Have you ever killed a rabbit?

Perhaps most people would agree war is Hell. It is an horrendous exercise of inhumanity wreaked upon others. Nevertheless, from time to time war becomes a result of an inability to see eye-to-eye with others.

War is, of course, not necessarily an inevitability. It is, in my view, the result of greed, jealousy, and hate, one to another. Some would say there are times armed conflict becomes necessary to put the neighborhood bully in his place, so to speak, to thwart the continuation of an infestation one nation on another.

War today attempts to be different, to surgically limit battle to warring armies, insulating “innocent” civilians through the use of pinpoint accuracy munitions. There is a worldwide hue and cry when an occasional errant bomb or rocket drifts off course killing or injuring civilians. But, can war be individualized in this manner? Is it only the warring armies who are responsible for the battle?

Bombing runs during World War 2 sought to limit damage to enemy factories or military installations, but bombs could not be guided back then. When the B-29, B-25, or B-17 bomber released its deadly load over a target, fully half the bombs struck beyond the sighted factory or installation. Civilians were directly involved in the explosive mayhem that ensued. In those days and previously, it was impossible to avoid civilian casualties. Too, it is clear enemies in past wars intentionally sought to rain terror on a civilian population–consider Germany’s Buzz Bombs of WW2 randomly targeting London.

Can it be said the United States never intentionally targeted civilians? No. Consider the singular bombs that all but eliminated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More than 100,000 were killed, either by the atomic blast or radiation that ensued in a mere split second. Apparently, then, it cannot be said the Japanese military was defeated, the entire country was brought to its knees.

Try as we may, it seems war cannot be limited to the conflict between trained military units. At some point, God forbid, the supporting civilian population of an enemy must eventually be considered.

Raw Army recruits in basic bayonet training many years ago, quickly learned the stark reality of kill or be killed. War is uncivilized in that no one is spared altogether. In one way or another, and in due time, we are all impacted by international conflict. Yet, war still comes, and may be inevitable in more instances than we chose to believe.

“So, hush little baby, don’t you cry. You know your daddy’s born to die. But, all my trials Lord, will soon be over.” [from An American Trilogy] — D. C. “Dan” Lee. http://www.dannyboystories.com

Dead Rabbit