The Continuity of Wars in World History


Charles Mercieca, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service

Over the past 6,000 years of recorded history we often read about wars and their devastating consequences. In the Bible, which is viewed by the world at large as a holy and sacred book, we read about many wars that took place from time to time almost without ending. We need to raise quite a few questions since, as the scholastic philosophers tell us: Nihil ex nihilo fit – Nothing comes out of nothing. Another well-known statement runs as follows: Quidquid contigens est causam habet – Whatever exists must have a cause.

Belligerent Governmental Policies

When we analyze carefully the sources of each war we generally discover that it was waged by those in the government. The vast majority of people across every continent always yearned to live at peace on a permanent basis. When Jesus came to this world some 2,000 years ago he made it a point to improve as many negative biblical expression as possible. He was driven by the fact that he was a deeply peaceful person. Besides, he knew countless thousands of innocent people on a global scale that have and till suffer brutally unnecessarily.

Jesus did not hesitate to describe to us the true nature of God, which is purely based on love and mercy. In fact, he reminded the people of his time saying: The God I know is not the God you know. Your God functions on the eye-for-an-eye and a tooth-for-a-tooth. The God I know functions on love and mercy. When someone strikes you on the cheek you do not strike back but rather you should turn the other cheek. This means it is far better for us to practice humility and respect than resorting to retaliation and revenge.

We also remember what Jesus said to Peter when he drew out the sword to defend his Master. He told him clearly: Put the sword away for he who kills by the sword will die by the sword. Periodically, Jesus exhorted his disciples saying: Do to others what you would like others to do to you. This means if we do not want to be hurt and killed let us not take the initiative to hurt others, far less to terminate their lives. If we continue to ignore these peaceful instructions of Jesus, we are likely to continue waging wars till the end of time.

We are all familiar with the expression history repeats itself. Since over the centuries we have experienced both good and evil that means we may look forward to experience the repetition of these two elements for sure. Our job in life should be to create situations, nationally and globally, that are good and beneficial. This way we may create people that are trained to do constructive things as to be prepared to pass such vital elements to others. If people were to be trained from early childhood to provide to others love and compassion, then the probability of future wars may start becoming highly remote.

War as an Enemy of True Peace

The Romans had a saying which went as follows: Si vis pacem, para pacem and si vis bellum para bellum –- If you want peace prepare for peace and if you want war prepare for war. US President Richard Nixon did not seem to believe in this important dictum. So he turned it around and said: Si vis pacem para bellum – If you want peace prepare for war. This was essentially the revealed US foreign policy since World War II was over in 1945. It explains why the USA since then was very heavily involved in more than 30 wars.

Three of these latest wars were Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. These last two wars alone brought the American nation some $2 trillion dollars debt, which has become a phenomenal financial burden to the American people. As a result, the people’s sources of indispensable revenue just to survive became seriously threatened. It is very sad to consider that while the bulk of the three hundred million Americans were against the involvement of such wars, the few hundreds in the government proceeded to wage such immoral and illegal wars.

Going back to the earliest days of recorded history, we always witnessed that a leading power was viewed to be a nation with a devastating military. In practice, a leading power happens to be a nation that has been blessed with healthy people who have the opportunity to develop their God-given talents to the maximum. In view of this, we need to start doing something that is highly essential. We must make it a point that the only nations that we may respect and trust are among those who do not rely on any military power.

As a matter of fact, every nation in the world should not allow to have in its territory the presence of any foreign military bases by all means. Such bases always existed not to create peace but, on the contrary, to plan and promote as many devastating wars as possible. That would result in the destruction of many buildings as to make tens of thousands of people homeless. Besides, that would bring about the eventual killing and maiming of tens of thousands of innocent people, including women, children, the elderly and the sick.

The question that needs to be seriously raised here is this: Why is it that while the seven billion people in the world at large want to live at peace, a mere handful of people in their government continue to set up scenarios as to justify the promotion of never-ending wars? There may be many reasons that could be outlined. However, the dominant one lies in the fact that the weapons industry and the military industrial complex in the world have emerged to become a lucrative business. Their only one goal is to make money without limit, even at the cost of the lives of countless millions of innocent people.

Planning for a Peaceful Future

We are all familiar with the proverb: When there is a will there is a way. Responsible individuals should get periodically together to figure out steps that would bring the weapons industry and the military industrial complex under control. The Center for Defense Information in Washington, D.C., which was formed by retired US military officials, made a lot of videos that bring the causes of war, as presented here, into full perspective. One of these videos was meant to provide us with steps that may bring the major causes of war under control.

Among other things stated, it was advocated that all those working for both the weapons industry and the military industrial complex should quite their job without further delay. Instead, they should seek for jobs that are fully beneficial for all human beings. The weapons industry and the military industrial complex should not panic when faced with this constructive philosophy that they may end up going out of business. They can keep fully well their business but simply change their product.

Instead of making weapons of destructions, they could make computers and many educational items that are viewed to be fully useful. Instead of making tanks for soldiers they could make tractors for farmers and the list goes on and on. Moreover, in nations where people have the opportunity to elect their own government officials, they should make sure in the next elections they put out of office determinedly all those who supported the elements of war without any hesitation. Good results may not be achieved overnight.

Even if the prospect and real achievement of a permanent peace may take several decades or even a couple of centuries, our task is to take the first steps that may serve as our foundation or legacy for a future permanent peace. By way of encouragement, let us keep in mind that we cannot teach old dogs new tricks. The best way to deal with old war-minded government officials is to find a good and practical way to have them removed from office. We need to change the sources that always led to wars with sources that will always lead to peace.


Charles Mercieca, Ph.D.:
– President, International Association of Educators for World Peace, Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education, Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament.
-Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University.
-Hon President & Professor, SBS Swiss Business School, Zurich.
-Member, TRANSCEND-A Network for Peace, Development and Environment.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 9 Dec 2013.

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