Monday, April 27, 2015

A-Z Blogging Challenge: War or Peace

It's odd to think that World War One was once known as The Great War and, even more tellingly, as The War to End All Wars. It was so cataclysmic with such an enormous loss of life, so many appalling casualties and such horrific destruction that they believed that it could never be repeated. Well, as we all know they were wrong - terribly, horribly wrong - because it was less than a generation later when the world was plunged into war again on a scale that was at least terrible as World War One.

World War Two is usually dated from Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland in 1939 but this was only when Germany crossed the line set by Great Britain and her European allies. In fact much of the world had been in turmoil for some time before that.

In March 1936 Germany had begun build up a military presence in the Rhinelands (these had been made a demilitarisation zone in the Treaty of Versailles following World War One), followed by annexation of the Sudetenland (German speaking areas of Czechoslovakia) and Austria in 1938. Similarly in 1936 following a number of skirmishes in previous years Italy launched an invasion and occupied Abyssinia. Alienated by the league of Nations' response after this, Italy turned to an alliance with Nazi Germany. In Asia things were no more settled with Japan and Imperial China having been at war since the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. Then, of course, came the calamity that was World War Two. We've been no better since 1945 with the Korean War, Vietnam War and multiple wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan to name only a few.

You'd have thought we'd learn, wouldn't you, but we seem to keep making the same mistakes over and over, driven by fear, ideology, desire to expand territory from population increase or simple greed. It's depressing. Still I live in hope. We have the ability to change and make a better world. For the sake of humanity, I hope we do.


Jo said...

Trouble is Helen, it's people like ISIS who cause a lot of the trouble. Not that they are alone by any means but I think as a group they are terrifying. Nothing appears to be sacred to them. I think if they get much stronger, there will be a war.

Helen V. said...

I agree entirely, Jo. When I said we I meant humanity as a whole and ISIS is a perfect example of ideology driven war mongering. I, too, think we are heading to a war if ISIS can't be stopped - and that is a very scary prospect.