Home Opinion and Features Negotiated war tactics

Negotiated war tactics


There will always be those who know there is no profit in peace and peace is only a theory when wars can’t be won

File image

Few things are able to unify opposing populations, parties and people more effectively than a common enemy.

However, even fewer things are able to divide those in agreement more effectively than picking an idea or concept as said common enemy rather than an institution or individual.

While criminals should be caught, the poor could be plumped up, drug dealers must be detained and terrorists need to stand trial, wars on crime, poverty, drugs and terrorism can only be one or lost at the time of their conception.

After that, it’s too late as no sooner has the declaration been made than everyone begins to lose.

Well, almost everyone. There will always be those who know there is no profit in peace and peace is only a theory when wars can’t be won.

As easy to define as an idea may be, there is a major difference between definition and distinction. While one is best managed with words, the other with weapons.

However, weapons always prove wasteful unless all form of discussion is proving even more destructive.

Life is a game of contradiction, played on a grey board between black and white pieces, many of whom are not quite sure which side they are on but are too terrified to ask those to the left or right of them because they may well be the enemy.

Instead, we complain about ideas and concepts beyond our control, making unanimous declarations of unwinnable wars. To make matters worse, when we realise we are fighting a losing battle we don’t adapt accordingly, limit the collateral damage and learn from our mistakes to address the now even greater threat. We simply declare more wars against thoughts.

References to war on crime, drugs, poverty, terrorism and many others, tend to conjure up noble images of good’s triumph over evil and justice being done but sadly, this is hardly ever the case.

Yes, the person who breaks into a house to rape and murder is guilty of committing a crime and deserves to be punished but so is the desperate lady who steals food, which would otherwise have been disposed of, in order to feed her family.

Granted, the shady tik dealer, preying on the addict’s weakness for his own financial gain is contributing to the trail of destruction left in the wake of substance abuse, but isn’t the sympathetic GP who renews that prescription one too many times doing exactly the same, if not more so?

Times are tough for the poor, who are finding themselves with ever more company but a war on poverty isn’t going to make the unwilling willing or the lazy hardworking. It certainly isn’t going to make the dishonest honest or the criminals innocent because if many of the honest and innocent wanted wealth all they would need to be financially successful would be stop being honest and innocent.

The same logic can be applied to the war on terror, as was made abundantly clear to me when my four-year-old nephew used certain tactics,to keep me from watching last weekend’s World Cup final.

I wanted to watch Kevin Anderson and then the football. He wanted to jump on the trampoline. He won. I missed the tennis.

When Wimbledon was done, he wanted to build a puzzle. I wanted to watch the soccer.

We negotiated and reached agreement almost.

He wanted to build a puzzle in his room. I wanted to build it in front of the TV.

He wasn’t satisfied and threw a tantrum. I went to watch the soccer until he came to join me, puzzle in hand.

Like ‘merica (the “A” is silent) I also don’t negotiate with terrorists but I’m also not about to declare war on this little dictator whose only transgression is his innocence.