War and Power


Definitions:War- a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/war

Power- ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/power


Our Definition:

War and Power- hostility among people with colliding authorities.



The effects of war and power:

-gives children guns.

-people become power hungry.

-makes leaders feel better than others’

-makes soldiers feel like the have the “right” to take advantage of women.

-war affects so many peoples’ lives.

-not all power during war is bad.




During times of war, power becomes a big thing and when these two things are combined many more lives are affected because these two intertwine in so many different ways.






Ties Through the Books:


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http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0140298444.jpg


The book S. by Slavenka Drakulic, shows a lot about war and power when you read it. Soldiers were raping massive amounts of women that were in the camps and they were mass raping them. In the book there is a place known as the women’s room where S is placed for a long period of time. The soldiers would come to this room a lot of the time after nights of drinking and pick one of the women and from there what happened to them was a given to the other women. Some of those women who were chose never came back and you can only imagine what happened to them, no one beyond who was right there with them missing women know for sure what happened, but the other women have a very good idea.
This book shows war and power in a different way than some may think at first when hearing those two words together. It shows the power that the soldiers have to go and chose any women, or girl, they want and have their way with them. They can tie them up, force them to do disgusting things, and even have others watch as they take advantage of these innocent women. Since they are soldiers in these camps during the war in Bosnia they feel they can do whatever they please to these women. That is not in the slightest true, having their way with these women and girls is not a given right to them, let alone taking them captive. When war arises many soldiers feel they have the power to do whatever they want because they have guns and weapons.
Soldiers feel that they are given this power, like it was a present or something, to take women, men, and children captive who have done absolutely nothing to them. Who cares if they are a different race, religion, or ethnicity from someone, that does not give you a right to take them captive and put them in camps or kill them. War and power go hand in hand, because when war begins many of those involved in the war as soldiers and such get power hungry and also feel whatever they want to do they can. That is not true. I understand if someone was trying to harm you if you take them, but innocent people should not be touched. They should not be pressured and required to leave their homes whether you put them in a camp or make them live somewhere else that is their home, where they lived their whole lives, and just because you are someone who is a soldier or involved in was doesn’t give you this power to take that away from them.
Pages 60 – 62 in the book S (link to book) are a very good example of just one part in the book where the soldiers during war take advantage of power they are “given”. This section in the book is absolutely disgusting, just because she is being held in the camp does not by any means give the soldiers right to rape her and the guy who makes her swallow his urine had zero right to do that at all. That is so gross, and that is not a power they are magically given during war.

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In A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, Ishmael gives great detail about how the power of the war affects different people. Whether it be children, families, or groups, everyone changes their average standings.

Children in Sierra Leone used to play and travel everyday whenever they wanted to. However, when the war came about, children had to leave behind their youth and fend for their lives. Ishmael, his brother, and his friends needed to run for their lives to avoid being killed or being recruited to join in the war themselves. Every village they came about, they almost died. The attitudes of most people changed because of the war. They thought the boys could be soldiers so almost killed them every time in every village. Luckily they never were by villagers. One boy Saudi said "How many more times do we have to come to terms with death before we find safety?" (Page 70 of A Long Way Gone) The war had enough to power to change the views of so many people to think that young children could be considered threats against a community.

The RUF, rebels and the army also had an increase in power due to the war. The RUF and rebels were not given power nor did they ever have power. However, they had enough to power to destroy complete villages and scare the living $#!T out of people. They would kill, rape and burn down anything and everything. When everything was dead and gone, they would smoke marijuana and play cards in the remains of the innocent people and their homes. The army had the power to recruit young children to join the army as well. Some of the kids they had on the front lines were fifteen years of age, such as Ishmael. The children became addicts to drugs and killing. In America, this would not be allowed. However in a third world country such as Sierra Leone it is very common for children to be recruited against their will.

The power that comes from war is indescribable. Indirect power is given to different people and groups. The overall power of war is able to change peoples' views and attitudes towards others and the government. It also takes a way a child's youth.





Direct Quotes from A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

"I didn't know what was happening to me. I got up, walked behind Gasemu, and locked his neck under my arms. I squeezed him as hard as I could. "I can't beathe," he said, fighting back. He pushed me off, and I fell next to a pestle. I picked it up and hit Gasemu with it." - Ishmael p. 96

"That is why we need strong men and boys to help us fight these guys, so that we can keep this village safe. If you do not want to fight or help, that is fine. But you will not have rations and will not stay in this village. You are free to leave, because we only want people here who can help cook, prepare ammunition, and fight." - Lieutenant p. 106

These two quotes help describe just how powerful a war could be on people.





Articles/Pictures:


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http://www.engageonline.org.uk/blog/images/1152181872rape.gif


This article shows how soldiers during the Bosnian war thought they had the power during war to do whatever they felt like to women. This sentence in the article though is something that is completely disturbing. “Rape has long been tolerated as one of the spoils of war, an inevitable feature of military conflict like pillage and looting.” How is rape tolerated during war? That is not right, just because its war gives you the power to go rape innocent people? That is not right at all, that is not a power you are handed like a gift when war starts. The only way to me rape connects to looting is you are stealing some things that are highly valuable to those you rape, their dignity, self-respect, their self-esteem level, and even for some, their virginity. War does not entitle you to that “power”. It shouldn’t even be compared to looting household items, at all. They should not be compared, they are so different. The above picture supports that soldiers are using rape as a weapon. Rape didn’t just happen back in past wars, but it is still being done in wars in the present day. Solders are using rape as a way to feel powerful and better than the women and the young girls that they rape. Though they may feel powerful all they real are is nothing but weak and power hungry. They don’t get power because they rape women, they get “satisfaction” at the cost of others’ self dignity.



