Definition of War: Sherman\'s Hell



The term "war" is one that most competent English speaking
people are familiar with, and it is one that most of those same
people could attempt to define. The only problem lies in the
definition that one would receive. War is so complex and
multifaceted that it is truly understood by only a few people.
Wars date far back into history, and they have been fought for
more reasons than could be listed. It seems strange, but
untimalely, they are fought for one reason. Freedom has
been the issue of every war since the beginning of time, and
whenever a group of individuals feels that their freedom has been
infringed upon, war is always possibility.
It is only logical that in a war there must be some form of a
protagonist as well as an antagonist, but in many cases it is
unclear who gets which label. The American Civil War is a perfect
example. The South wanted the freedom to make decisions that
benefited a largely agricultural society, and when that freedom
was denied they withdrew from the Union. The Union, on the other
hand, viewed the South as a group of radicals making an attempt
to dissolve the unity of states that their ancestors had worked
so hard to create. As a result they felt their freedom of unity
and nationhood had been taken away. It is difficult to say who
was in the right, but when all of the negotiations had been
exhausted, war was the result. In this case there was no other
option because both sides believed in their cause.
Gen. William T. Sherman said ³War is Hell², and that quote
has remained famous because even though simple, it is accurate.
American men spent weeks at a time in rat infested trenches with
lice all over their bodies in both World War One and Two. There
are countless examples of horrible war crimes, biological
weapons, napalm strikes, and of course nuclear weapons. War has
claimed millions of lives throughout history. War is glorified
by many, but the people who know see no glory in it, yet they do
it for freedom, and most if asked would say that they would do it
again. In all of these wars, the soldiers believed they were
fighting for their own personal freedom, or the freedom of some
other group of individuals. Had they not believed this, they
would not have risked their lives.
War it a last resort. Generally speaking, people do not like
war, and want to avoid it at all costs. It is believed that a
large part of why America went to Vietnam was for monetary
reasons. Companies have to make all of the ships, helicopters,
airplanes, and supplies. As a result, jobs are created and the
economy in stimulated, but the U.S. government could never tell
that to the public. It is very possible that these were ulterior
reasons for the Vietnam war, but the government simply turned it
into an issue of freedom. As a result the public was told that
after trying to make peace with North Vietnam, the U.S. Navy was
continually being assaulted and that there was no option but to
go to war. At that point Americans had the option to believe that
they were involved for noble and acceptable reasons.
Even though freedom of some type is directly related to all
major conflicts, it is not necessarily the freedom of all those
involved. Operation Desert Storm is a good example. Though it was
technically not a war, in had many of the characteristics
attributed to war. The United States was involved because of
Iraq¹s blatant disregard for the freedom of the people of Kuwait.
There have been countless arguments about whether the United
States should be the ³policeman² to the world, but a final
decision will never made because there is answer.
War is about freedom. The cynics will tell you that Americans go
to war for ulterior reasons like money, and there may be some
truth to that. The argument has been made Operation Desert Storm
would never have occurred had it not been for oil. It is possible
that this is true, but if it was not for