Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Consequences of War

So, I set up this blog to write about things that are important to me. However, weeks have gone by since then, and I haven’t felt convicted enough about something to actually sit down and write. Until now. I saw this video on Democracy Now, and I was utterly appalled:

My post is less about this video, however, than about the Facebook war I unwittingly started by posting it. My comment was that after seeing this (in conjunction with all of the information I have been receiving over the past year), I am utterly ashamed to be an American. Namely, I have a strong distaste for war in general, and I feel as if this one in particular is unjustified. My reasoning behind this comes from the following beliefs:

1) September 11, 2001 was a sham. The following video is only a portion of a truly eye-opening documentary called Zeitgeist, but it accurately describes what I believe really happened on that day:

I solemnly believe that the government planned this as a controlled demolition without regard to the lives inside; without regard to these people, these civilians, these citizens who made up our country. They were the ones who voted, who paid their taxes, who put money into the economy. They were mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers. They loved, they laughed, they experienced. Then their lives were cut short at the hand of corrupt officials who were looking for an excuse to go to war, who would make up any excuse to go to war. So, they did what has always been done in the past. They find a scapegoat worthy of blame whose downfall we would benefit from. Iraq is well-known for their large supply of oil, making them a perfect candidate, considering our president at the time was not only an oil tycoon, but he had an outstanding beef with the country passed down from his father’s presidency. If he could usurp power from them, he could capitalize on their oil supply and simultaneously settle the score for his father. Of course, there is so much more that went into it than that. Like the fact that we could easily exploit the Muslim radicals. If America is afraid, they will go into the war wholeheartedly, without reservation; and Muslims are evil, nihilistic masochists who have no regards for human life and won’t think twice about blowing up themselves or anyone else. That’s founded in history, right?? Which brings me to my next point.

2) We are fighting a partial holy war. I say ‘partial’ because I realize that there is more involved in this war than simply religion. Nevertheless, I feel that religion does have more of a part in it than people realize, which is evident when you examine the facts. The United States is at war with five Muslim countries. Generally, you only hear about Iraq and Afghanistan. In reality, we are not only at war with these two countries, but with Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia as well. This interview on Democracy Now will, hopefully, further my position. I won’t go into much detail here, only to say that this nation is so intolerant of anyone who is different from them. Ironically, the country was founded on the principle of freedom to practice any religion you choose. I come from a Christian background, so when discussing religion, I tend to revert to my Christian education. However, this doesn’t prevent me from accepting people from another faith. My purpose in mentioning this is simply to state that through personal experiences, I have found that religion can be immensely blinding; enough so that prejudice begins to outweigh doctrine. Examining Jesus’ teachings, we learn that his main focus was on love, peace, and forgiveness. Prejudice is the polar opposite of what Jesus taught. In fact, Jesus accepted people from other cultures and lifestyles with open arms. He blessed the Samaritan woman at the well. He healed the Canaanite woman’s daughter. He healed the Gentile woman with the issue of blood. He fellowshipped in brothels. He was friends with prostitutes and criminals. In summary, he cared for everyone, even those of a different faith. Why? Love. He loved people of all color, creed, or nation. More than that, his love for humanity was so strong that he was willing to die to protect people that he didn’t know, even if they were considered “terrible” by the world’s standards. Prejudice was not a characteristic of this iconic prophet. That being said, intolerance transforms us from being Christ-like to being full of hatred and animosity towards people who are dissimilar. That hatred is what creates conflict. I realize that not everyone who reads this will have the same religious views that I do. I do hope, however, that my core message will be what resonates the most. There are certain inalienable truths, regardless of religion, the most notable being peace and love. These actualities are what humans should cling to. Instead, they believe the biased information portrayed by the media, and those distorted ideas infect and pollute the minds of the masses, causing anger to form and to build. Where there is an unsettled mind, there will be conflict.

3) We have lost sight of our goal. There is no longer an ongoing search for Osama bin Laden. If their reasoning for being in the war is to fight terrorism, then let us look at this from their angle. The purpose for the Iraqi invasion, as well as the invasion of Afghanistan, was supposedly to find bin Laden and his cohorts. The US then got “sidetracked” with Hussein, and his execution became our main priority, despite the fact that he claimed no involvement in bin Laden’s operation and had no information on his whereabouts. I am not condoning how the ruler ran his country. Granted, he was an evil man with evil practices, and too many innocent people died. However, it was his country, and his acts should have been addressed by the United Nations, not by war-hungry American officials. In addition, the atrocities in Iraq had been going on for countless years without our assistance. The United States took advantage of their situation to advance our mission. Now, Hussein is not the one killing innocents. The US is. Since the murder of Hussein, our goals have, yet again, changed. Now our main ambition in the war is not to go back to searching for Osama but to force these Muslim countries to establish a system of government similar to ours, despite the resistance from the indigenous. Not every system is capable of maintaining a democratic society. This is especially true of a country who has been for many years authoritarian. One cannot take a country in which many of its citizens have never known another form of government and give them total freedom. Chaos will ensue. This is not to say that I do not believe every human is entitled to freedom. I think freedom is a basic human right. However, if someone is always told, for example, they can never have a candy bar and are tortured if they do have one; and if they are subsequently lead into a room full of candy bars and told that all of the candy they see is theirs to consume, they are going to eat more than their fair share, and possibly even fight off someone who tries to take something, in an effort to make up for the time that they lost while they were being restricted. The same is true if you take away a dictator and give the people freedom. There has to be a process; but this was not our duty or our proposed mission. If our mission was to find Osama bin Laden, we must find him. If not, the real motives needs to be unveiled.

We can never win a war if there is no objective, and people can not be expected to support a war they can not see a purpose in. My opinions on this matter have brought criticism, name-calling, and utter disregard. I have been called a Communist, a terrorist, and an anti-war, junky, hippie-wannabe by my family and people who claim to be my friends. I have been told that my love of people and nature and my disdain for their destruction is stupid and idiotic. Yet no matter the onslaught of negativity, I am aware that I am doing what is right for me in my life and in my world. It saddens me that my mindfulness toward life is misconstrued as terrorism or communism by those who are ignorant and unwilling to even pick up a dictionary to properly define the words. It saddens me that these people called me a tree hugger like it is a negative thing to love the earth that God gave us to protect. I am further saddened by the fact that these people are in a state of leadership, in which they are teaching the younger generations their same prejudiced, fascist worldview. I can only hope that they can rise above the contempt imposed on them by their instructors and live a life that is beneficial to mankind, instead of harmful. Otherwise, war will continue to rage, and the world will never know peace.