Nothing civilized about war

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 24, 2003

Just when man decided that arguments could be settled and issues resolved by knocking off other people, I'm not sure.

Maybe it was when a cave man came lumbering home one day and found another man's leopard skin hanging on his bedpost. Or, maybe it was when Cane killed Able with the leg of a table. I just don't know.

But, whenever it was, whoever it was should have been hauled before Judge Whop-ner and an end put to it.

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Man has inhabited this universe for millions of years.

He has invented washing machines, flying machines, talking machines and life-saving machines and, in the same time frame, he has created the most devastating killing machines that could ever be imagined. Man has completely deleted the word &uot;civilized&uot; from the English language - or any language.

Daniel Webster defined &uot;civilized&uot; as being brought out of a primitive or savage condition.

There is nothing civilized about war - about men killing men. War is a primitive and savage condition.

No matter how many men, women or children are killed or in what manner, when all of the blood has been spilled, rivers of tears have been shed and lives destroy, man has to return to some form of sane action to bring an end to it all.

With paper and pen, an end is brought to the killing - to the madness. Maybe it was facilitated by all the bloodshed but maybe the issues could have been resolved without the loss of life - if we were living in civilized world.

But, when dealing with mad men, it's impossible to act in a civilized manner, one might say.

Well, if blood is going to be shed —

if war is going to be waged — let the leaders be the first onto the battlefield. And, perhaps the only ones to don the battle armor.

Why not pit the leaders of the countries involved in the dispute against each other. They could choose their weapons, stand back-to-back and take 10 paces and turn and shoot or do whatever it is they do with their weapons of choice.

Then, to the victor go the spoils.

Wonder how many wars would be fought if the leaders had to duke it out? If the leaders had to put their lives on the line? Probably very few.

It's a safe bet the leaders would find their way to the bargaining table and work out a compromise that would be agreeable to both. Even that bad, mad man Saddam Hussein values life - but only his own.

If he did, he wouldn't be running and hiding and sending look-alikes out as targets.

So, why send thousands of soldiers and spend billions of dollars on what a little head-to-head competition could easily accomplish.

Fine, you might say, but what the leaders aren't willing?

Well, what it was there, in fine print, in their oath of office or what if Judge Whop-ner ruled it so.

Then the disagreement would probably end just as quickly as the leaders could reach in their pockets, flip out their Bics and sign on the dotted line.