The Lessons of War

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The Lessons of War


Your correspondent Gary Ferguson observes that as we remember a war of 100 years ago, we send soldiers to yet another conflict. He asks, “What have we learned”?

We have learned lots, or perhaps more accurately, we have learned the same thing again and again.

We learned in 1914-18 thar if you want our children to grow up in a democratic society and hold the social values you deem important, and if you would like your grandchildren to be able to converse with you in a language you understand and value, you have to draw a line in the sand, get up from the negotiating table and bloody a few noses.

In 1939-45, we helped redraw the line, and again and again in lesser conflicts since. Sometimes bloodying noses is the only language that territorial aspirants or religious zealots understand. It is particularly effective, if practised early, as soon as the cancer is recogninised and before it has a chance to permeate society.

DB Smith, Napier, New Zealand

As published in the New Zealand Herald 24th April 2015a Syrian refugee girl sits in a classroom at a Lebanese public school where only Syrian students attend classes in the afternoon, at Kaitaa village in north Lebanon.


“Those who stand up for justice, will always be on the right side of history.”

– Dr Martin Luther-King, Jr



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