For most of us, war is something that we’ve never had to experience firsthand. We’ve never been woken in the middle of the night to the sound of gunfire piercing through the once silent night, bombs exploding. We have not been witness to the gruesome reality of bullets as they tear into flesh. We have not seen the aftermath of an attack. No, for most of us, we see only the flashing lights of bombs exploding along the horizon behind some TV reporter. We do not see bodies strewn about in the light of day. Limbs haphazardly blown away. Instead, we’re safe inside our own homes, being told that the wars being waged in countries with villages and cities that we struggle to pronounce the names of are necessary, good even. We’re taught to blindly support our troops, to believe in our government.
Well, I’m sorry, but I just can’t do that. I won’t. War is not merely an abstract. It is not merely something that you read about in the newspaper or see in a movie. For most of us a simple click of a button, tap of a screen, and the horrors disappear. We are the lucky ones because it is a tragic, horrifying reality for millions of human beings on this planet RIGHT NOW.
At this very moment there are sixty-five countries involved in wars. Sixty-five. Countless deaths and injuries every single day. Unimaginable devastation. Orphans, widows, widowers… many women and children being kidnapped, raped, and sold into the sex trafficking trade. Where they will undoubtedly be raped and beaten until they are either killed or somehow manage to escape. Rescues are few and far between. Other times, children are forced to fight alongside their abductors in the war. Children, babies really, are armed and taught to kill or be killed.
Now bear in mind that the wars the US is currently engaged in are not for any noble cause such as freeing the victims of sex trafficking rings or to rescue the children fighting wars that they do not even understand. No, the United States is engaged in wars for gain, monetary and natural resources alike. It is not for freedom as they would have you believe. It is not to stop the terrorists. For the very definition of terrorism states that it is “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.” Also, “the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.”
Which country is most often threatening the others with attacks if they don’t comply? Which country is it that fills its airwaves with propaganda laden headlines guaranteed to instill fear into the hearts of its citizens? No, I’m not referring to North Korea. I’m talking about this nation. Perhaps at one time America was looked at with admiration. Maybe it was used as an example by which other countries should aspire to, however, if that were the case, those days are long gone.
I will not say that every battle ever fought has been unnecessary. Not every battle could be settled by other means. But haven’t we evolved past the need for such atrocities? Why must our nation’s leaders have such an insatiable appetite for violence? Is human life really worth so little to them? To us? After all we’re sitting idly by while they bomb, drone, and kill by the thousands. Why do we allow such bloodthirsty, warmongering fools to rule?
I am well aware of the issues that we face here at home, but how is it that we are able to so easily turn a blind eye to what’s going on halfway around the world? Has our societal view deemed them as less? Are they not human beings? The same as you and I? Or is it simply that geographically we’re so far removed from the conflict and bloodshed that as a result of this we are insulated and ignorant?
Our newspapers and our local news spotlight only the issues that stand to serve a purpose for our own government. They would prefer that we are kept in the dark when it comes to the other conflicts. Yet we cannot afford to don our government issued horse blinders any longer. The world needs help, it needs unity, it needs peace. I don’t pretend to know the answers to all of the world’s problems. All I know is that we, as human beings cannot continue along the path of global destruction that we’re currently on. We’re not only destroying one another, but we’re ravaging the very planet itself.
It’s time that you let go of your preconceived notions about this group or that one, or whatever race, religion, sexual orientation, or culture someone identifies themself with and you treat your fellow human beings with respect, tolerance, understanding, compassion and kindness. I’m not asking for everyone to agree on every issue, but perhaps to compromise or simply agree to disagree. If we can come to a greater level of understanding amongst ourselves then there will be far less opportunity for the governments of the world to attempt to turn us against one another.
As far as the ongoing conflicts are concerned, each undoubtedly has different solutions which could resolve them. I am not naive enough to believe that the mere waving of a white flag or the extending of a proverbial olive branch will end a war. All I know for certain is that sitting at home and blindly supporting your country’s military is not going to solve a damn thing. Building more weapons of war does not, can not, and will not prevent war. It will not prevent the future bloodshed of innocents. The only way to do that is to stand up and say No More. No more killing in my name.
When you remain quiet, when you refuse to be informed, when you don’t care about the victims then you’ve chosen the side of the warmongers. Those victims have names, they had families, they had lives. If you attempt to justify the actions of those terror-instilling, warmongers based on the propaganda that you’ve been fed, they’ve won. Hatred, violence, and vengeance will not bring resolution or peace. We need a new system in which conflicts can be handled maturely and humanely. The question is, is our species truly capable of such a thing? Or are we destined to fill future history books with page after page of wars that have yet to be fought? The choice is yours. Choose wisely.