February 17, 2003

The war for peace …

I’ve been watching the anti-war protests all over the world and I am happy to see that so many people all over the world do see the futility of another war but I find myself asking "will this be enough to tip the scales?" Somebody mentioned a statistic that I keep on coming back to – he said that if this war goes through, 30% of the children in Iraq will die. Is that something that we can actually live with? Not just those who actively supported the war or benefitted by it or participated in it, but those of us who stood by in the sidelines and did nothing?

Is there anybody who’s reading this who would step forward if I was to say that if somebody would step forward so that they and their families could be killed, the rest of the world … no that’s not right .. that’s too lofty and anyway does not provide a correct picture of the situation … that a country on the other side of the world can live without fear of attack? Is there any such person? If somebody like that exists, I might (and I said *might*) consider changing my opinions on this war but I don’t think anybody would like *their* families to be killed. So why are we doing nothing when somebody else’s family is being butchered in the name of something over which they have no control?

When the "war on terror" started and Afghanistan was to be attacked, I said "collateral damage" was not acceptable but a lot of people said "it’s unfortunate that these people have to die but those responsible for 9/11 have to be punished!". Well, time has passed, we’ve had collateral damage on both sides – the US has lost soldiers, young men who really had no idea of the battle they were fighting and the Afghanis have lost people, people who knew nothing about Bin Laden or 9/11 and probably had not even heard of the World Trade Center but has any justice been done? Not as far as I can see. Bin Laden still roams free and so many innocents have been killed on both sides just to make a point. All I see is injustice piled up on top of another injustice.

I watched the delegate from France make a strong appeal for not going to war at the UN and then later heard a commentator on CNN say that if the bullets started flying, you’d probably see France fighting shoulder to shoulder with US troops because France does not want to be left out when the oil fields are divvied up – cynicism, bitterness, reality, politics? I really have no idea – I wonder more and more if I understand humanity at all. All I know is that each and every individual, each and every family, each and every group and region and nation and continent, has the right to live without fear, the right to live peacefully. Nothing and I mean nothing is more important than that. But please don’t bring up that hoary old chestnut about how the US has the same right and this was is all about the people of the US might live without fear – open your eyes, stop listening to the politicians, start thinking for yourselves. People everywhere are people just like you and me – it’s the politicians who are a breed apart …

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Tags: Politics, Reflections, Society
Posted by Fahim at 6:32 am   Comments (1)