A few weeks back, while in a certain religious class, the topic of wars came up. The genocidal war that happened in Iraq was brought up as an example. The horrors of what had happened and what’s left of Iraq was discussed…by those who were still paying attention, that is.
In between of said discussion, the religious teacher had asked a question, “Whose fault was it?” – Whose fault was it that hundreds of thousands–possibly millions, were killed in that war? Being the straight-forward/lack-of-filter person that I was–am, I had of course answered with “Ours.” I was apparently dead wrong. You would’ve thought that I had told her the sky was green while the grass were blue, with the way she was looking at me! The stare had just been so filled with shock and distaste, that I almost laughed.
Would it be safe to say that one of the first thing that ran through her mind then, and possibly yours at this moment, is, “HOW ABSURD!” “I WASN’T FOR IT!”…yes?
Anyways, what had happened next was, she had gone off and proceeded to answer that question. Stating, “The fault of the war was not (just) on those who had gone to start it, but by the people around the nation, the neighboring countries of Iraq. The neighbors who were quiet.” Of which is, just to give you a brief geographical position of Iraq, it’s got Turkey in the north, Iran on the east, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia on the south, Jordan in the west and Syria by the northwest. And she had basically stopped there.
You know what shocked me? The fact that she hadn’t seen even a slight truth in what I had said.
It truly pains me, that her stand, just like many others, whom have somehow failed to see, that we too were responsible for that very genocide. The responsibility hadn’t only been on the countries neighboring it. But it had been on us all. We had watched and seen, a Holy land, a Sacred land, a land filled with such utter beauty, get destructed and destroyed. Families were left broken. Hearts left shattered. The amount of loss that these people had faced…God. No amount of words could ever possibly sum it up.
What had we, the vast majority of man, done then, to help them? Did we truly get off of our high horses to help these people out?
Having had that said, in reality, had it not been our fault as well? We literally stood by and watched as these people lost all that they had ever known. Are we too not to blame?
At that point of time, correct me if I’m wrong, it was as though the mentality we all had shared was, “Oh, it’s not really our responsibility. The Arab nations amongst themselves could have it fixed.” “We’re too far.” “There’s nothing we could do.” and believe you me, the list simply goes on and on.
The worst part of it all, I have to say, is the fact that we haven’t gone far off from that very sort of mentality. The very same thing is happening to Palestine and Syria. Yet, here we are. Uttering the same words we had said then. The circumstance might be different in this case, but people are still being massacred. We can’t continuously be pointing fingers at everyone else, hoping and wishing that they’d make the move to have it stopped. Then go off and blame them, when they don’t.
How much more blood can we have on our hands before it starts seeping through our fingers, soaking our shirts? How many more pages are we to have ready, to list down the names of the martyred?
Do these people not deserve peace and freedom? Do they not have the right to be liberated?
We’ve made the mistake with Iraq, once. But if we allow the same to happen to Palestine (and Syria), it will no longer be a mistake. It would now be a choice.
Will we continue to play the blaming game
Would we make a change?