War is Not a Game

Hodari - Tempe, Arizona
Entered on September 17, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: war

It all started in my sixth period history class. I had finished my test a bit early and did not want to just sit at my desk and ponder away my ten minutes of rare free time. The only way to not have this happen would be to go to the back of the class and play a game of chess with a friend. Mr. Minnick, our teacher, would not prohibit us to talk freely while tests were still out, so chess was the only means of quietly whispering.

Now to paint a more appropriate picture, Mario and I were not on the chess team. We actually only played in times like these; where there was nothing else to do at the moment. Therefore, the game was not going to be, by any stretch of the imagination, a strategic battle. Foolish play started to set in and many ill-advised moves rolled into place. Basically, whatever first came to our minds was what we did. Turn by turn pieces came off the board in a rapid pace. Despite the ridiculousness, something serious caught my eye. I looked at the pieces and I noticed that just about all my pawns were taken.

Taking a step pause, I reminisced about the way our most recent government handled the War on Iraq. The pawns turned into soldiers in a metaphoric way. Just like old wars the pawns were used as bait for a bigger attack or just to get them out of the way so I could use a better piece. I mean the government to me had no clear reason to call for the high volume of soldiers. In a way I was doing the same thing with my pawns. To make matters worse Mario and I did not back any of our pawns up with more valuable and useful pieces. In comparison with the government I remembered how throughout the war financial support for equipment and such was inadequate. The soldiers were indispensable. Our pawns were being used recklessly.

The ending was the most striking however. Mario had placed a queen, considered the most valuable piece, right next to my king. It was checkmate. My entire back row of pieces had barely moved the entire game. This I related to the US, the people back home. As my pawns were in a more offensive set up, unprotected, my higher valued pieces were left completely vulnerable. In relation to the war, we, the American people, were left vulnerable back at home.

I realized and started to fully believe that war should and should not be taken like a chess game. It should be taken seriously and with heavy deliberation. However soldiers are not pawns and should not be treated like simple tools to achieve a personal agenda. Because when the bell rings, and the game is up, there are no second chances.