No One Wins
May we learn from our past.
There is a new war pending. Well, new to us. Thousands of Syrians are dead at the hands of other Syrians, with both sides likely using foreign-made (and secretly supported) weapons.
War is shitty. It is shitty for the families who are there, whose children will always suffer PTSD and will never grow to be the adults they could have been. Those without constant nightmares. Those who don’t jump and cover at loud sounds. Those who remember what it was like before their neighborhoods were gutted, first by other neighbors, and then by foreign forces. Before they hated everyone involved — that time before the war, when the world was a laboratory for their dreams.
There are Syrians who are dying and quite possibly being gassed by their own government. We are paying attention, the cynical side of me says, because there are so many foreign interests involved in this matter. Not because there are families just like ours but with a different color passport dead and dying from this ridiculous injustice.
I mean, if injustice was truly our motivation, we’d do something about:
Southern Sudan, which is once again in turmoil. One of the newest countries in the world has a perilously fragile government, which cannot protect its citizens from tribal unrest.
Uganda and Congo, where armies of children are kidnapped, given drugs and led into disastrous battles with weapons they can barely lift. Some 5 million Africans have died in World War III. Collectively, we don’t care. When was the last time you heard anything in the news about the Congo? (5 million people is roughly the entire population of the State of Arizona.)
Zimbabwe, where don’t even get me started on the farce that was their most recent election — once again allowing Mugabe to rule. His people starve. His country falls apart by the limbs. But hey, the US is not interested in getting involved.
North Korea, where famine is widespread and folks are encouraged to eat tree bark when their hunger gets too out of control.
In Mexico, where the northern half of the country remains paralyzed due to fear of cartel beheadings. Speak up against the Mexican mafia? Your head will be delivered faster than DHL to the nearest family member.
Or hey, if I was going to get really high on my soap box, if the US wanted to address injustice — how about the 1 in 5 children in our country who go to bed hungry every night? How about the cycles of poverty we cannot seem to break, and the kids who end up suffering as a result? (We choose not to break these cycles. Hunger in America — unlike hunger in many other countries — is not a problem of supply and demand. It is a matter of political will. And hungry kids do not get to vote.)
War sucks. The ramifications will be felt for generations. Our men will die in Syria. Our tax dollars will be used to kill Syrians. Syrians will continue to kill Syrians. The Russians, Chinese and American war machines will continue to be fed.
I’d prefer to feed the kids in all of these countries instead.