Welcome back to Dr. Spark's adventures in further edumacation. As it is still essentially winter, my life consists of work, meals, sleep, reading, and TV. The most interesting element of those is the reading. I have been lurking around the history section of the public library. Given that a large proportion of my neighbours are Korean, I decided that I should read a book about the Korean war. So I did.
Here is what I learned about the Korean war in a nutshell: tens of thousands of people died, homes and infrastructure were destroyed, the economy of the country was devastated, and for what? Pretty much nothing. At the end of the war, the boundary between North and South Korea was essentially the same as when the war started. No one had anything to show for all that suffering, except loss, scars, and PTSD.
What the heck, people? When will we ever learn?
A little while ago, I read about the Crusades. I never realized that there were a bunch of them, and that they carried on for several hundred years. Here is what I learned about the Crusades, in a nutshell: they were a total clusterf***. Pardon my French, but I can't think of a better way of putting it.
As I understand it, each Crusade went something like this: A bunch of foolish, puffed-up young men got it into their heads to win Jerusalem back from the Muslims. They gathered up some weapons and set off across Europe to the Holy Land. To put it mildly, the exercise was not well-planned. Along the way, they attacked and robbed the innocent inhabitants of the countries they passed through in order to feed themselves. Model Christians, those guys.
When they arrived at Jerusalem, they fought and sometimes won. When they took territory, they could not agree on who should rule the new possession, and so fought bitterly amongst themselves. The internal divisions were almost as vicious as their fight against their foes.
Also, they couldn't seem to get it together to manage their supply lines. Anytime they got their hands on a shipment of food, they would throw a giant feast and waste all the food within a few days. Shortly thereafter they'd be starving. This happened repeatedly.
Obviously, sometimes going to war is the right thing to do. Getting involved in WWII, for example. I definitely approve of that. But I'm starting to get the picture that a lot of wars are pointless. I guess the problem is that often one would only know that in hindsight. Lord have mercy.