering.

Warmongering is a product of war; before it and after. It is categorized as “the act of encouraging a country to go to war or of threatening violence against another country:” . To advocate for such wreckage and destruction is associated with old thinking. We do not live in a middle kingdom that needs protecting from a dragon that needs to be slain, hence going to war for the sake of the land or for honor. There are very few instances within history where that level of conflict is valid, where most had the general consensus that it needed to happen in order to restore the world to a justified balance. But besides those very few times, war cannot be justified and neither can warmongering because of the toll it creates.

The evolution of warmongering can be explained by history; in the new ages of contemporary democracy in the early 1900’s that saw uprisings, insurgencies, and overthrows to cement more sovereign ideas that regarded people as people, and not subjects or disposable, things have changed dramatically. What is important is that the definition does not apply to the same principalities that chronicled the world for the past decade. In the age of technology, the internet, interconnection, and globalization, the ramifications and consequences of the definition are completely different. The loss of human life starts to take center stage and rightly so. Whilst there have been protests in the past that vehemently go against the prospect of war in the first place (like Vietnam), the toll for such atrocities is higher and more pertinent in a world that lives where we can see that at our fingertips.

The loss of human life is very real and an extreme variable, as well as the population, ages, socio-economic status, and foreign policy to name a few. Gone are the days of invading for the sake of invading under the guise of sovereignty – there now needs to be a level of meticulousness that is present and that simple saying does not account for how attitudes have changed or retained based on the wars fought in contemporary history. “They have a right to protect themselves” is a statement that is used far and wide to supplement most conversations excusing invasion and war. Whilst that can ring true in smaller and individual cases, when you talk about conflict on such a big, premeditated, and structured.

scale where millions of people are involved, it does not become that easy. Things haven’t gotten more complicated over the years, things have become easier to access and the encouragement to grow is rooted in more, who did not have a voice before, finding it and using it to point out inconsistencies that they themselves have experienced or for the sake of others. We do not progress if we pander to the old ideologies that war is as simple as taking back something; the basis is embroiled in the politics of today and the identities of many, and we cannot employ this type of thinking.

It makes people erratic, systems even more paranoid, and produces a new slew of people thinking that they can condense topics that require intensive research which leads to misinformation. Not only is it used as an intimidation tactic by bigger countries to bully smaller countries into rallying for their own special interest, but it also creates a lot of friction within the political stage and their own populations. Without a solid foundation as to why warmongering is bad, there is no conversation that can supplement it that will not lead to a theory of why war can be used as a justification when it shouldn’t.

An ‘out to get us’ mentality is created and a scramble ensues to pick up arms to fight for something that has murky undertakings at best. Very real and devastating consequences follow, such as the utter disaster that was in Afghanistan. Regardless of what the war was fought for in the first place, the ramifications of warmongering that country turned into political theater, with ideals for a new democratic center in middle Asia. It was said by the then-American Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, that nation-building and essentially “owning” parts of Afghanistan were a futile effort that was sure to be met with copious amounts of resistance. He was right. The Afghanistan War was supposed to be a direct response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on the World Trade Center in New York City in 2001. Instead, it became a vortex of millions of dollars lost, a crumbling infrastructure that the UK and US contributed to, and an irresponsible leaving of the country they helped destroy in the first place, sanctions are now choking the life out of the ones that were not complicit in the violent jargon to begin with: the people.

The Iraq war followed shortly after, with the beginnings of a United States-led coalition to overthrow the government of Saddam Hussein. When Congress realized the toll that the war was taking on America’s finances and the research that came out that deemed Iraq free of weapons of mass destruction that they had previously thought, George W Bush, the president at the time, vetoed Congress’s decision. The majority consensus in Congress had wanted to withdraw American troops and Bush was completely against that, citing that the situation on the ground was not taken into account. Under the guise of a new command and more attacks, Bush made the decision to go against the wishes of elected officials, their constituents, and essentially the entire population five years into the war yielded no results but crying mothers, dead children, and lies. A decision that culminated in Afghanistan- using the anger that the American people had towards the terror attack and warping it to make sure it was placed on something else. A rash abruptness as people and officials were calling for some type of retaliation, without understanding the consequences.

America exploited that hurt to fuel a wrongly guided hate against a people within a country that had nothing to do with what happened. The Iraq War is an exemplification of how warmongering was pandered to a fearful population, and misinformation was spread to constitute their less-than-terrific dealings abroad back to the American people, and the world. Even in lieu of the protests that first began – which then gained momentum – the Iraq War is a testament to the horrific effects of warmongering and what it has done to not only the general population of the Iraqi people but the cracks it has displayed within the American government.

Warmongers distort discussion and harbor fear to verify their claims; there is something to be said about people who are selfishly using the idea that the general consensus does not understand, nor will subscribe to that line of critical theory. An elitism hangs in the balance of that for sure, but what is more pertinent is the simple greed that takes over supplements the few, and outright causes the devastation of many. Special-interest extremists only look to a very specific reason that usually benefits a group of individuals. They seek to resolve specific issues, rather than tackle a more widespread problem that the general population may abide by.

Warmongering was never intended to be a positive thing for the population; it was intended to be used against them for the gain of a few and to serve their own interests, causing chaos in return that has violent ramifications and a loss of life. Within the nucleus of things are questions; we need to question why these images are being projected out to us and the timing of such. If we do not question, we will continue to be in wars and participate in propaganda that we then regret down the line for a sin we cannot atone for.


05 Mar 2024