War lesson #2 (of 2) for my sons: In a war, there are NO winners, only losers

demonstrations in solidarity with ukraine

It’s been a month now, yet this Russian-Ukraine war is still going on. And dare I say, going “strong”!

Is the world surprised? Not really. Can the world do anything to end it? Not much. Just ask Myanmar and Afghanistan.

I mean seriously, let’s face it. Given his track record of self-preservation and opposition-bullying since gaining political power, Putin’s probably already stashed billions of roubles somewhere. You think he’s going to worry about his country’s economy going under, due to these war-induced global trade sanctions NATO and other major economies are inflicting on Russia?

Please.

Disagree with me all you want, but sanctions ultimately hurt the common folk, not the man behind it all.

To me it pretty much fosters, even nurtures, the presence of the bully. And what is a bully but a coward! One who assaults, victimises the underdog, then runs off with ill-gotten gains, leaving the rest in the dust! And why? Because he knows he can get away with it!

It’s what wars like this current one are really all about too if you think about it. Just larger and more tyrannical bullies with newer, bigger toys and crueler methods of intimidation. And older, more hapless victims with little to no means of effectively defending themselves.

Make no mistake. In the end it’s all the same. Be it a playground tussle or an all-out war among nations…

…there are absolutely no winners in a war, only losers!

man in black jacket standing in front of grave
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Since my last post on this war, I’ve been mulling over different lessons it offers parents like me to impart to kids.

And there are many; some straightforward, others downright sinister.

There’s the “garden variety-type” lessons. Like how we must watch out for ruthless leaders such as we-know-who. How everyone must learn to be as brave a leader as, again, we-know-who. To defend our country’s sovereignty no matter what the personal cost.

There’s also the “video or board-game-strategy” type lessons for the gaming-inclined. To witness everyday in real time how an invasion is being executed and sustained. Like a game of chess or a strategy board game like RISK to be taken apart and analysed to death. Except in this case we’re talking about the deaths of innocent people. Real men, women and children being lost daily; not toy soldiers or game tokens.

Then there’s the sinister “winner-takes-all” type of lesson. It reinforces in mindless, impressionable folks the horrid yoke of ages we’ve lived under since the dawn of time — that “might is ultimately right”. That modern day Genghis Khan-type leaders are to be admired, even revered and worshipped because only to the rich and strong go the spoils, right Chinese netizens?

But of all the lessons this war brings to our attention, the one I wish to bequeath to my sons is what UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s predecessor Neville Chamberlain (1937-1940) once said: “In war, whichever side may call itself the victor, there are no winners, but all are losers.”

We’re all deaf!

woman in white v neck t shirt smiling
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Yesterday, I asked my 13 year old what was for him the most important lesson we can learn from this ongoing war?

He said: “Well dad, just because a country has massive weapons and resources, it doesn’t mean that it will win a war.”

At the time of this post, that would certainly seem to be spot-on words of wisdom. Who would have guessed four weeks ago that Ukraine, a country massively out-gunned and out-sized, is still at this moment holding its own against a bully three times bigger and far better equipped militarily?!

Not Putin and his minions, that’s for sure!

Numerous punters have offered up, and will still offer up, various possible outcomes to this war as it drags on. Some will say Ukraine shall prevail. Others will say Putin is certain to conquer. Still others will say an all-out NATO-Russia war is inevitable.

But such discussions are but a paper exercise since any so-called war victories are merely pyrrhic victories.

And really, none of these predictions proves we are any the wiser. Instead, they only serve to remind us again and again of one thing.

Despite the many lessons about war history has repeatedly taught mankind over the centuries, what the world now witnesses in Ukraine clearly shows one thing. As long as bullies like Putin and victims like displaced Ukrainian refugees exist, these lessons that teach us there are no winners in a war only losers, have fallen on deaf ears!

Choose wisely my sons

person marking check on opened book
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So to my sons, I just have to say again and again that war and violence can never, and must never, be the answer.

Life isn’t a game of chess or RISK. Lives, human lives, are real and vulnerable. They are worthy of utmost care, even more so than ideologies and political manoeuvrings .

Ultimately we must decide and choose wisely what legacy we wish to pass down to future generations (if the world doesn’t destroy itself before then!)

We should always seek to preserve lives at all costs in order to be true winners.

So one day when you’re old enough to read this post my sons, then please remember this and remember it well.

In a war — any war –there are NO winners.

Only losers.

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