By Sharmini Jayawardena
Referred to by different folks in different terms: War mongering, organized murder, mass murder and the like, war was a necessary evil back when there was a need to contain population growth or so they say!
Civilians did not get caught up in these wars as much as they do today in this dirty business it has turned into.
Today War is a game of money making for those at the top and those manufacturing arms and those who sell them.
Now, even organized armies have been forced into the guerilla form of fighting created by the people who meant to bring in equality into warring.
Three such prominent guerilla war efforts proven successful in the modern era are that of the Cuban Revolution, the Viet Cong, and the guerilla war fought by the Government of Sri Lanka soldiers!
The Malayan Emergency against Communist Guerillas (1948 – 1960) is an example where the insurgents were defeated by brutal British tactics including war crimes such as the Batang Kali massacre , forced resettlement of civilians, spraying of the chemical defoliant Agent Orange and aerial bombardment. The Malayan Emergency was similar to the conflict in Vietnam in many ways; however the Communists eventually gave up the fight.
These were all fought against powerful entities which far out did the victorious in terms of hardware, capability and know how and at times in numbers.
The Cubans and the Viet Cong fought the most sophisticated and prestigious army of the United States of America! The Sri Lankan armed forces fought the most feared and considered the most dangerous terror group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE).
So, today the emphasis is placed on subterfuge, stealth and deep penetration into enemy territory as did the Special Forces of the Sri Lanka Army known as LRRP or Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol which was the superior weapon that broke the confidence of the terrorists in the end.
(Most or all most all conventional armies are now trained in guerilla warfare and have special forces or commando units.)
The cu chi tunnels show some of what actually took place in the Vietnam War. It was essentially a people’s struggle.
The Cuban Revolution given leadership by the two towering figures in guerilla warfare, Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara was for all purposes a true success story.
The movie ‘Che’ in two parts done by Steven Soderbergh acted by Benicio del Toro gives a good insight into what happened there.
Today however the entire guerilla warfare scenario has changed with the most sophisticated of weapons getting into the hands of the most cruel of terror groups that swamp the Arab countries terrorizing entire and all countries. The commercial arms business and its ramified network of suppliers did this to the world which may otherwise have been peaceful for the most part.
As more and more civilians get caught up in this business of sad and sorry warfare, the bombs of which scatter shrapnel covering swathes of area, civilians are killed or maimed in their voluminous numbers like a cancer attacking the body!
They are sophisticated but inept at hitting a chosen target. This is crazy and totally unjust and criminal!
All of this is driving people from their homes, home towns and even home countries creating a mass exodus, this time not of the Jews but of the people in Arab countries. They have once again turned into a nomadic tribe like in the times past and this not of their own will.
Most believe it is the “hidden hand at work”. We hear much of this going around in certain circles which must be true for the most part.
It is heartening that there are a number of groups of activists today who have come together to work towards setting the clock straight. This global phenomena is fast out numbering those in terror groups and those out there being refugees by choice or by force.
None of the countries that fought and won guerilla wars as in Cuba, Vietnam and Sri Lanka have proven to have the answers for a new great world for us. They have all but proven unsuccessful in the long term.
Let us hope that the new force of people/activists moving and agitating for peace and harmony on this planet, the world over, will make that difference, that we all long for, definitively and soon.
This new ‘weapon’ is noninvasive and nonviolent and entirely a people’s movement which should reap its due benefits for all of us.