War is never the right choice

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 December, 2011, 12:00am


When we see the hatred and poverty that wars cause, we have to ask whether it is ever right for people to go to war.

Whatever the excuses countries may give, the real reason they fight is for their selfish national interests.

War always results in the killing of innocent people. In the Nanjing massacre, the Japanese killed millions of Chinese for no reason. This was clearly murder.

Using force to settle disputes is inefficient and can hurt people. A country wastes its resources on fighting, and its enemies destroy its land and kill its soldiers.

Japan learned its lesson after the second world war. It found a peaceful path to world dominance, this time using its culture: teens everywhere love Japanese animation.

Alice Lui, Tin Ka Ping Secondary School

From the Editor

Thank you for your passionate letter, Alice. War and its consequences are horrible. People tend to focus a lot on the number of people killed during a war but seldom on the utter destruction that comes with it. It can take places decades to recover; some never recover at all.

One thing we've learned throughout history is that the reason given to people for going to war is generally not the same reason the government wishes to go to war. Casus belli is a Latin phrase that means the 'justification' for going to war. In most cases, wars are about resources, but governments like to make people think it's about something else. For example, Country A might produce a lot of oil but decide not to sell that oil to powerful Country B. Country B needs the oil to keep its people happy and its economy moving. It might want to go to war against Country A to gain control of the oil fields. But Country B's people are not willing to die for oil. So Country B portrays the leaders or people of Country A as evil. It gathers its allies and tries to isolate Country A. Eventually 'an incident' happens that acts as the casus belli, and war is declared.

I wish I could tell you that some day wars will stop, but I don't think it will be in our lifetime. Too many people live in luxury, while too many others are trapped in poverty. That is why it is best to live as lightly as you can, take as little as you can and be friendly to your neighbours.

Susan, Editor