Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, January 18th, 2021

The Philosophy of War in Human Society

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The Philosophy of War in Human Society

When we look at the history of human society, no period of history is free from war and conflicts as if war is an inherent feature of human society. Even, no advancement and no modernization changes have brought a permanent peace in human society. As mentioned, the present and past evidences show that no period of history has been free of war and conflicts. Today, despite presence of United Nation and dozens of peacemaking organizations, there are deadly war and conflicts in different parts of the earth.  Therefore, a number of political scholars reached to a conclusion that peace is a temporary condition while war and conflict is a permanent phenomenon.  In the other word, war is always a probable phenomenon likely to happen anytime and anywhere and so always need to be ready for war.  The ruling economic and political structures of the society are not considered as an absolute factor behind peace and war. However, it is considered as a supportive factor believing that political peace is unsustainable without social peace.
As pointed out, the peace and war does not link o advancement or backwardness and even modernization of human society. The transformations of political and economic structures have only brought changes in apparent forms and methods of war, not in nature of war. For example, twenty years ago a multi-lateral war was launched in Afghanistan under leadership of the United States with slogan to fight against terrorism while later a peace agreement was signed with the same group showing that this war had a political motive from beginning, not humanitarian motives. It is not surprising when some years ago the President Karzai quoted a sentence from the U.S. officials telling him that anyone who threatens U.S. interests or attacks its assets are considered terrorists for the United States. Based on this view, it is possible to change a legitimate war to illegitimate war over a night because of economic or political interests. Taking this instability into account we must be always ready for war.
Given this instability, there is a constant question in human society how to resolve the political and social problems amongst different human groups? It is possible to reach peace and security through friendly ways or required military ways? Is it possible to resolve the problem of human society through promotion of humanitarian principles such as social and political justice, brotherhood, equality, mutual respect and so forth? The historical experience shows that these values and principles cannot prevent war. For example, the passive policy of the former president of Afghanistan, Mr. Hamid Karzai, who constantly called Taliban as unsatisfied brothers had not only not led to any positive outcomes, but also created chances to the insurgent groups to expand in the country. The same thing was proved in the past history of our country and other countries. No country in the world has achieved their independence except through war and martyrdom. For example, if Amanullah khan had not fought to get the freedom of Afghanistan, the chains of captivities would not have automatically released from the hands and feet of Afghans and Afghanistan. If the people of Afghanistan had not fought against Soviet Union aggression, it would not have been given it as gift to Afghans. Therefore, the survivals of human and human society are directly linked to war and establishment of strong defensive force.
According to political scholars, the goal of war is providing peace and security. For example, Friedrich Nietzsche believes if we do not use violence, we could lose the war. He said, there are no more than two choices either to kill or be killed. According to him, the best human is the one who uses natural anger and instincts using violent power. Based on this, using ethical logic against aggressive enemies or begging peace will not lead to peace and security. Therefore, if we want to reach peace, we need to launch defensive war and violence. Accordingly, the political history of human kind shows, when a nation is failed to fight, they would fail to reach peace and security. Based on this, the chronic war and conflicts in Afghanistan are largely rooted in emotional and passive approach of our defense forces against terrorists and criminals. If the former president of the country, Mr. Hamid Karzai, had not cultivated this weak culture against terrorists, today, our country was not engulfed in the current crises. If we could execute one hundred human killers, we would not witness the deaths of thousands or migrations of millions in the country.
Based on religious resources, there are three major approaches about war which can be termed as extremist approach, passive approach and moderate approach. Based on Jewish traditional resources, there are no more than two ways wrong or right; black or white. The war is obligatory against wrong and wrong followers. Based on traditional teachings of Christian, there is famous quote saying,” If someone slap on the right side of your face, you should prepare the left side” showing a passive approach. Based on Islamic teachings, Muslims should keep away from war but never escape if anyone aggress or oppress. While it prohibits its followers from killing of innocent human with promising hard punishment, it also necessitates war as obligation for Muslim. While it strictly prohibits its believers from oppression but it persist in not escaping from the battlefield of a legitimate war considering it as a big sin. Therefore, if the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan had strictly followed the moderate approach of Islam against human killers, today, we would not be the observer of carnage of children in educational centers or killing new born babies in the health centers.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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