Sunday, March 21, 2004

A stupid question.

When I saw the anti-war rallies that took place in many parts of the world in the annual anniversary of the war against Saddam, I couldn’t help thinking again, why are they doing this!? There were some but considerably smaller one or two demos. In Iraq (few hundreds led by some religious fanatics who no one could've known about them if it wasn't for the watchful eyes of the media) which was supposed to be the country those pacifist were defending.

I’ve had some difficulty in understanding the motives of the pacifists to stop this war and now to stop the coalition led by the USA from helping, rebuilding and promoting democracy in Iraq, and I’m sure there were many of those who were paid off or simply misled, but that doesn’t cover even the majority of the pacifist, as I’ve always thought that those were good people with a great sense of humanity and were noble enough to dismiss bribery and more intelligent than can be misled.

The answer to this question became less obscure as time and events revealed much of what was difficult for me to perceive from my place at the first look. The way the majority of the pacifists reacted to those events showed some of the missing part of the picture. I still think they are good people and not stupid at all but there’s one thing I can’t give them a credit for and that is honesty. I’m sorry, my friends but this may have been considered the strongest point in your position, or so you thought, but if you allow me to navigate through your conscience and care to have the patience and modesty to join me in this journey-which is what should be expected from honest people- then maybe we can reach an agreement on re-stating our points of disagreement and define more accurately were we disagree and this, as I believe, should be for the benefit of all. There’s no need to add that you have the right to do the same with me and I’m more than willing to go with you all the way.

Now why would I judge you so harshly and what facts and evidences do I have to support my belief?

To start with, I think I, as everyone else agree with you that war is a very unpleasant and most often a disastrous option to solve struggles, but I think we also agree that sometimes it’s the only available option. This allows us to minimize the field of our debate to this war on Saddam and to some others maybe to the way in dealing with terrorism that we support so strongly and you appose similarly. I think that once 2 nations went to war to settle their conflict instead of resorting to diplomacy, we would both stand against this war; unless you believe that the majority of us support this war to satisfy our lust for blood shed.

Since we are now talking about your stance, let’s take a look at why do you (the true pacifists) oppose this war.

I think that most agree that when we talk about the (true pacifists) then we are pointing to those living in the free world, as the 3rd world people are either disinterested and busy in trying to feed their children and find an appropriate shelter for their families, while they struggle to stay as far as possible away from the tyrannies that control their fate, which may force them to follow their governments attitude, or they are driven by religious fanaticism, and in the Arab world probably by Arab nationalism to stand against this war.

Peace is what those (true pacifists) are struggling for and there can be no nobler goal than this, but may I ask one questions here?

Where do you live!? A stupid and irrelevant question? I don’t think so.

Which peace are you seeking? Yours or that of the world, and which order you are trying to maintain? That of your countries or of the whole world? Do you really think that it’s such a wonderful and peaceful world that no one should be allowed to mess with? But what a stupid question is that on my part!! Of course it is! I mean some of you probably hadn’t heard a gun shot in months or years, and some of you live in countries that haven’t fought any war in more than a century.

Your lives certainly have not been that easy for sure, but did you ever fear that your children might starve to death? Or did you live your life with the horror of a kick that break your doors open, in the middle of the night, to take you or one of your family members to the unknown? And worse than that- which seems to you not a big deal- did you have to bend your heads and fix your eyes to the ground and never raise it fearing it may meet those of a security guard and get misinterpreted as a challenge!!? Oh my God! Here I go asking stupid questions again! As of course all of this is not a big deal, because if you felt it is such a huge injustice and a humiliation to the sacred soul inside each one of God’s creatures, not to mention human beings, you wouldn’t wait SO patiently for the sanctions to work and for the inspectors to finish their job. Of course it’s not a big deal, and you know why? Simply because it didn’t happen to YOU. It happened to the others who lived so far away that it made it less real for you and you simply could throw all these behind you when you come to discuss the war, and ONLY now, you are suddenly worried about how the Americans are treating us!!? I have one thing to answer that: the Americans don’t 'treat' us; they help, protect, teach, love and make friends with us. Hard to swallow for you, I know, because it makes you look so bad to yourselves, but that’s not as bad as it seems since we all make mistakes and HUGE ones and it’s never too late to admit that we were wrong.
Am I so stupid and naive to expect you to change your minds? No, because I still believe that you are good people and I’m relying on this when I say that I have hope in you and will never look to you as enemies.

Just think again about all the pain and sufferings in this world and this time imagine yourself picking the bones of your sons, daughters or brothers from a mass grave after loosing their track in a dark night 20 or 30 years ago and knowing that they didn’t even die peacefully, NO, they were tortured, raped and treated like animals and forced to beg for mercy to have it as a bullet in the head. This happened, and not only in Iraq and is still happening elsewhere in this ‘wonderful’ world. Think of that and try telling my neighbor- for instance, who is still looking for the mass grave that hold his 2 sons’ bones who were taken away from him 21 years ago when they were still in college without even knowing why-why you stood against this war. Try telling that to my other neighbor, who convinced his brother, who left the military during Iran war, to go back to his unite taking advantage of the presidential pardon that was announced on the TV and formal newspaper, and when he finally convinced him and took him by himself to the military police to take him to his unite, he woke up the next morning to find a car carrying the coffin that had his brother's body inside it, with the word TRAITOR written in large letters on its top, and with a strict order that no funeral should be held, otherwise they would join their brother. And yes, he received a note 2 weeks later telling him that there was a mistake that led to the execution of his brother along with other few hundreds and that they were sorry and that he can have his funeral!!

I could talk for years, and there are MUCH more painful stories but my heart cannot take it to remember all this pain. I hope you have a stronger heart as you explain to those people that you stood against their salvation and allowed their misery to continue because you think your politicians lied to you about the reasons for this war. Try to tell them that this was the doing of America not Saddam and that’s why you stood against her when she tried to remove him and give them freedom AND peace, the peace of mind and heart!!

Again my stupid question: where do you live? As we, who support this war against dictatorship and terrorism, live in this world, this ugly world we are trying to change as persistently as you try to keep it as it is with the same strength and persistence. So… where do you live?

-By Ali.

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