My naive picture of war used to be the picture of a battle in which two armies faced each other — something like the Napoleonic battles. Below is a depiction the Battle of Austerlitz:
But mass extermination has no semblance to these pictures of two armies facing each other. It has semblance more to an execution or pest control.
As to Napoleonic type battles which represent all State wars of the past, they all have the stench of Pyrrhic victories. Who is the winner? And the winner of what?
The winner is normally some individual — a monarch, a president, a general, or, today, some corporation and some CEO.
And who is the loser? The countless bodies on the battlefields (the “pawns”) and civilians . Think of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. It involved more that 1.5 million soldiers, of these .5 million dead French soldiers, and .4 million dead Russians.
Or, think of Abraham Lincoln’s invasion of the South in 1861. [It was not a “civil war” since it did not involve a struggle over the replacement of the federal government; it was a war against secession.] According to Wikipedia, “The war resulted in at least 1,030,000 casualties (3 percent of the population), including about 620,000 soldier deaths—two-thirds by disease, and 50,000 civilians.”
What is appalling today are the assassinations and “collateral damages” by the U.S. “turkey shoots.” I have in mind the targeted killings by the use of helicopters and drones as below:
And there is concerted effort today in the U.S. to suppress reporting about such “turkey shoots.” Julian Assange is facing a British court which is deciding whether to extradite him to the U.S. to stand trial for violating the Espionage Act (1917) by publishing on Wikileaks materials provided to him by Chelsea Manning about such U.S. “turkey shoots.”