End-of-War Terms in Pre-Election Rhetoric

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End-of-war terms in pre-election rhetoric

War is a demanding taskmaster with an insatiable appetite for savagery. It accepts nothing less than absolute allegiance and savors the inaudible numbers as they roll over from the hundreds into the thousands on our TV screens, all the while doggedly extending itself far beyond calculated deadlines. The ultimate tragedy is that those who initiate war are fully aware of the terrible price to be exacted from those who must execute it.

Two "end-of-war" terms have come into prominent usage as we wade through the inevitable pre-election rhetoric. They are victory and honor. The first, victory, carries with it, among other things, the descriptive synonyms "triumph, winning, destruction, killing, mission accomplished and a feather in ones cap."

The second, honor, suggests bringing credit for or adherence to what is right and implies popular acknowledgment of a persons right to great respect. Close cousins of this word are glory and integrity, which embody positive definers such as courage, character and truthfulness.

There is not even one ounce of compatibility between the words victory and honor and their cousins, glory and integrity. Each negates the others. Deriving a pure sense of honor, glory or integrity from an act of intentional bloody mayhem is beyond the most wildly imaginative reason.

So, when is a war won? When the weaker party surrenders? When a territory is secured? When a radical change in a governmental system is achieved? And, how is the winner determined? By bringing a nation state or group within a nation, under complete dominance? By achieving a lesser body count than the adversary? There can and never will be a "war to end all wars" as long as this conscience-void thinking persists among even one of the leaders of this country.

Marianne Avery


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