26 Aug 12

Please Don’t Waste These People

I understand that war is a reality of human history, but I can’t help but be disturbed by how wasteful it is. War consists of massive amounts of time, human capital, and resources being destroyed. It’s expensive to make a bomb, and when it’s been blown up there isn’t anything economically or socially useful about it. People running around firing bombs and bullets results in the destruction of wealth, culture, and human capital. That impoverishes us all. Compare that to, say, the space program, the eradication of smallpox, or socialized medicine. In these areas money, time, resources and human capital are expended to the benefit and enrichment of all humanity, and the results perpetuate a cycle of greater wealth and a higher standard of living.

This is all pretty standard theory on why war is stupid, although it’s easy to get lost in the abstract. But today I saw a very tangible example of exactly why we need to grow up as a species and quit wasting the amazing potential we have. Goofy as it is, this video from U.S. Army troops in Kunar, Afghanistan is proof that we really ought not to waste human lives by killing one another:

My favorite is the cameo by members of the Afghan army. These guys are awesome. They are creative, funny, and thoughtful. They’ve managed to take a situation they are in that is utterly centered on the problem of humanity’s tendency to self-destruct and made it into something we can all smile at. WHY do we live in a world where people like this are getting killed and maimed and wounded far from home? WHY can’t we live in a world where people like this get to be this creative all the time?