Thursday, May 3, 2012

Disasters of War

Detail of the Third of May 1808 (1814) by Francisco Goya

Every so often, it's important to reflect upon the cruelty and brutality that we humans inflict upon each other through warfare. Whatever the cause, be it religion or nationalism or political philosophy, the consequences are terrible. The horrible suffering brought by war is rarely justified. Even more uncommon is when justice prevails after the conflict is resolved.

Currently, the USA is involved in a long war in Afghanistan. At this point in the conflict, there seems to be little point to American presence in this far off country. Moreover, it seems that nothing good is coming out from American actions. There is only pain and terror for the Afghan people who are caught between the US-led occupation and the Taliban-led insurgency.

What should be done to promote peace and liberty? I don't know. However, my guideline on dealing with crisis management is: if you're not helping, get out of the way. I think that's probably a good idea for US foreign policy as well.

Detail of Plate 71 "Against the Common Good" from The Disasters of War by Francisco Goya

I don't like getting political here at Paideia, but the Third of May seems a proper day to reflect on warfare and its costs.

Anyways, here's a video discussing Goya's brutal masterpiece.

"Images and Power: Goya's Third of May"


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