Wars have plagued history as long as there has been merciless brutality and corruption. Aristocracies, monarchies, and every other form of possible government throughout history has been guilty of calling husbands from their wives and fathers from their children to serve in a killing game. The kings and queens of nation states recalled their citizens from their lives of productivity and happiness to lives of inhumanity. The father, who has everyday of his life show physical love and affection towards his wife and his family, was torn away from his pursuits. The political interests of his ruler placed this father in to foreign lands. His worries shifted from nurturing his family to worrying about his own life. Days no longer consisted of holding a reverence for beauty and sympathy -- they consisted in endlessly following the steps of death: avoiding being killed and slaughtering those of another political faction. The leaders of these nations and provinces often did not order war or battles for the sake of making their citizens more productive or creative or affectionate. Wars were ordered for the sake of wealth and battles for the sake of glory. The weapons of the soldiers were blessed, the warriors who killed the most were awarded with the highest honors, and the ability to throw off all desires to be humane was drawn from within every recruit. In these wars, the lives of the soldiers were transformed forever. They no longer knew of the contentness -- the sheer completeness -- of living a life with society, with friends, with lovers, with family. Torn from everything that had meaning, the souls of these men were destroyed long before their bodies met the grave. This is war.
War knows no time and no culture. In essentially any era or society that fostered a taste for wealth and self-interest, war can be found. The manipulative rulers of society advocated conflict for the sake of enriching themselves and their fellow countryman. For this end of gold, monarchs and kings have sacrificed the lives of their own country. It is undoubtedly heartless that any ruler can think that they are enriching their own nation with coin and at the same time sentence the youth to death in a battle field. The youth of a country, the aspiring individuals who seek to become something in their life where they may give back to society, are the true treasures of any nation. The ruler who is so blind as to not see this is not fit to be in the place that he is in. The king of a nation who will valiantly blow the horns to commence war is a traitor to his people and a coward to the world. The true warrior is a warrior who defends his nation from foreign invasion is a brave and courageous soldier, willing to die protecting his family and his people. The true warrior never prays for war. The warrior who invades another nation is a pawn, manipulated and abused by the ruling class. There is no person more devious and unfeeling than this ruler, the ruler who sends his battalions marching forth into another nation that we may indulge himself on the spoils of war.
Spanish-American War (1898)
The Spanish-American was a heartless conquest for land, glory, and gold. The United States government, hearing rumors that the Spanish government was mistreating American citizens, gave orders for the USS Maine to stand guard in Havana Harbor, in Cuba. When the USS Maine had finally come to its destination, it exploded. The exact reason is still unknown today. When hearing of this explosion, the United States launched a war against Spain which brought the downfall of its economy that would last decades. The United States would come to seize Cuba, Puerto Rico, and then the Philippines. These islands were the product of the same sentiment which caused the Spanish-American War: Imperialism. The Spanish annexed these lands from the Natives who lived there and turned them into slaves. They exploited their labor and stole their land. The United States, a juggernaut which sought to steal what was stolen, acted on the same sentiment of Imperialism. Scientific investigation now leads historians to conclude that the USS Maine exploded from the inside. It is even possible that United States politicians planted the bomb on the USS Maine to make it explode, thus providing them and the American conscience a justification for attacking Spain.
Mexican-American War (1846-1848)
Yet another war that was caused by politicians and their petty squabbling. President James Polk had ordered soldiers to cross the Rio Grande River to the Nueces River. There was a border dispute between the United States and the Mexican government. When the American soldiers had crossed the Rio Grande into Mexican territory, several of them were shot and killed. What happened next would be the destruction of the Mexican country as it struggled to survive from the effects of the Imperialist dominion of Spain. American soldiers poured into the Mexican territory at the orders of the president. Every newspaper published it and every government address claimed it: Mexico started the war. It was said that they shot American soldiers first. It was not said that American soldiers had crossed into Mexican territory, nor did it say that it was the president's intent that American soldiers should die. It should be clear to every humane minded person that the president was a coward and fully incapable of governing people in practical means. For the sake of stealing territory and justifying the means, the president ordered his own soldiers to their deaths. "Serve your country!" was the cheer that these recruits heard when they joined the Armed Forces. Little did they know that it was only their government that would order them into the hands of death all for the goal of wealth and land. The United States Army annexed California and other Western territories. The nation indulged itself on the wealth attained by their their massive armies while their dead soldiers rested in the graves of hypocrisy.
