All Quiet on the Western Front

Just finished this book as bombs are dropped on Afghanistan.....
"A word of command has made these silent figures our enemies: a word of command might transform then into our friends."
"We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devil's like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony-forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?"
"How senseless is everything that can ever be written or done, or thoughts,...when the culture of a thousand years could not prevent this."
"I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear and fatuous superficiality cast over an abuse of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another."
And so the war machine carries on and humanity cries....

Has society/humanity progressed since WWI?
Do you know what the 'Western Front' refers to?

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