On January 20, 1991, my grandmother Rose Ridnor wrote an essay about war. It was a month before the end of Gulf War I, and a few days after the start of Operation Desert Storm in response to Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait.
While Gulf War I was victorious for the United States and coalition forces from 35 nations it essentially kicked open multiple fire ant hills, creating conflicts, raging wars, horrific destruction, and unimaginable humanitarian crises across the entire region.
As my grandmother wrote, “The end of war is the preparation for the next.” Twenty-six years later, her viewpoint holds true.
War may not change the face of the planet, but it does change the face of a country, its borderlines, its ownership. It produces refuges, shifting the population around, each bringing and introducing their own culture to other lands, necessitating the intermingling of races.
Sometimes the losers become the winners. Their country must be rebuilt, all with the newest and most modern buildings and factory machines.
Sometimes the winners become the losers. Their economies and resources are drained. They must replenish their own money.
Victory has a price to pay.
The end of war is usually the preparation for the next, because war doesn’t solve basic causes, basic needs, or basic problems. War doesn’t eliminate greed or the grasp for power, poverty, or injustices.
War offers the illusion that it will right the wrongs of the past. It won’t. It will only create new ones.