Sunday, June 24, 2012

Why War?

Just a few minutes ago, I came across an article on Facebook urging everyone to boycott Starbucks.  Yes, I'm talking about the biggest corporate chain of coffee shops in the world.

Here's why:

According to the story, U.S. marines in Iraq wrote to Starbucks' corporate headquarters telling them how much they loved their coffee--requesting, at the same time, for some to be sent to Iraq as a gesture of support to the troops.  Starbucks, in turn, responded by saying they were flattered but that they didn't support the war.  Translation: They wouldn't be sending any coffee over to the Middle-East. 
Irked, the person who posted the Facebook article launched an internet campaign to boycott Starbucks as a show of support to the troops.

Well, how about that?

I may not be a supporter of expensive imported coffee but, in my opinion, supporting war brings about a devastation that's quite a far cry from patronage of a stall that sells corporate frappuccino and chocolate chip cookies.

I get it: sympathy to the troops is important.  By all means, tell them you love them and wish them good health but don't encourage the war by supporting means to make it last longer.  War is simply not a humane solution to any conflict--international or domestic.  The feudal times are over.  I thought the modern world's aim was to provide everyone with better living conditions.  I don't understand how sending people to kill other people could possibly have anything to do with better living.

Don't even start a conversation with me about the nobility of efforts done to combat terrorism.  I'm well aware of such efforts and I know for a fact that physical warfare isn't counted as one of them.  Fighting fire with fire?  Come on!  I think a society as advanced in ideologies as ours would, by now, have learned one or two lessons from the last two World Wars.  Believe me, there is no charm in risking to begin a third.  I've talked to enough people who were affected by such wars to learn of the sheer out-pour of misery experienced during those years.

Ever so often, we are bombarded with images of men and women wailing and grieving the loss of their families.  Media shows us countless orphaned children--victims of war.  How can we have the heart to allow things that lead to such gruesome scenarios?  If we truly feel for them, we would never say yes to war.  I'm not ranting specifically on any region of the world here; this one is addressed to all with extremist principles--wherever they may be.  What's most worrisome is the fact that a huge fraction of your violence is motivated by religious fanaticism.  Let me now turn to those--no matter what religious background--who justify their actions as Divine duty.  Look at yourselves!  What could possibly be Divine about taking innocent people's lives?

While there is some truth to the idea that wars have helped shape civilisations, we are over those days.  Aren't we?  We take so much pride in living off greater innovations than the years of the beginning of the industrial revolution.  We sigh and "thank goodness we didn't live around 'those' times" and yet some people still approve of war.  That's not any different from how people's minds ran back then.  I thought the idea was to move forward?  Should it follow that since we've adopted better solutions to hand-washing that we should collectively give science two thumbs up for advanced innovations in destroying other countries?  How about we find better solutions instead?  How about not having wars at all?  How about making the decision to act like civilised people instead of fighting like bloody animals?

You, the financial moguls, who revel in growing wealth at the expense of lives lost in war--this one is addressed to you:  How wealthy do you honestly think you'll be when you're dead?  The cycle of life doesn't exclude anyone.

Look, I'm perfectly aware that the Facebook post in subject is quite dated.  It's been around since the time the war troops to Iraq were deployed.  Now, things are looking up a little since most of the troops have been called back in.  Frankly, I'm not even sure if such an exchange between the U.S. Marines and Starbucks corporate office ever happened.  It doesn't matter.  I just had to rant because it's deplorable to learn that some of my Facebook friends are actually affirmative about war.  They reposted the thing on their timelines, for goodness' sake.

It's really daunting to know that with enough misinformed public support and poor thought put into it, war could easily break out.  Our present age has it especially worse knowing that many countries have so much public funding allotted in manufacturing new ways to annihilate each other.  There are 32 sovereign states in the world who have readily available weapons of mass destruction and nine (9) of these countries are experimenting with nuclear devices.  If another world war ever broke out in the future, it's not only going to mark the end of civilisation but of life as we know it.

The real wars ought to be fought within ourselves against our selfish, reckless, and sometimes unyielding propensity to indulge in our petty desires because, like the war in Iraq, they will prove empty in the end.  They always do.  Think about this for a minute, will you?  The next time you contemplate on expressing support for physical warfare, keep all this in mind.

Blessings of Peace and Love to the reader.