Bicycle Diaries: Two new facts of war

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Two new facts of war

The war in Lebanon and Israel reminds me of my experiences in Bosnia-Hezegovina in the mid 90s. Two facts became particularly apparent to me during the war there. For the forseeable future wars would be fought in cities. Dubrovnik, pictured to the left, was levelled at least three times as Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks (Muslims) fought for control. Not that this should have been very surprising. By the 90s, 50% of the world's population was living in cities.

The second fact was that civilians would suffer much more than soldiers in war. In the first 3 decades of the 2oth Century, soldiers typically accounted for 80% of the war-related deaths and casualties. But by the 90s, civilians were the ones who accounted for 80% of the war-related deaths and casualties. Now with the civilians in Beirut, pictured to the right, it is more like 95%.

And don't even get me started about civilian suffering in other cities like Baghdad, Grozny, Guernika, Kuwait City, Nanjing, New York, and Seoul.

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