The 1960’s TV series “Star Trek” might be classified as “art” by some, so I’m going to go with it to make a serious point.
Here is the plot summary for a 1967 Star Trek episode titled: “A Taste of Armageddon”:
On a mission to establish diplomatic relations, Kirk and Spock beam down to the planet to learn that its inhabitants have been at war with a neighboring planet for over 500 years. They can find no damage however and no evidence of destruction. They soon learn that the war is essentially a war game where each planet attacks the other in a computer simulation with the victims voluntarily surrendering themselves for execution after the fact. When the Enterprise becomes a victim of the computer simulation and ordered destroyed, Kirk decides it’s time to show them exactly what war means.
And here is a re-write to put my point in plain English:
After being attacked by ideologues voluntarily surrendering themselves for self-execution and martyrdom via suicide bombs, and having thousands of Americans killed a few – or many – at a time, America & her foe begin a decades-long exchange of pinpricks while inflicting little or no real damage to either side.
America is – or certainly ought to be – tired of the real-life absurdity of this TV sci-fi plot line from 40+ years ago.
In the show, the absurdity is ended by Kirk’s destroying the computers of one side, forcing the two worlds to fight a real war with real death and real destruction so that they realize war is NOT a game and come to understand that, without serious negotiation — SERIOUS NEGOTIATION – destruction is on its way. No more pinpricks to salve consciences. No more utterly pointless loss of life – and of future sons and daughters never-born who may have become Einsteins or Mozarts. Get along or suffer the real consequences of real war until the problem is solved – through war or through negotiation… but solved.
It’s time to stop allowing the deaths of civilized peoples through an endless exchange of pinpricks.
It’s time to solve the problem. To show them what war really means. Only then will either side actually negotiate in seriousness. Until then the pinpricks are too small to really engage civilization, and our war with this enemy, too, may drag on for 500 years.
Is that what we want?