My Belief in the Alternatives of War

Alison - Worcester, Massachusetts
Entered on November 29, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: war

I believe that war is immoral and uncivil, that one, who chooses war as an alternative to facing a problem directly, is unscrupulous. War leaves scars that can never be hidden. Violence is too often and too easily the answer to a problem, especially for a powerful nation. I try to understand a dilemma that is worthy enough of war and taking a person’s life.

I believe that war can solve nothing and cannot be reasoned. As a twelve year old, I never expected my naïve childhood to end so abruptly. There was a crisp feel to the late summer air that day; not a cloud could be seen in the vibrant blue sky. A typical day in my seventh grade life began as I walked down the stairs and awaited my school day instruction from my mother. Amid instruction, she received a phone call, informing her of the first plane crash. Turning on the television to see live coverage and the second plane crash, my world tumbled down with the south tower, and again with the north. The feeling of safety and peace that my parents instilled in me diminished in a matter of minutes. Fear sunk deeper into my mind as threats began to role off of the newscasters’ tongues. Over the course of the months following this alarming day, I was forced, for the first time, to live as most American’s now live: in fear.

War was a concept that I knew only through textbooks and movies. The rumor of the draft swept into my household, disturbing my family with the thought that my brother could be forced to protect our fear-stricken country. The only violence that I knew, up until this point, was a verbal quarrel over a piece of doll clothing. A fight between my country and another was beyond my comprehension. The unsettling feeling that grew inside me would later develop into a philosophy against this so-called “war against terror” and any war as a means to settle difference.

I feel that war is a heartless alternative to solving a problem rationally. War is too often viewed as an impersonal event, its action taking place a long way distant from the decision-makers and rarely directly involving family members of decision makers. But when it involves the sacrifice of family, war is more than personal. It is an intrusion into families that threatens lives and memories. Every war leaves wounds on relationships that never heal without leaving scars. To me, there is too little importance placed on a consideration of alternatives and a reflection on our path to war, and that is our downfall.

I believe a problem cannot simply be resolved by taking lives, it must be dealt with responsibly and morally. The choice to take up arms is a coward’s attempt to solve a problem. We need to take the opposing direction in the course to solve a conflict. September 11th has brought me to this conclusion: war cannot be validated.