Terrorism: A Civilized World Can't Resort To War

2015-11-19 07:52

I would not be generalizing if I suggested most of us take for granted what it actually meant when the world went to war – twice – in both World War 1 and 2.  We cannot begin to visualize the level of trauma and distress associated with such colossal events, notwithstanding their harmful after effects on human relations.

Being war orientated and being civilized are two different things altogether, in my view. A civilized man will resort to war when pressed, but he will not project an aggressive attitude unnecessarily. The fact that a man is a skilled warrior does not make him any more honourable than an intelligent criminal.

I was taken aback a few months ago when the United States responded to yet another nuke threat from North Korea with inflammatory jeers and scoffs, rather than with caution and level headedness. The response from Washington after the threat was both arrogant and unripe. It was more along the lines of, ‘We know they’ve only got such and such missiles with such and such range and speed’. Ultimately they meant they had it all covered.

After all, the United States is the iconic image of Civilization and all the freedoms it affords, for all the nations of the world to witness and admire. The United States has equally been as boastful as to call itself ‘The Greatest Country In The World’. They have also managed to persuade their presidency that it’s the most powerful seat in the world.

The reason why war should remain our last resort in resolving conflict is war has no expert or loyalty. North Korea’s missiles may be considered as inferior and laughable, but that doesn’t make the Koreans any less of a deadly threat. It’s very possible for North Korea to hit the USA where they least expect, like hacking into the latter’s military codes and detonating America’s own nuclear bombs against itself. There are a million ways North Korea could bomb the USA without shooting any of its ‘substandard’ missiles. So let’s not glory in military prowess, basically.

Under George W Bush, in September 2001, the United States made a heroic and chilling declaration of ‘War On Terror’. This was conveniently done against the backdrop of smoking ash and debris as a result of the ‘bombing’ and collapse of the Twin Tower skyscrapers. Osama Bin Laden, a wealthy Afghan who often did business with the United States, was implicated as the mastermind of the attacks, which killed around 3 000 Americans.

In the United States’ indignation and burning to prove a point, the US Army immediately began military campaigns in Afghanistan, in pursuit of the culprit Bin Laden and his rebel group, Al Qaeda. This was followed in 2003 by an illegal deposing of Saddam Hussein and the subsequent occupation of Iraq by the same exemplary country.

The recent terrorist attacks in Paris, in which 129 civilians were reportedly killed by Islamic State militants, were the indirect result of the said US invasion of Iraq. It was in the lingering aftermath of the ensuing conflict that the ISIS terror group emerged and began spreading across like a cloud of poisonous gas.

In the same way that the United States controversially responded to the 9-11 attacks by waging a vengeful military offence in a foreign country, France responded to the sobering Paris attacks by waging incensed military air strikes on alleged ISIS strongholds in the highly distressed country of Syria. I figure this is only possible in cases involving supremacist countries which can operate above the confines of international diplomacy. Under normal circumstances, a country that suffers a domestic terrorist attack can only respond by fortifying its borders and tightening security within.

During a historic visit to the United States in September, Pope Francis pleaded with global leaders to seek peace instead of war. He also reasoned that globalization itself was not the problem, but how it was instituted was important. The global leaders all clapped when the Pope said these enlightened words, even giving him a standing ovation. But hardly a week later, the Russians were already advancing fighter jets towards Syria, while the US bombed a hospital full of innocent people in Afghanistan.

A very common theme in all these atrocious war campaigns since World War 1 is that innocent civilians mostly end up suffering the most fatalities. It is not the so called Rebel Armies or the so called Dictatorship Regimes which suffer the most casualties, but normal everyday people, whose sole purpose is to better their lives through decent work.

What I find incredibly odd is our so called civilized Western World investing trillions of dollars in warfare when we are facing an utterly grim challenge in climate change, which requires enormous investment and a collective effort to combat. War has unfortunately become a profitable business and a means toward insidious investment opportunities and resulting socio-political hegemony by the super powers.

If human beings had invested much brain power in constructive and family oriented technology, as opposed to malicious inventions like nuclear bombs, fighter jets and chemical weapons, the world would be a much brighter place.

As a black man who has been derided as an uncivilized savage, the only consolation I can draw from all this depressing conflict is, civilized Europeans are the ones behind these clearly uncivilized wars for power.

The question we ought to ask is whether the world has become a better or safer place since the 2001 declaration of ‘war on terror’. Is it humanly possible to call ourselves a 21st century ‘civilization’ when our society is ironically becoming more and more militarized?

Another issue we can come to acknowledge is the absurdity of the West – a well-documented international terrorist through colonialism and neo-colonialism – leading the fight against terrorism.

(Check Out My Blog on Twitter: @JustSmartRage)

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