Why Do We Think Wars Are The Only Way To Settle Conflicts?

Posted by Haris Rashid in GlobeScope, Society
March 3, 2017

Every day, news reports coming from so many conflicts in various parts of the world leave people in dismay and disbelief. Thousands of people have been killed and an equal number of people have been forced to leave their homes in a brutal manner. Children are dying of thirst and hunger. People are being massacred ruthlessly and every kind of violence and destruction has been unleashed.

West Asia has been converted into a war zone and is being irrigated by the blood of innocent men and women. It is unfortunate that food supplies are obstructed while the distribution of weapons is free. Wars are fed this way and not people. These news reports have now become routine and we are growing immune to the tragedies of other people. We see so many pictures from war zones. We see the pain but we don’t help in reducing it. We hear people weeping but never comfort them. We see people thirsty but don’t quench their thirst.

We can’t expect anything from life, in a world where there are so many wars going on, where lives of people seem to weigh less than oil and weapons. One thing is certain; we can no longer turn our backs to the reality. This system is by now intolerable. It will be wrong to turn away from what is happening all around us as if these situations don’t exist or have nothing to do with our lives. Looking at the daily news, we tend to think that there is nothing to be done except for taking care of ourselves.

These wars are human induced. If we can induce them, we can stop them too. We know each and everything about the futility of these wars and the harm they do to humanity. We know the tax we pay for development is used to inflict untold sufferings on people in different areas. We are also aware of the proxy wars which are being fought all over the world. We never muster the courage to question such a system and let ourselves be dragged along the course, only to follow the trend of the moment. We think it is too difficult to go against the trend and therefore, never raise our voice against evil. We even allow such radical ideas to thrive, the ones that darken the minds of people even to the point of planning the annihilation of an entire population. We are simply tearing one another apart.

We have made ‘dehumanisation’ a universal revenge policy. We think that destruction is the only way to settle conflicts. It is a mindset which only causes pain, suffering, destruction and tears. These acts of destruction have a face, a concrete story and a name.

Sometimes war is waged in the name of democracy and civilisation. The pall bearers of democracy and civilisation and the people who vouch for themselves as the guardians of human rights and humanity invaded Iraq to expose and destroy its imaginary weapons of mass destruction.

They destroyed the nation, killed thousands and above all, induced a never ending war. They invaded Libya to bring democracy but brought destruction. The leaders of these powerful countries condemned the attack on Charlie Hebdo in one voice and also marched in France to show their support for the right to speech. The unfortunate part is that these people never condemned any attack on the people of Gaza by Israel. They never tried to bring civilisation to the country where people send messages engraved on rockets to the children of Gaza. Israel needs to be civilised more than anyone else.

The standards of these powerful countries keep on changing. They bring destruction wherever they go. They have failed humanity. It is heart-wrenching to see the whole humanity suffer because of the personal interests of these few powerful countries. They wreak havoc everywhere to satisfy and serve their selfishness. They are the hawks who arbitrarily choose their prey, invade the country and destroy it. Opportunistic vultures follow, to make the situation worse.

Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” was a slogan chanted during the tenure of Lyndon B Johnson as the president of the USA, when the Vietnam War was going on. Today, we need to ask the same question to all the leaders and heads of all the countries. Instead of pompous talks, they must take courageous initiatives aimed at ending the sufferings of the people without any delay. Their primary goal should be that of peace and promotion of justice. After all, in wars and conflicts, there are individual persons, brothers and sisters, young and old, girls and boys, who weep, suffer and die. They are treated as human beings who are easily discarded when our only response is to draw up a list of problems, strategies and disagreements.

We are part of a wounded humanity. We must realise that something is wrong with the world as so many senseless wars are taking place everywhere. Let us open our eyes and look at the misery in the world, at the wounds of so many brothers and sisters who are denied their dignity and let us hear their cry for help. We must commit ourselves to the cause of peace. Peace in our homes and families, peace in all those places where war never seems to end and peace for those who have tasted nothing except pain. We need to become prophets of reconciliation and peace.

We must uproot all the feelings of hatred, vengeance and resentment from our hearts. Life should triumph over prophets of destruction, goodness over evil, reconciliation and unity over hatred and divisions. We know that building peace in the prevailing environment is difficult but living without peace is a torment. We need to ask ourselves a question. What kind of a world do we want to leave behind?


Image source: Scott Nelson/ Getty Images