World War I (1914-1918)
Wars are the cause of greed and corruption. As this is inherent in World War I, the offending nations were led by monarchs and dictators. None of them had a shred of democratic or republic principles. It was popularly called, "The War To End All Wars," which proved interesting when World War II arose in twenty years. This war started when the Slavic Nationalist Cavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Fraz Ferdinand. It was a criminal action. If a French citizen kills an American citizen, does that mean that the United States Army has an obligation to invade French territory, killing millions and millions of soldiers and civilians in their path? Only a person who is guided by the principles of aggression and Nationalism could reply affirmatively to such a question. However, one nation declared war on another in World War I. And, following the string of alliances, another nation entered the war, and another, and another, all vowing that they would protect each other in a time of war. Now that war had arrived, the armies were riled up and patriotism -- for all that it was worth -- was exploited. The soldiers that were sacrificed for their countries were the men who made up the workers, the husbands, the lovers, and the fathers -- these men were all lost to the insatiable appetite for wealth and power that consumed the monarchs. When the war was over, when everyone had lost, when the kings had been displaced, peace came over the land, but not victory. And the nations of the world worked to set up a treaty that they believed would prevent war -- the treaty only served as the direct cause of World War II.
World War II (1939 - 1945)
Perhaps one of the most devastating and heartless wars ever fought was World War II. The Russian Communists who fended off the Nazis with incomparable will were heroes and the truest of warriors. The Nazis, under the regime of a superstition and brutality, committed numerous atrocities. It is well known that they had herded up and murdered Jews, Africans, and Homosexuals. It is well known that they were not a friend of affection. And it is well known that they triumphed with vice. The cause of their rise is all to well known: Patriotism. There was no other emotion or sentiment within the German people that made them rise in such a fervent fury, against their "enemy:" the Jew, the Communist, the Homosexual. Scapegoats were thrown into the public circle and becoming savages, the men and women who were obedient to Nazi rule persecuted and persecuted. Poland and France were taken by the Nazi Empire -- not for the cause of defense, but for the sole end of profit and wealth. Like the wars waged before it, the leader of the great nation to provoke the war made it seem that they were persecuted. Adolf Hitler pointed to every minority, accusing them of some grave injustice to the German people. It was his accusations that created the fermented hatred in his nation that led to the widespread bloodshed across Europe and Asia. Millions upon millions of soldiers were given for this cause of Imperialism. Coin was worth a thousand times more to these warlords than the lives of their own soldiers.
These are the wars that put the scars on the face of civilization. And it was nothing but a face hiding the underlying cruel sentiments of bribed politicians and ignorant populations. Within the setting of war, every brutality imaginable was wrought upon the innocent. No child was beautiful enough or naive enough to be spared the wraths of war. No life was precious enough to be freed, no suffering great enough to be relieved, no emotion affectionate enough to be acknowledged. The sights of war, no matter how unforgiving they were, did not render the hearts of the soldiers merciless. Their sole objective was mercilessness and their only mission was to kill without remorse. When the developing youths of nation are taken from their homes and their families, when they are desensitized and taught to kill, taught to slaughter, taught to hold cruelty above warmth. Thrown into what seemed to be the pits of hell, the budding youth of the nation learned more than what the training fields had taught. They learned that life held no worth and that violence is a part of everyday life. Attaining this ethic that there is no meaning in humanity, nothing was too cruel or vindictive to a soldier: rape, murder, abuse, torture -- anything that would ache the heart of a humane person, these unfeeling actions were embraced by nearly all soldiers. This is war, and this is what it has done to nations and their people.