Friday, September 04, 2015

"Only the dead have seen the end of war"

Yes, I am back to blogging after a long hiatus. Another post will cover the reason for my absence, be assured it is nothing interesting, just some introspection.

What jolted me back into the world of blogging? Google 'dead Syrian boy'

Why? At the end of the day, all the sadness, shock, disbelief, all of it boils down to that one word question, why? It is human nature that we need to hang our dirty laundry somewhere, we need to assign blame or responsibility to someone. Where do we start in this case of the Syrian boy, is it the British? who carved the land into pieces for easy management while dividing up the people and combining them into a heterogeneous and chaotic mix; or the people who were divided up? but for how long will we blame the European colonists, why didn't the heterogeneous people, after living for generations together, come to the conclusion 'Hey aren't we all humans, why harbor hatred for this other group', individuals might have asked this question but as a group, the divisions were kept alive and well, albeit just below the surface; or should we blame the people in power? those in political realms and specially in religious institutions, they wield so much power and influence, they command people's heart and mind, never once one of them stood up and said 'Hey wait a minute, for long we have tried to divide and rule, preached hatred to shore up my crowd's unity, how about I try something different'; or should we blame the current superpowers? they could have curtailed this problem well before it got out of hand but they either chose to ignore it or chose to actively stop any intervention; or should we blame ourselves for not doing anything, for being helpless, for being minuscule?

Tragedies of war and any violence, are well documented; we all have seen bloodied bodies, even that of children. I have seen many from this very conflict but they were different, they were gory, there was blood, you could see the destruction to the human body, there was dust and grime but this one picture of the Syrian boy is different. As he lay on that beach, with waves lapping his head, ironically it looked like the waves were patting him to sleep, it looks like he could be any kid that just fell asleep on the beach. This picture disarms you and then eviscerates you. With a gory picture, your guards are up almost instantly, then you rationalize it by saying something like 'Yeah, if you get hit with xyz, with such force, this is bound to happen' but this picture has a totally different strategy. A clean, calm, and peaceful kid, with eyes closed, looks like he is sleeping but nope, he is not. Yes he is clean, calm, and peaceful but for a very different reason, a very sad reason, and humanity has collectively failed this kid. I know I cannot and should not blame the entire humanity for all the tragedies in the world, apparently it is not practical!! but having kids die in a war started by adults, it somehow is not fair and doesn't sit well with me. And yet it happens without fail, every time, every generation, in every region inhabited by humans.

And what makes it worse? the realization, that this toddler is just today's top most body on a pile of at least 200,000 other humans. When people read about the one too many instances of mass killings of innocent people, they always put them in the framework of History, as if somehow they are distant from such horrible events, in some sense I and as an extension the time that I live in, is better than that 'old' stuff. But looks like nothing has changed, humans still kill each other, whenever possible they do it in 1000s, humans still look away, humans still block an intervention. If this is a human habit, which apparently it is, then boy oh boy, I cannot wait for that once in a millennium asteroid to pay us a visit.

I know people will ask me to look at the positive things but I feel it is too little and too late. Every time you take a small step forward, there seems to be an avalanche waiting to set you back.
Some people are justifiably opposed to posting pics of dead people but once in a while a pic comes along that represents not one but scores of dead (in this case upwards of 200,000). Such a pic must be seen, to shed a tear, to burst our bubble at least for a fleeting moment, and to ask ourselves what would we have done if those refugees were at our shores?

I hear people say, "Oh how would it have been if he had made it through". What would have happened!!! I feel guilty that when I will finish this post, I get to sleep in a warm cozy bed, in the safety of my house, and wake up to the comforts of my circumstances. But this boy, even if he had made it through, would have to struggle to get basic food and water, get to see riot police let loose on him, crawl under barbed wire, get exploited by fellow humans, try his best to avoid refugee camp, hopefully find a relative's house in some distant land, then live the life of an illegal immigrant............

And what is an even bigger tragedy? We will move on. Don't. I don't want that to happen but I know it will happen. Few rants, few posts, few discussions, may be some monetary donations, and then what? My head hurts...... a cynical voice in me completes that statement ".....not as bad as the heart that still beats in the dad who lost that Syrian boy today"

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