7 myths about WAR

7 myths about WAR

Ancient legends

Troy was a real city and the Trojan War is a historical fact. However, the famous heroes of myths about the Trojan War are fictional characters. In reality, the war heroes were “anonymous” Aeolian colonists (Aeolians are one of the main Greek tribes) and emigrants from Peloponnesian Achaeans who fought for territory with local tribes. Later, some settlers took shape of Achilles, and others of Agamemnon and Menelaus. The real fight for territory lasted much more than 10 years – several centuries.

Tribal wars

Many think that the last century was the time of most costly wars, in terms of loss of life. If we talk about the total number of casualties it was. However, in ancient times the relative rate of casualties was approximately 60% of the total number of people of the tribe. So, in spite of the immense power of new weapons, it appears that the tribal conflicts were on average 20 times more deadly than military conflicts of the 20th century. According to the eminent scholar Nicholas Wade, if wars of the twentieth century were just as deadly, two billion people would have been killed.

The fight against racism

Many still believe that the US Civil War of 1861-1865 was a war against racism. “It was a war against slavery,” the average person says. But if you ask someone who studied the history really well, the answer will be different: “It was a war for the states’ rights.” The truth is that the northern states had a lot of racist laws that deprived “colour” population of civil rights, and that the agricultural south lacked workers. Slavery was simply a convenient slogan to justify the war. The real reasons were economic and political issues: taxes, competition, influence on the decisions of Congress.

The bloodiest war

First World War is called the bloodiest war as of the beginning of the twentieth century. But the Taiping Rebellion of 1850-1864 in southern China took much more lives. Thus, if the number of victims of the First World War was about 17 million, 15 years of civil war in China killed from 20 to 30 million people. Only 11.5% of all the British soldiers mobilized in the First World War were killed, and this number is less than in the Crimean War of 1853-56′s. Despite the unbearable conditions of battle in the trenches, the constant rotation on the Western Front allowed to maintain morale and increase the survival rate of the soldiers.

USSR against fascism

For many years, Soviet textbooks tell citizens of the USSR that Soviet ideology has always been an opponent of fascism and the Soviet Union was the enemy of Nazi Germany from the beginning. In fact, until 1939 the USSR conducted vast cooperation (including military) with Germany, and only since 1941 the ideology of USSR has become demonstrative opponent of fascism. However, it should be noted that at first even the British Empire did not consider fascism (or Nazism) as absolute evil, preferring a strategy of “conciliation”.

Peace after the Cold War 

In the 80s of the last century, at the suggestion of the historian J.L. Gaddis people started to call the Cold War as “long peace”. But the absence of hostilities between the United States and the Soviet Union did not mean the preservation of peace. Many military conflicts were triggered or worsened because of this confrontation. Statistics say that millions of people were killed during the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the civil wars in Central America and southern Africa, wars in the Middle East, in Afghanistan. Many were killed by governments in China, Cambodia, Latin America and Africa due to the intervention of the superpowers during the Cold War.

Peacekeeping Countries

There are many myths that “justify” modern warfare, one of the most popular is the myth about the protection of local population. This justification was used when the Russian troops entered South Ossetia, Ukraine, Chechnya, Transnistria… The same myth is popular in the United States, a country that has used its troops on the territory of other countries more than 200 times in the period from 1798 to 1945, and conducted about 13,000 foreign military operations from 1945 to the present day. The results of such a “peacekeeping” missions are obvious: the destabilization and casualties in Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, Iran, Cuba, Guatemala, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Angola, Grenada, Panama…

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