Battles That Should Never Have Been FoughtLatest News, Prof.R.A Ipinyomi Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
By Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
The entire story of man consists of life competition and collaboration, agreements and disagreements, some mixture of hate and love, a few little praises but lots of big condemnations, a few successes and piles of failures, and series of ups and downs. When the hate or disagreement levels are raised beyond some thresholds a bigger conflict may ensue and the unpleasant result could be war between two or more partners. It takes at least two to tangle. The World War I or II were results of one party over stressing their own rights, exerting authorities with little respect for others, obsession of some sort, lack of tolerance and understanding, pride and ignorance, outright foolishness and spurious behaviours.
We often forget that we complement each other. America is because Africa is, Europe exists so that Asia can be complete, Israel’s existence is for the good of the Palestine, and Australia and New Zealand, including the several Islands around them, are for complementary purposes. According to the former President of America J. F. Kennedy (1917-1963) “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal”. It appears however that in some text books most animals are not equal and nations are to reclassify themselves. In the cold war era we have the Eastern and Western worlds and the Non-aligned Nations. Today there are more arbitrary classifications to G8, G20 and other Gs. The point that the classifications are arbitrary is the elimination of Russia from G8 done without any reference to a metric standard. We expect a world where the weak will be safe and the strong will be humble by the enormity of task to raise our collective standard of living. We need a world where black or white, men or women, rich or poor, any combination of peoples, will cohabit safely and peacefully with deep mutual respect and trust amongst them.
More specifically Syria is engulfed in a civil conflict, Palestine and Israel have always fought each other, the renewal of the cold war between the Western World and the Russia Federation that is still ongoing and may soon be a real war, Boko Haram is hitting at Nigeria government really hard right now. The sponsors of Boko Haram should be thinking of whatever they might have gained or lost so far. These are unnecessary wars and should never have been fought, even when we equally know the level of differences and disagreements between these parties. Why should an unnecessary war erupt for an individual or even a whole nation? Many wars originate from third or even higher level relations. That is you go to a war because it involves the friend of your friend, or it involves a third level neighbour. These could be called indirect relational effects. Most super powers fight all wars because they are super powers and wish to maintain the status. Intelligent nations usually manage their involvements in words and rather sharpening the diplomacy and counselling departments.
There is no therapy to prevent a war that is already ongoing but we can all work on each other to minimise the frequency of future events. Even now the possible war between Ukraine and his former colonial master Russia can be solved by dialogue despite the tactical support Ukraine has been given by EU and USA and the silent majority of nations; as noted by the votes at UN. The outcome of any war is always different from the reason for the war and everyone is always a loser at the end. Everyone may know the beginning of a war but very few will remain to see the eventual ending, if at all.
It is said that a saintly character does not avert temptation. This means that in whatever situation we find ourselves, if our conscience does not condemn us we should remain happy but we are not war free. Therefore by this logic we could be tempted and if we are tempted the sparks of the tempter should only fall upon tinder. If we are saintly still it would be like striking sparks on water; yet the enemy may still continue his evil work. Now, if the opponent goes on striking when there is no result, how much more will he do it when he knows what inflammable stuff our hearts are made of? No matter how greatly sanctified we become we must still expect the worst from the great dog of hell that will keep barking. It could actually be a needless calm because the dog of hell has no moral standard and might assume that our silence is weakness.
There is this African wisdom from a man who has vowed never to do evil charms for any of his customers no matter the individual or his price. A bad African charm has categories and functionalities, prices and purposes. One particular one is called “magun” usually done by men to keep wayward men away from their wives. A man who sleeps with a woman charmed with “magun” under this African wisdom will die instantly or gradually. Some varieties of it will need the owner of the woman to come and separate the man and the women but may not kill. This African man having seen both the misuse of his charms and the evil the charms could do to unintended individuals made up his mind never to do evil charms. Unfortunately some men went to his farm and harvested everything he planted because they were aware of his vow. So he regretted his action because he didn’t factor into his decision that evil charm is the only mean certain individuals may learn. While war is the only weapon for some leaders we must use it only as a last result.
This is the thinking of nations building nuclear weapons believing its deterrent effect but forgetting its other numerous possible outcomes, such as become obsolete, falling into wrong hands and the growing irrational presidents, apart from the technologies that is expensive and secretive. The real war should be fought at the floor of the United Nations and not on the field killing innocent souls. Nations willing to re-draw national boundaries, re-assess lands and other national properties should be through law courts like we have in the Hague (not only for trying poor African leaders). President Bush (younger) should have gone to Hague to defend himself for fighting in Iraq under wrong pretexts and without UN approval.
We are mindful of what we are saying, that many wars should never have been fought. In the haunts of men we expect nations and individuals to be tempted. Nations that are running seclusion from the rest will not be guarded from the same trial to war. Solitude has its charms and its benefits, and may be useful to nations that have once burnt down their countries in previous wars; but research has shown that every nation has her darkest temptation for war. For example should Nigeria have fought Boko Haram insurgencies? Our answer is yes. But should Nigerians take sides one for and the others against? The answer should be no. But if a thorough investigation is done the perpetrators wanted the entire nation on fire for whatever reason. Maintaining your territorial boarders is no war because it should be a routine activity. When weak officers are not awake to their responsibility a whole nation could be on fire. Hence the right war must be fought to avoid unnecessary ones. Poor representation, corrupt officers, and all senses of inequality of treatments in societies, are sources of many unnecessary wars.
Prof. R.A. Ipinyomi,
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