Monday, May 2, 2011

Humanity and War

I just finished watching the five-hour long movie 1900 by Bernardo Bertolucci, and in the process of digesting the horror of last century, the news of the death of Bin Laden came.

The movie was a powerful and masterful representation of Italy in the first half of the twentieth century - the rise of Fascism and the counter-force of the communism.  It started with the day of peace treaty and the farmers ruthlessly chase down and pin down Fascists with pitchforks.  It was deeply disturbing and the lack of concern for humanity was very shocking.  Yet, the ensuring five hours demonstrated what had lead to that anger and revenge and I was left speechless and no moral authority to condemn their disrespect for humanity.  It was the disrespect of humanity by the Fascists led to that pivotal moment.

Considering what's happening in Libya.  I was sick to hear the deaths of the grandchildren of Muammar Gaddafi.  However, I cannot blame NATO for such sad loss of children's life.  For every grandchild of Gaddafi, there were hundreds, if not thousands, grandchildren of other Libyans whose names we do not know.  It was the inhumanity of Gaddafi lead to his own family disaster.

All these demonstrate how war decimates humanity.

The war destroys humanity.  Yet, it is the disrespect of humanity leads to war.  In responding to those inhumanity, sometimes, a righteous war can eliminate factors lead to inhumanity and results in a better world, where humanity was given back its appropriate position.

It is hard to maintain humanity during a war and righteous people would try to maintain humanity even in a war.  Bin Laden had become personification of evil in many people's eyes precisely due to his disregard of humanity in his ruthless determination to harm the US.

In consequence, American's practice in Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo is the counterpart of Bin Laden, and that constituted even bigger tragedy.

With the death of Bin Laden, a terrible chapter of history is drawing to conclusion.  If we don't learn, and rebuild humanity, it is naive to believe the future chapters would be more peaceful and comforting.

The Great War, meant to be the war ending all the wars, simply became World War I.  Our collective fear and wisdom so far had averted a World War III for more than 65 years.   Perhaps, human beings could learn still.

It's time to build a humanitarian society all over the world.

Novecento Atto II - La Liberazione (Novecento (1900) Act II - The Liberation)

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