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Published:August 1st, 2009 11:32 EST
In A Moment Of Peace

In A Moment Of Peace

By Rouben Alikian

 Strive for peace. Delude yourself with its conception and ideals. Fake a few modest comments and show a feigned smile to prove your determination and conviction in upholding its vital roots and pillars of humanity. But be ready for war.


 And no man shall buy or sell till he doth see the truth that is the malediction of this world. That malediction is nothing other than the lust for what one does not have. No one can be rid of it, because envy is just one of the seven deadly sins that lie on the threshold of human desire. Either way, there are always people outside that door, who are out for your blood, to have what you have and are ready to fight you for it. They hunger to take from you that which you treasure most, be it your dignity, your patrimony, your women, everything. They may do it, because they feel your share to be better than theirs or perhaps for the warmongering desire to do so and then revel in the glory of shattering your strength and bathing in the weakness that follows. No mercy is ever shown to the weak and with their tears are the spoils of war christened as the invaders of some holy land plunder the temples, burn the fields and pulverize cities.


 Lo, for Valhalla is promised to those who lay their heads down on the field of combat in glory and the Valkyries shall carry them off into the land where war is just a fact of constant human interaction in the plains of conflicting interests. War is inevitable, just like summer or winter that chase each other across the lands and so do the flames of conflict. Sooner or later, it will come, somewhere, sometime and will bring forth its harvest of death, because it is a fact and no peaceful demonstrations or pathetic attempts at resolution can douse those bonfires. The flames will burn, ravaging everything in their path like a forest fire that cannot be sated until all is consumed and its licking roar shall laugh at man`s meager efforts to stop it before its time is done.


 And believe me, there are more than enough reasons for wars in any context, any location and any timeframe.


 Vast are the numbers of malcontents in any war, those who oppose, those who do not want to fight, who stand against the marching armies and the very idea of war. It has crossed the minds of many leaders trampling grass and stone beneath their armies to simply be done with these malcontents and do whatever they pleased. Though the most efficient way of making everyone content is removing all those who express dissatisfaction, it is still frowned upon even by the most zealous of leaders, but it has not stopped them from trying. With many voices silenced, with a mind set on destruction or conquest, one man orders his armies to assemble, empowering them with words of milk and honey, telling them of the wonders that must be destroyed for they were not blessed with it. And so the war machine grinds its metal teeth once more, churning out the beasts that will carry forth a will as deluded and drenched in fantasy as the very conception of war in a universe devoid conflict at its most primal.


 And so they march towards that psychological barrier, a point of no return. But, think before you cross the Rubicon, for beyond it lies uncertainty and the ruin of the reason that brought you to the river`s edge. Shallow and frail are the Rubicon`s shores, strewn with shattered dreams and ideas, for its length is paved with good intentions leading all the way to Acheron and its dark embrace. Once you think and feel the lengths that brought you to this point, this decision, inevitably, you will look back at the horde behind and think that you have gone too far to give up now and conflict is the only way to resolve whatever horrific thoughts occupy your mind.


 To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus is to be invincible one thinks and shatters the surface of that peaceful river, making it run red with bloody tears mourning for sanity. Wars pervert the mind and shatter faith in the reason that lead to them when enough blood has been shed. It is so and soon, bloodshed becomes the new reason to keep on fighting, to reduce and degenerate the mind further into despair, making a captive voice of reason cry out for enlightenment.

 Inevitable and terrible, madness is the perpetual follower of war. Conflicting interests are the main reason for war, no matter how mundane or even meaningless they might seem at first, but no one can say that to the hundreds of thousands paying for them with their misery. Wars may be waged by nations and races, but it is regular beings who pay the price and make us remember what the true horror of war lies in. Pain, suffering and tears that mix into an unforgivable cocktail drunk by those concocting it in battle plans and war rooms.


 On any given day, there are conflicts raging, within contested lands, burning hearts or raging minds, but one thing that has progressed over the sands of time is the attitude we hold towards humanity`s favorite pastime. Shields gave way to armored plating, bows failed before heavy artillery and at some point, humans have begun to worship war as the epitome of activity and technological achievement. Where honor once reigned in a face to face battle for rectification of wrongs and nobler causes, fascination with the art of destroying flesh had come to replace the last grain of justification for leading bloody conflicts. Morbid weapon systems, a necrophilic mix of metal, immovable flesh that carries us forth into battle as steeds once did to their own excitement and the rider`s heart thumping glory now represents an object of interest and every new generation brings with it a newer and newer way to conclude the same purpose of murder.


 Now, altars have been replaced with loading breeches, temples with bunkers and candles with napalm bombs that sear flesh and bone to dust. Reveling in her own magnificence, the Horseman of War laughs at every quantum leap we take in destroying every shred of sanctity that kept us from going mad with progress and success. With unbridled and unlimited power at our disposal, nothing looks like sin, nothing seems impossible and merely thinking of consequences had become akin to caring what to take with us in the afterlife. With no personal contact with the ones about to suffer, there is no sin in reaping lives at the press of a button, smiting away cities and planting gardens of flaming mushrooms. Nothing seems impossible anymore, men could have removed us all, and yet, they didn`t.


 But, when it becomes too obvious that war is the ultimate incarnation of sodomy wheresoe`r it be, the eye looks back and tries to see the Rubicon again in a single moment of remorse. But it is too far behind, shrouded in smokes and burning pyres as a threshold that can never again be crossed after what was witnessed by the guilty eye. Once the deed is done, there is no turning back, no remorse, no uncertainty, only a firm and strangely relieved submission to whatever happens and chooses to take place in the minds of those who still yearn for peace on their invaded land.