Interrupting his series of articles on the war in Ukraine, Thierry Meyssan delivers some thoughts on the evolution of the human dimension of war. The end of industrial capitalism and the globalization of exchanges do not only transform our societies and our ways of thinking, but the meaning of all our activities, including wars.
The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not part of any military strategy. Japan had already intended to surrender. The United States just wanted them not to surrender to the Soviets who were beginning to pour into Manchuria, but to themselves.
Since the end of World War II 77 years ago, Europeans (except for the former Yugoslavs) have known peace on their soil. They have forgotten this distant memory and discover war with horror in Ukraine. The Africans of the Great Lakes, the ex-Yugoslavs and the Muslims from Afghanistan to Libya, passing through the Horn of Africa, look at them with disgust: for many decades, the Europeans ignored their sufferings and accused them of being responsible for the misfortunes they were suffering.
The war in Ukraine started with Nazism according to some, eight years ago according to others, but it is only two months old in the consciousness of Westerners. They see some of the suffering it causes, but they do not yet perceive all its dimensions. Above all, they misinterpret it according to the experience of their great-grandparents and not according to their own experience.
Wars are only a succession of crimes
– As soon as it starts, war forbids nuances. It forces everyone to position themselves in one of the two camps. The two jaws of the beast immediately crush those who do not comply.
– The ban on nuances forces everyone to rewrite events. There are only "good guys", us, and "bad guys", those on the other side. War propaganda is so powerful that after a while, no one can distinguish the facts from the way they are described. We are all in the dark and no one knows how to turn on the light.
– War causes suffering and death without distinction. It doesn’t matter to which side you belong. It doesn’t matter if you are guilty or innocent. One suffers and dies not only from the blows of those on the other side, but also collaterally from those on one’s own side. War is not only suffering and death, but also injustice, which is much more difficult to bear.
– None of the rules of civilized nations remain. Many give in to madness and no longer behave like humans. There is no longer any authority to make people face the consequences of their actions. Most people can no longer be counted on. Man has become a wolf for man.
Something fascinating is happening. If some people turn into cruel beasts, others become luminous and their eyes enlighten us.
I spent a decade on the battlefields and never went home. Although I now flee from suffering and death, I am still irresistibly drawn to those looks. That is why I hate war and yet I miss it. Because in this tangle of horrors there is always a sublime form of humanity.
The wars of the 21st century
I would now like to offer you some thoughts that do not commit you to this or that conflict, and even less to this or that side. I will just lift a veil and invite you to look at what it hides. What I am about to say may shock you, but we can only find peace by accepting reality.
Wars are changing. I am not talking about weapons and military strategies, but about the reasons for conflicts, about their human dimension. Just as the transition from industrial capitalism to financial globalization is transforming our societies and pulverizing the principles that organized them, so this evolution is changing wars. The problem is that we are already incapable of adapting our societies to this structural change and therefore even less capable of thinking about the evolution of war.
– War always seeks to solve the problems that politics has failed to solve. It does not happen when we are ready for it, but when we have eliminated all other solutions.
This is exactly what is happening today. The US Straussians have inexorably cornered Russia in Ukraine, leaving it no option but to go to war. If the Allies insist on pushing her back, they will provoke a World War.
The periods between two eras, when human relationships must be rethought, are conducive to this kind of disaster. Some people continue to reason according to principles that have proven their effectiveness, but are no longer adapted to the world. They are nevertheless advancing and can provoke wars without wanting to.
On the night of May 9, 1945, the US air force bombed Tokyo. In one night more than 100,000 people were killed and more than 1 million were left homeless. It was the largest massacre of civilians in history.
– If, in peacetime, we distinguish between civilians and soldiers, this way of reasoning no longer makes sense in modern warfare. Democracies have swept away the organization of societies into castes or orders. Everyone can become a combatant. Mass mobilizations and total wars have blurred the lines. From now on, civilians are in charge of the military. They are no longer innocent victims, but have become the first responsible for the general misfortune of which the military are only the executors.
In the Western Middle Ages, war was the business of the nobles and of them alone. In no case did the population participate. The Catholic Church had enacted laws of war to limit the impact of conflicts on civilians. All this does not correspond anymore to what we live and is not based on anything.
The equality between men and women has also reversed the paradigms. Not only are soldiers now women, but they can be civilian commanders too. Fanaticism is no longer the exclusive domain of the so-called stronger sex. Some women are more dangerous and cruel than some men.
We are not aware of these changes. In any case, we do not draw any conclusions from them. This leads to bizarre positions such as the refusal of Westerners to repatriate the families of jihadists they have let go to the battlefields and to judge them. Everyone knows that many of these women are far more fanatical than their husbands were. Everyone knows that they represent a much greater danger. But nobody says so. They prefer to pay Kurdish mercenaries to keep them and their children in camps, as far away as possible.
Only the Russians have repatriated the children, who were already contaminated by this ideology. They entrusted them to their grandparents, hoping that the latter would be able to love and care for them.
For the past two months, we have been receiving Ukrainian civilians fleeing the fighting. They are only women and children who suffer. So we do not take any precautions. However, a third of these children have been trained in the summer camps of the Banderites. There they learned the handling of weapons and the admiration of the criminal against humanity Stepan Bandera.