Our Perception of war is that one loses and one wins. In every fight or battle, will it be a sport or human war, we are all aware that one must be stronger and the opponent is the weak. But digging into the unconscious thinking and taking it out to the consciousness, in real war no one is a winner. Yes, one holds the honor, and the other cries for its own defeat. What is the importance of honor if sufferings and death is upon the people? I agree on Simone Weils analysis of “The Iliad”. According to her analysis, “The true hero, the true subject, the center of the Iliad is force. Force employed by man, force that enslaves man, force which man’s flesh shrinks away In this work, at all times, the human spirit is shown as modified by its relations with force, as swept away, blinded by the very force it imagined it could handle, as deformed by the weight of force it submits to (1)”. It is true that we are given too much knowledge and with that we apply force. We know we have the force, and we let that force take over our wholeness as a human. The force is our leader that leads us to fighting, and at the end, be it a winner or loser, the force is the only winner. The force has turned us into an object, a thing that is controlled by the force. I see the force as like a child holding his two soldier figures, crashing it into each other, and knocking it down. The child as the force knows who will win. That is how the force works. The force gives us power, physically and mentally, but emotionally we do not see that the force is hurting us both. Yes one wins, but will the honor of being the winner bring back the life that was lost? Will it bring back the trust to each other? Will it bring back peace? No, the lives of our love ones are gone. All that is left are the memories and pain. The trust on each other will be hard to establish again. We might not get peace because force is still working and controlling us. We are not so different in the story of Iliad where scenes are full of ridiculing one another with the shame of cowardice. There is a feeling of grief, vengeance, and guilt. As Weil said, “Any other solution, more moderate more reasonable in character, would expose the mind to suffering so naked, so violent that it could not be borne, even as memory. Terror, grief, exhaustion, slaughter, the annihilation of comrades, is it credible that these things should not continually tear at the soul, if intoxication of force had not intervened to drown them? The idea that an unlimited effort should bring in only a limited profit or no profit at all is terribly painful (23)”.
Simone Weil’s analysis of “The Iliad” is not different from the war of Afghanistan and Iraq. The war of Iraq and Afghanistan has been continuously going on. It is because of resources, maintaining pride, fighting for rank and power, making sure that one nation is stronger and the other is weak. Of course each nation must defend their people and country. And sometimes the worst comes when all fights for greed and anger because this results in both losses of national and individual level. Let us look at Iraq; it has the largest oil resources. Iraq’s own people and other nations use their force to have control of it because they know that oil is very important in our everyday lives. So we let force control us to act in greed, until we reach to the point of conflict and war. Just like the Iliad story, the war of Iraq and Afghanistan tell us that the battle bring people to fight and destroy lives. It shows chaos and destruction of own city. Just like the Iliad story, the war of Iraq and Afghanistan, is the opposite of love and unity. Just like the war of Iliad, the war of Iraq and Afghanistan is a battle of two nations with different beliefs and views, but both having same power, the “force”.
Weil, Simone. “The Iliad” or The Poem of Force. Pamphlet nos. 91. PendleHill, Wallingford