A War is Not a Game

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A War is Not a Game

Reunification's Cost still Less Than the Price of a War.

There once was a young man who jumped into a lion''s cage. He kicked the lion, and the angry animal went at the man. People barely rescued him. After his recovery, the man had this judgment: "The lion was surprisingly strong." What an interesting remark that is. True, Tarzan can beat a lion with his bare hands, but only in the movies.

These days, people have an innocent, and almost immature, view toward war. A war does not seem to feel serious, because we call so many incidents wars, not to mention the traffic war during the holiday seasons. Maybe this is so because most people have never experienced a real war. Recently, a hit movie showed soldiers from the South and North crossing the truce line and becoming friends. The new generation is, again, innocent.

To this end, there is no longer a concept of war for the new generation. To younger people, a war is almost a game or even a joke. For an older generation, though, It is an unbearable situation since its members long suffered from the fear of war.

In fact, CNN, the U.S. television network, aired the Gulf War from the center of Baghdad. It was a live broadcast of a war from the center of enemy''s ground. It sounded like a novel, but was not fiction.

I am not surprised that people think of war as a game, because the Internet is flooded with war games. People kill each other over the Internet, but it is only a game, not a reality. Movies and novels tend to describe wars in humanistic terms: Friendships bloom and people fall in love.

Maybe that is why there is increasing opposition to a surprise attack. People argue that it is not morally acceptable to attack civilian facilities.

We should know that there is no moral and conscientious war. Only the winner can be justified. One should record a victory, no matter what.

If one kills a man, that person becomes a murderer, while one can become a war hero by killing hundreds or even thousands. It is definitely not a game, nor a joke. A war is only a war. Romance and humanistic approaches are all in vain.

We should remember that our peaceful land was once a ruin because of a war. It is a ground built by the blood of our ancestors. In fact, we are living in a holy land guarded by our ancestors, and those who survived the war are lucky. We should reconfirm our determination to defend our country.

The only problem is our attitude.

Will we be able to defend our country when an emergency comes? Probably not. We are too romantic, relaxed and soft. We enjoy games too much. We no longer have the seriousness of will, not to mention the civil defense drills. Will we still be able to defend our country?

If someone wants to accuse me of being panicked by the fear of war, then he should look at the example of Switzerland. The entire nation participates in training to prepare for wartime seriously. Every household is perfectly ready for a possible war, including the machinegun in the basement. How can any country think of attacking this nation? Peace in Switzerland has been defended by its people''s seriousness.

There are rising concerns in our society that we have given too much to North Korea and that both countries may collapse together. However, anything would cost less than the price of a war.

If all these actions would maintain the peace, we should not be reluctant to yield in issues related to food and even missiles. Some people exhibit a reunification phobia, but reunification is definitely necessary. Reunification is even supported by theose expenses needed to defend the truce line. If we calmly think it over, the reunification cost is still lower.

There should never again be a war on this land, if we remember how we have struggled to defend it.

The writer is a professor of psychiatry at Sung Kyun Kwan University.

by Lee Si-hyung

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