April 9, 2003

Of terror, war and incipient madness

I’ve been rather reluctant to write in my journals these days both because of lack of time and also because I’ve been feeling the need to distance myself from the rest of humanity lest all its dishonesty, greed, war-mongering and plain lack of care for its fellow members drives me over the edge to join their ranks. Harsh? Yes, perhaps so but that’s how I feel.

A couple of weeks ago, we had a huge explosion here one evening. Our whole house shook and some of the neighbours had the glass on their windows break due to the force of the explosion. Everybody came out of their houses (it was evening) and began speculating about what it must be. It turned out later that a fireworks factory close by had caught fire and that the explosion was a result of that. But at the time I thought, the people in Iraq must be feeling a hundred times more than what we felt due to one single explosion. Yes, this is going to be about the war since it seems to be dominating everything else and I wanted to remind myself of a few things lest I too forget as time goes on like most others of the human race.

I had decided not to write anymore about the war when war started since there seemed to be no way to achieve peace and so it looked as if we just had to wait till things came to their inevitable conclusions. However, I since then feel the need to document some of the events/feelings from the current moment since I have a feeling that certain events are going to play out over and over again – just as they did when the US wanted to go to war in Afghanistan. I’ve been thinking about things and it seems to me that the US is running scared – they lived a peaceful life as the top dog of the pack and suddenly they wake up to the fact that no matter how powerful you might be as a nation, there are individuals crazy enough to attack you. So the US (and here I mean the government rather than the people of the US as a whole) decides that it’s time to show the world that you don’t mess with the US and go unscathed. So they come up with all this hoopla about how they are going to get Osama and attack Afghanistan. Months later and many civilian deaths later, Bin Laden still roams free and everybody has forgotten what originally happened and what the US originally claimed.

Now the pattern repeats again in Iraq. The US claims that they want to get Saddam out of Iraq and go in. Again saying that civilian deaths will be avoided and how they have smart bombs etc. but the results are the same. Many civilian deaths later, the latest stand from the US government seems to be that it doesn’t matter if they get Saddam or not, as long as he’s out of power, they’ve achieved their objectives. Not quite what they said when they started this whole war. And what of these elusive weapons of mass destruction? Now they say that Saddam might actually have spirited them out of the country and so they might not find any – thus actually saying that the fact they don’t exist is proof that they do exist. Ah the tangled mess we create in politics!

I sit here wondering who America will attack next in its fear and the need to show that it is still top dog. Maybe North Korea? Iran? Syria? I don’t know but if the pattern continues, I can only hope that the world wakes up to the fact that they might have to unite against a tyrant such as Germany led by Hitler during the second World War. Yes, I’m saying a tyrant and I’m comparing the US to Nazi Germany. Most Americans probably are going to be outraged, say that America is nothing like Germany under Hitler. But *if* America continues its aggressive behaviour, that’s exactly what America will be and I sincerely hope I am wrong because I don’t want another global conflict to take place – there’s been way too much blood shed already.

Sometimes I wish that I can take Bush, Blair and all these other pro-war leaders and their families and put them in a house which is under heavy shelling and then see how they like war and all this "collateral damage" that they are so casual about. I really am beginning to despise rich and privileged leaders who are totally sheltered from the effects of war and who’ve never had to face war in their own lives, so casually ordering a war that affects the lives of thousands and hundreds of thousands. Maybe its time that we went back to the era when the leaders had to be at the forefront of the battle instead of hiding in some bunker thousands of miles away. Maybe *that* will prevent the slaughter of more innocents but I doubt even that …

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Posted by Fahim at 6:12 am  |  3 Comments