Friday, January 04, 2013

humans at war

From Ahmet in Tunisia:  "Asad, weren't humans at war in the past tougher and more dogged and inventive to a fault?? from The Economist on the Paraguayan war (1864-70): "

"López, however, would not give up. He moved his capital from one town to another, taking the entire state archives in tow. He imagined a vast conspiracy against him, and jailed and tortured thousands of his most loyal backers, including his own mother and sister. His brother was among the 700-800 people he had executed—often by lance to save ammunition.

Because López had drafted every man in Paraguay, there was no labour to work the fields, and starvation set in. Many who subsisted on bitter wild oranges succumbed to cholera, malaria and dysentery. As able-bodied men died, López recruited a new army of wounded and child soldiers. He armed them with sticks painted to look like guns, disguising the youngsters with fake beards. The army’s original red uniforms had dwindled to rags; rain seeped through ponchos made of shredded carpets. Eventually they fought naked. (Today, Paraguay celebrates Children’s Day on the anniversary of a battle in which 2,000 children perished.)"