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War--An Inhuman Catastrophe

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:48 am
by Oscar
War--An Inhuman Catastrophe

March 2, 2010

To the Editor,

While we Canadians are basking in the glory of our young Canadian heroes who made the supreme sacrifice in Afghanistan, one cannot help wonder: when will we, the human race give up the idea, promoted by some of our political leaders, that it is honourable and right to kill other human beings with whom we find fault and declare them as enemies, even in far-away lands.

Or, as one wise person named Holly Near questioned, "Why do we kill people, to show other people, that it is wrong to kill people?!"

It appears that our political and military leaders would now prefer to have Canadians forget why the U.S and NATO went to war in the Middle East in the first place. They would like us to only remember that we send our soldiers to Afghanistan to eliminate the evil Taliban because their fundamentalist Afghan male-dominated culture diminishes the rights of women and apparently does not allow girls to be educated. They even publicly stone women to death for promiscuity and adultery. But before we tighten our halo too smugly around our Canadian heads, we should remember that hundreds of young Canadian women [mostly aborignal] were probably sexually used and abused [consensually, of course], and were then ignominiously murdered and their bodies disposed of like garbage.

I oppose capital punishment; for that, I thank God. But forgive me for momentarily contemplating that the stoning and murdering of women might be considerably diminished if the men involved were stoned to death and those who murdered women should also be thrown out like garbage.

To return to the evil of war, I beg your indulgence to continue reading about a rather famous man, an American [one not particularly loved by the military and the armaments industry] named Howard Zinn. He died on January 27, 2010, at 87 years of age. He was a Professor of Political Science, an activist, playwright, and author of many books that were recommended reading in hundreds of American schools. His most published book was titled, "A Peoples History of the United States", which sold millions of copies globally.

The following are just two of Professor Zinn's writings which he left for us to consider: "I was a bombardier in WW2. When you are up 30,000 feet you do not hear the screams or smell the blood or see those without limbs or eyes. It was not until I read Hersey's Hiroshima that I realized what bomber pilots do."

And then this bit of anguished writing: "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that numbers of people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their governments and have gone to war, and millions of people have been killed because of this obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running and robbing the country. That's our problem." - Howard Zinn from 'Failure to Quit'.

Leo Kurtenback,
Box 268, Cudworth, Sask., S0K 1B0
Phone 256 3638