Thoughts of a changing Reality - Are we destined to become savages?

, by Miguel Ángel Cabrera Gallego

Thoughts of a changing Reality - Are we destined to become savages?
Guernica on a wall, Daniel Capilla, CC BY-SA 4.0 <> , via Wikimedia Commons

There was a time, long gone, when war gave the impression of being a thing of the past. A mere memory of what should not repeat itself, a series of events that only persisted in regions outside the “civilised West”. It was a time when military spending was being reduced because diplomacy sufficed and the people demonstrated for peace between countries that were at war, even if they did not know how to locate those countries on a map. No one considered any other scenario because: Are we not civilised countries?

The above-described era seems to be over; other times and other feelings arise everywhere these days. The increase in the military budgets is a unanimous decision in the West because of the Sahel crisis, the war in Ukraine, the war in the Gaza, the tensions with Iran and the threats to Taiwan have turned this decade into a powder keg with a fuse that diplomacy is unable to extinguish.

The world is facing a tension that is only exacrebated by a Manichean press interested in generating debate to attract more audience, incoherent politicians, and lack of reservations of some of the military personnel involved in these conflicts that we will call “Savages”. These so-called savages always existed because war reveals and encourages the worst of human beings. However, due to the ease of access to graphic information of what is happening live, we are seeing levels of evil that are unacceptable if we want to maintain any kind of “civilisation”.

That brings me to my own personal story; A few days ago, on different social networks, I watched a Ukrainian propaganda video with playing rock music in the background, where several Russian soldiers were running for their lives, terrified, escaping from a drone attack that eventually hit them. The soldiers ended up being badly wounded, mutilated but not dead. Not fully satisfied with said results, the attackers shot a second volley of drones in order to finish the job. Live death checking for us all to witness and rejoice in.

Let’s please try and understand, dear readers, that this is above-described propaganda video is not a demonstration of power or a way to frighten the enemy. No, we shall, for the sake of this article, define it clearly: it is but pure sadism and contravenes international humanitarian law.

What I wish for you to understand is, that the origin of the different sides here does not matter for the sake of demonstrated savagery. Therefore, I chose to mention a video in which it is rather Russians who were hurt, even if they are as guilty of war crimes as the Ukrainians themselves, as clearly shown in the video. To mention one crime, is the massacre of Ukrainians in the Bucha, where at least 400 civilians were, as the name suggests, savagely massacred. Yet, for the sake of this article, it does not matter who has done what, as the two sides act inhumanly over and over.

There are many examples of these savages who take humanity into a moral abyss wherever and whenever there are wars. Perhaps I am being too harsh, but I can relate myself to these soldiers; they are in their twenties, just like me. These young men have been forced into a war, due to a conflict they probably do not understand or have a real opinion of. So, I end up asking myself constantly: isn’t it morally reprehensible to kill your enemies from a distance and with derision? Kill them, at least, with a certain level of dignity.

Although many people do not know it, international rules were created, due to the brutality of war, which was seen as non-acceptable since late 19th century. Therefore, legal procedures were established on how to proceed in courts and tribunals to judge the crimes committed during these times.

It is but humanity’s moral duty to prosecute and condemn any state or individual(s) who carry out these acts of barbarism. However, in my opinion, it is not being discussed enough in Europe these days.

Are we not civilized countries? Because If we are what we believe ourselves to be, let’s take off the blindfolds and talk about it the transgressions that plague our societies.

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