Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Road to Peace

The following is a romanticized reproduction of my comment on Framing Conflict, a blog that impartially examines both sides in the conflict:

The road to peace can be obtained through the settlement of human affairs. The number one problem we face is "selective codemnation".

[In an earlier post, I talked about how 9/11 2001 was an act of terrorism from more than the American perspective which by its method and barbarity climbed to the scales of an international crime against humanity].

Yet, any effort to replace Anno Domini (A.D.) in the Christian calendar with 9/11 or a post-9/11 world is severely unfair and ahistorical and racist. An actual effort must be made to acknowledge the suffering of Iraqis at the hands of...[wait for it] the war-mongering, mass-murdering and oil-for-blood-scavenging-capitalist government of the United States. Lancet, a British medical journal, notes that about 6, 50, 000 Iraqis have died as a result of the illegal invasion. Quoting Iraqi body count is total nonsense [read Riverbend's response to this]. You can say that again. You can bet many Americans have died without an invasion, of natural death, in the last four years. In fact, figures in some countries is even higher thatn 30, 000 or 40, 000 without an invasion. Shame on those who have so little regard for humanity and laughingly mock numbers, each one that breathed life like them. For more on what I'm talking about and the Lancet methodology, here's an excerpt from an interview with Les Roberts, co-author of the Medical Study, on Democracy Now! You can even look at another one.

You know, I don't want to sort of stoop to that level and start saying general slurs, but I just want to say that what we did, this cluster survey approach, is the standard way of measuring mortality in very poor countries where the government isn’t very functional or in times of war. And when UNICEF goes out and measures mortality in any developing country, this is what they do. When the U.S. government went at the end of the war in Kosovo or went at the end of the war in Afghanistan and the U.S. government measured the death rate, this is how they did it. And most ironically, the U.S. government has been spending millions of dollars per year, through something called the Smart Initiative, to train NGOs and UN workers to do cluster surveys to measure mortality in times of wars and disasters.

But I guess it's useless to cast pearls before swines who have the temerity to deny the suffering of Iraqis while they laugh and sing. As to Iraqi Body Count, here's Riverbend, an Iraqi woman who is living the occupation unlike the Holocaust deniers, right on queue:

The responses were typical- war supporters said the number was nonsense because, of course, who would want to admit that an action they so heartily supported led to the deaths of 600,000 people (even if they were just crazy Iraqis…)? Admitting a number like that would be the equivalent of admitting they had endorsed, say, a tsunami, or an earthquake with a magnitude of 9 on the Richter scale, or the occupation of a developing country by a ruthless superpower… oh wait- that one actually happened. Is the number really that preposterous? Thousands of Iraqis are dying every month- that is undeniable. And yes, they are dying as a direct result of the war and occupation (very few of them are actually dying of bliss, as war-supporters and Puppets would have you believe).

For American politicians and military personnel, playing dumb and talking about numbers of bodies in morgues and official statistics, etc, seems to be the latest tactic. But as any Iraqi knows, not every death is being reported. As for getting reliable numbers from the Ministry of Health or any other official Iraqi institution, that's about as probable as getting a coherent, grammatically correct sentence from George Bush- especially after the ministry was banned from giving out correct mortality numbers.

There has been ample proof that this war waged by Herr Bush and his fascist minions has been a war against mainly children who had done no harm to any soul in the "free world". These kids had dreams like those of children around the world.

There have been several insensitive responses to the tragedy in Iraq. Some of them have been to minimize the death toll to "thirty thousand more or less" in the words of George Bush himself. Imagine him saying that the number of dead on 9/11 were three thousand more or less. Imagine the outrage, not just in America, but across the world. But as the victims of the Iraq war aren't white or Christian, they become as wasted as the air. They are everywhere but there's no use counting people who are cheap compared to the master race and lovers of democracy, whatever that means.

Another attempt has been to say "Iraqis hate each other" with a deeply sardonic tone. Forget religious folks. This abomination is time and again repeated by self-proclaimed atheists who are undoubtedly anti-Muslim bigots who were supposedly so affected on 9/11 that they forgot human decency altogether.

"Iraqis don't deserve our help" or "they only understand the tribe" is the third form of intellectual camouflage expressed by both Democrats and Republicans. A similar attempt was made by Fanciscan priests to dehumanize the Aztecs when the conquistadors openly slaughtered and hacked and killed and pillaged Tenochtitlan and its people and its neighbours and labelled the indigenous peoples as "barbarians". It isn't difficult to guess who the real barbarians were. Hernando Cortez, the killer of Native Americans, even said that the Spanish conquerors were greedy for gold and riches. Dick Cheney has already honoured us with such impious exclamations.

Hence, the road to peace is for the world to empathize with the people of Iraq just like they did with the innocent victims of 9/11. The road to peace is for victim to stand shoulder to shoulder with others. The road to peace is to tell it like it is. The road to peace is to grieve for all sorts of blood, whether they be American or Iraqi. It is only by acknowledging the suffering of others instead of using disgusting slurs that the people will come together and know that WE care!


dawud al-gharib said...

salaam, I lost a good (muslim) friend on 9/11,who worked in the towers. I would agree that the only road to peace is not to consider the lives of 9/11 victims as any more (or any less, either) than other victims of senseless murder. That people have what seem like "good causes" to them, does not change that the act they commit is murder: be it the 9/11 attackers who thought they were avenging the wrong done to Palestians, Afghans, and other muslims by America and who killed innocent office workers and immigrants who swept floors; or the soldiers who invaded Iraq, thinking they were avenging 9/11 and 'freeing the oppressed Iraqis to enjoy democracy' by bombing towns and dropping cluster bombs, depleted uranium shells, and phosphorus (on Falluja), etc. As the hadith states: "At the end of time, the killer won't know why he is killing, and the one killed won't know why he is being killed."

Victimization doesn't justify blind rage, and one must still consider responsibility, for both the muslims who justify the murdering of civilians (first and foremost, as violators of the Shariah and codes of war, as stated by Allah and revealed to his Messenger); but also all those who claim to have a message of "peace and democracy" but who rationalize murder to achieve political ends, something that can only be described as "terrorism."

Sindbad said...

Salaams Dawud,

Thanks for your comment. I am sorry about your friend. Yes, I think one of the things that has been overlooked is that there were Muslim victims on 9/11 as well. What is certain that all victims were innocent.

I'm in full agreement with you on the need to condemn all sorts of terrorism, individual and state.