Born in Pakistan, a country with volatile relations with its neighbor, the threat of ‘war’ always lurked in the background. Then watching the onslaught of the Kuwaiti’s to our homeland, when Iraq invaded it in the early 1990’s, further formed a harrowing image of war in my 8 years old fragile mind.
Around the same time having watched, a documentary of the 1st World War, and how its nuclear effects still linger in that area and surrounding, made the word ‘War’, send chills down my spine. I don’t know at what point I developed such an acute fear of war without ever directly witnessing it; that even today 3 decades past, I am sometimes, shaken out of deep slumber huffing and panting, my heart racing as if about to burst. I have grown up with the nightmares. Each time, I am awakened in the middle of the night; I can’t help but think about all the kids and the people who live in perpetual war zones.
In moments, you are left a homeless orphan. You probably live in a state of constant insecurity, as if waiting to lose all the things you love, one by one. Some manage to leave the country, others have no means to. Like always, the poorest in society suffer. They become used to seeing gory scenes, blood spluttered and bones scattered. Are they different from us??
We the world enjoy, while they live in a constant state of torture, is it fair? When I end this article; I will probably go about my business as usual, living life peacefully; totally forgetting, that someone somewhere is running frantically to find a shelter from shelling, another is covering his ears with his hands to blot out the sound of bombs. I will be complaining about my trivial issues; but in Gaza, Kashmir, Syria and other places I may not even know of, there are people who don’t need to die to see what hell looks like.
The sad part is it’s always a conflict of egos. It’s always the decision of a powerful few, who at times remain unaffected themselves. Whether the cause is ethnic cleansing like Hitler tried to do with the Jews and presently the Buddhists are trying to achieve by killing the Muslims in Burma, only to give a peace promoting religion like Buddhism a bad name. Or the issue is a struggle to attain the title of “the World Saints/Peacemakers”, like the United States tried to do, by waging war against terrorism in Afghanistan. The fact is killing, never solved anything. Wars will make more terrorists than anything else. Do the war-mongerers not realize, that it will be very easy for mischief-makers to brainwash raw, innocent minds to kill mindlessly, when that’s exactly what they had been subjected to. That’s what they grew up seeing.
While the lives of those living in war zones, is abominable; the lives of the soldiers and even their families back home is no less tough. The American National Center for PTSD, reveals that studies of Military personnel shows they often suffer from depression, post traumatic stress disorder (ptsd), traumatic brain injury etc. due to their deployment. Their spouses are faced with the additional responsibilities of single handedly managing the family finances, parenting the kids by themselves, besides living under the constant fear of losing their spouse. This gives rise to stress, isolation and loneliness in them. The children suffer differently, they may be faced with separation anxiety, perform poorly in school, throw tantrums. Their mental and physical health, are likely to be adversely affected; especially, depending on their age and attachment to the missing parent.
This is not where it ends the implications of War are not just disastrous on individual level. Its effect on the involved economies is enormous as well. According, to the Congressional Research Service, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost U.S. taxpayers more than $1 trillion. So ‘we’ the common man living our lives in peace and oblivion, are affectee’s too. So what exactly is the purpose achieved, for the greater good?
Centuries of new discoveries and education seem to have availed naught, for man in essence seems not to have outgrown his primitiveness. As I see it, the weapons have changed, but the weapon-users, still think like they did eons ago. Deep down man still believes that asserting physical strength is till date, the best way to prove his Power.