Songs:




"ONE DAY" by MATISYAHU
Sometimes I lay
under the moon
and thank God I'm breathing
then I pray
don't take me soon
cause I am here for a reason
sometimes in my tears I drown
but I never let it get me down
so when negativity surrounds
I know someday it'll all turn around
because
all my life I've been waiting for
I've been praying for
for the people to say
that we don't wanna fight no more
they'll be no more wars
and our children will play
one day
it's not about
win or lose
we all lose
when they feed on the souls of the innocent
blood drenched pavement
keep on moving though the waters stay raging
in this maze you can lose your way
drive you crazy but don't let it faze you no way
sometimes in my tears I drown
but I never let it get me down
so when negativity surrounds
I know someday it'll all turn around
because
all my life I've been waiting for
I've been praying for
for the people to say
that we don't wanna fight no more
they'll be no more wars
and our children will play
one day
one day this all will change
treat people the same
stop with the violence down with the hate
one day we'll all be free
and proud to be
under the same sun
singing songs of freedom like
one day
all my life I've been waiting for
I've been praying for
for the people to say
that we don't wanna fight no more
they'll be no more wars
and our children will play
one day

This song shows how the power of a war affects the people in a community or country. The war made people that knew each other for years not trust one another and made children lose their childhoods. Lives for everyone changed. The war in Sierra Leone ties in perfectly with this song because you can tell from Ishmael's perspective that this is what he hopes for one day.








This video from youtube is a song with lyrics by Lupe Fiasco. The song is called “Little Weapons” and is about children soliders who are given and finding weapons to take and kill people with. The rebels in these countries are encouaging younger and younger children to fight and kill people. This is a very disturbing song, but its true which is what is sad. It puts you in the shoes of a child soldier and it shows you the brainwashing that are being enstilled on them. This relates to war and power differently than you may think. The power talked about in this song is in the children and those that are supplying the children with the guns. The children are given this new power that they are not told about and are just told to go shot and kill those who are said to be the enemy. They are given a powerful weapon that I don’t think even many adults should be given.
Those that are providing these guns to children during war are given power over more people. If they can get guns and other weapons to younger children then that adds to their troops. This gives them power in nu,bers during war, though they are children they get so exposed and pick up fast. Children pick up on what they see those who are older than them do and if they see them shooting and killing people and are given something to do that with they will do it too. The power given in this situation is sickening. They give power during war to children, but at the same time gain power themselves.




Political Cartoons:





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http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/The_White_Man%27s_Burden



The political cartoon above shows how nations’ leaders take advantage of their power. In the picture it shows Uncle Sam having some man that you can tell is in a lower class carry him. It also shows other national leaders on the shoulders of other lower class men who are carrying them. This shows that national leaders take the power of their jobs way too much when war comes around. Many national leaders when war comes around decide they automatically are given all this added power to the power they already have. This should not be like that because just because a war comes up does not entitle anyone to more power. Also, if you look at the area where the cartoon is portraying the ground is very rocky and it may be a mountain they are climbing up on therefore it shows they are taking power way too much. They are making innocent people carry them, though it may not be in real life they were actually carried. It may be showing that national leaders when war comes up make people do work that they should not be doing because the leaders say so.





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The politcal cartoon shown shows a child soldier.

Like in A Long Way Gone, child soldiers killed their youth and left their childhood to become a part of the armed forces. Most joined out of fear. In the cartoon above it shows a scared boy with a dead stuffed animal which signifies the fear the child soldiers have when first becoming one and the fact that they kill their innocence.

Ishmael and his friends didn't want to become soldiers. Most kids don't. They join in order to survive as ironic as that is. When the rebels attack their homes, they need to run for their lives in order to stay alive. Then, they need to sigure out how to survive. They starve and get no sleep. In the army, they receive food and other necessities. The war has that much power and authority to make children join in a fight that shouldn't be theirs. It even has the power to turn everyone into bystanders. No one speaks out about the cruelty of having kids as young as 10 fighting in a war.


Videos:




This video from youtube shows pictures of the child soldiers in Sierra Leone. The children are given a lot of power which is seen in the photographs. They are all holding guns, weapons or doing drugs. It is truely disgusting to see this. The kids are given an immense amount of power they shouldn't have at such an age. Ishmael and his friends describe these pictures as well through their own experiences.

Power is given to everyone in time of war it seems. Ishmael became a junior lieutenant in his memoir. The kids shown in the video probably have titles like that as well. Power is having authority or being a leader. During war, leaders can be good or bad and they can come from anywhere. In Sierra Leone, some of these people just so happened to be under the age of sixteen.

Power is given to everyone in time of war it seems. Ishmael became a junior lieutenant in his memoir. The kids shown in the video probably have titles like that as well. Power is having authority or being a leader. During war, leaders can be good or bad and they can come from anywhere. In Sierra Leone, some of these people just so happened to be under the age of sixteen.




Films/Other Books:



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http://www.teachwithmovies.org/guides/schindlers-list-DVDcover.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/8/8a/Schindler%27s_Ark_cover.png/200px-Schindler%27s_Ark_cover.png

Schindler’s List, a movie and book, (the book was first released under the title Schindler’s Ark) based on a true story of Oskar Schindler who was an industrialist in Southern Germany during the Holocaust. He used his factory to save over 1,100 of his Jewish factory workers from death by the Nazis. He risked his life for theirs and that shows power, but in a different way than normally thought about during times of war. He used his power of self belief and determination to save man lives. He used his power as a factory owner to save lives of people that he necessarily didn’t have to save. He used power very different than many do during times of war; he used it in a good way, he saved many lives and protected people because he knew it was the right thing to do.