War & Hope

One of the things I admire most about America is the importance it assigns to its citizens. Now, Americans might disagree with this assessment of mine, but trust me, coming from a country where people die like flies due to (a) rain (b) sun (c) cold (d) poverty (e) sickness  (f) accidents  (g) adulterated alcohol (h) general deprivation (i) all of the above and more, America is a haven for basic human rights – and the most basic right of it all – the right to live.

Which is why it irritates the fucking hell out of me when I see America reserving that admirable criterion largely for its people. For years now, I have been trying to understand America’s take on foreign affairs. It is a super power, yes. But does it really need to be involved in every war of consequence there ever has been?

Herding and indoctrination of humans is the key here, isn’t it? You teach them to distrust, hate & kill. They do. Whoever does it is wrong, superpower or not.

“The world needs to be set right” “Democracy needs to thrive”. All that is good, but does this superpower measure the human cost of its endeavours? Human cost on both fronts – the “enemy front” and “home turf”. My sense is that while heartland America may understand what is happening to its young ones employed in the armed forces as a consequence of these wars, it does not understand the human cost on the other side.

Maybe if media houses in the US were to profile Afghani/ Iraqi individuals, (like they do Americans) : write names, ages, detail hobbies, families and how they were affected by hardships; if they essentially “humanise” stories, these stories will take on a more powerful meaning.

When we read reports here in the US of Afghani/Iraqi deaths, we only hear statistics – 4 killed, 13 hurt, 30  perish in a blast. Scarcely do we read the human story… Her name was Ayesha, she was 4 years old, she liked playing with dolls like any other 4 year old, but, she did not have any left. They were lost when her village was plundered and they had to run, leaving behind everything, except the clothes on her little body. She barely had enough to eat, but was a cheerful child say her neighbours, always helping around. And then yesterday while she was outside, helping her mother gather sticks, she and her mother were killed by accidental sniper fire.

Why am I writing this? Because I’m hoping that the pain is felt in both ends of the world. Because I know every death will come at a cost. Ayesha may die unheard of in America today, but 15 years hence, her baby brother will join militia against the western world. He will forsake all that is good and of consequence and take on a life of hatred, blood and death. To America.

This is a never-ending chain isn’t it? A vicious cycle as we call it in economics. Bin Laden was armed by America to fight Russians, he turned on America eventually, America is now in Afghanistan, innocent Afghanis are dying. Kids of these Afghani’s killed will turn against America one day, soon. And so it goes.

Heartland America (in general) does not see the cycle turn. It just sees itself waging a righteous war for the wrong it was dealt. But it does not see the before or after. It should.

But then, who am I kidding? My reading of history tells me War is what makes leaders and assigns power. War generates leaders while degenerating the common man. Pacifism is utopia; an ever elusive dream. And so the changeover from vicious to virtuous cycle might never be.

[But this fucking retard of an optimist in me keeps whispering that if enough of us try, we may bring about some change. I write this, swaddled in that nebulous hope.]


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