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"You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake."

Updated on January 28, 2018
Hold Our World Together In Peace
Hold Our World Together In Peace

Let's make peace, not war.

“You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake”-Jeanette Rankin

I agree with Jeanette Rankin’s quote. An earthquake is a natural disaster and cannot be prevented, similar to a war where there are no winners and which is as futile as fighting an earthquake. A country or town devastated by war or earthquake can be rebuilt, but an earthquake or war can never be won entirely.

Earthquakes at best can be detected prior to their first tremors, but they simply can't be won. Though one might survive an earthquake, the devastation that follows can never be avoided. Similarly, a war may end with a clear victor, but the effects of the war can never be overcome and the scars remain forever.

Historically, World War-I, II, the Korea or Vietnam wars, or the present-day Israel-Palestine conflict still have no clear victors. All of them have come at a price - to humanity, to geopolitical stability, to economic isolation, and have created mistrust and hatred that have persisted long after the wars have been over, or are still prevalent as in Israel-Palestine or North and South Korea conflicts. The Koreas remain divided to this day in mutual distrust, with families remaining separated by a fence, a line of control drawn arbitrarily between the two nations. A brother wishing to visit his sister on the other side will need to seek permission from authorities to cross a man-made boundary. World War-II had similar effects, where there were no clear victors. A nation and a major part of the world remained separated for decades much after the war was over and the economic disparity between the two sides still remain to this day, nearly six decades after the war is over. The World War-I slogan that it was a war to end all wars was proven completely false. It became the precursor to World War-II, which then led to the Cold War and other wars. The Indo-Pak or the Israel-Palestinian conflicts still continue with wars erupting at the slightest provocation. Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and Afghanistan are grim reminders that wars can never be won. They still persist, in one garb or the other.

However, Jeanette Rankin’s quote does not necessarily imply that fighting wars against social conditions and dogmas are futile and should not be pursued. Wagering wars against drugs, terrorism, poverty, illiteracy and other evils that still persist in the modern world are as necessary as researching and developing systems to predict earthquakes or other natural disasters well in advance so that lives can be saved and damage to property minimized. The quote does not imply that we need not do anything about wars or earthquakes since they can never be won. Instead, we need to put in place systems and checks where wars do not happen, through proper negotiations and greater understanding of each other. Similarly, earthquakes and other natural disasters need to be researched further so that they are predicted accurately and threat to life and humanity at large minimized to the largest extent possible.

To summarize, wars are never about peace, they are about conquering and control. Wars do not end wars, wars beget other wars. Bertrand Russell, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and other unsung heroes of freedom have advocated peace over the ages. We need to remember them and their beliefs that the power of peace and non-violence is greater than the power of weapons and wars. Wars can never be won, similar to earthquakes that also can never be won

Let Peace Prevail
Let Peace Prevail

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    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Good article. Let me add everyone is an individual and has free will. We each get to choose what groups we belong to. Before we join a group we should analyze the Ideals or Purpose of the group. It may be necessary to leave a group if your Ideals do not match the Ideals of the group.

      Part of the problem is religious precedent. We should not depict killers as heroes. Anyone who killed for their religion is Not a hero, but a Terrorist.

      Terrorists need to be treated as other criminals: arrested (without harm), brought to trial and possibly incarcerated. We need to analyze criminals for mental illness and have them treated.

    • Dip Mtra profile imageAUTHOR

      Dip Mtra 

      3 years ago from World Citizen

      Thanks Nyan for reading.

    • profile image

      Arr Nyan 

      3 years ago

      Thanks for this article.

    • Dip Mtra profile imageAUTHOR

      Dip Mtra 

      3 years ago from World Citizen

      Thank you estoricwanderer for reading this. Wars are futile and we need to spread the message of universal brotherhood.

    • esotericwanderer profile image

      Laura Muniz 

      3 years ago from Florida, United States

      I agree war does not create peace. Hopefully, we can bring more messages of coexistence and peace into this world to outshine the hatred we have seen. Thank you for this article.

    • Dip Mtra profile imageAUTHOR

      Dip Mtra 

      4 years ago from World Citizen

      Thanks billybuc for stopping by. It distresses me a great deal to be at a time with so much hatred all around.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I completely agree with you. War is insanity in the guise of progress, and it lessens us all as human beings.

    • Dip Mtra profile imageAUTHOR

      Dip Mtra 

      4 years ago from World Citizen

      Jeanette Rankin was the first woman in the US Congress. She was a lifelong pacifist, yet had the misfortune of being an elected member in the Congress during both World Wars. She was among 50 house representatives who voted against the US entering the first war, and was the sole representative who voted against the US declaring war on Japan during the second war. Her beliefs and sayings are so true even to this day!

    • Dip Mtra profile imageAUTHOR

      Dip Mtra 

      4 years ago from World Citizen

      Jeanette Rankin was the first woman in the US Congress. She was a lifelong pacifist, yet had the misfortune of being an elected member in the Congress during both World Wars. She was among 50 house representatives who voted against the US entering the first war, and was the sole representative who voted against the US declaring war on Japan during the second war. Her beliefs and sayings are so true even to this day!

    • Dip Mtra profile imageAUTHOR

      Dip Mtra 

      4 years ago from World Citizen

      Jeanette Rankin was the first woman in the US Congress. She was a lifelong pacifist, yet had the misfortune of being an elected member in the Congress during both World Wars. She was among 50 house representatives who voted against the US entering the first war, and was the sole representative who voted against the US declaring war on Japan during the second war. Her beliefs and sayings are so true even to this day!

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