Sunday, January 25, 2009

Perpetual Terrorism

I was listening to Lupe Fiasco's song "Little Weapon" from the album The Cool [great album by the way] and I was reminded about the conflicts around the world where little children get drawn into the wars started by adults and sadly, often become civilian targets of these conflicts. But what I realized was that the saddest aspect of this is when the children themselves become the foot-soldiers and grow up to become the next generation of monsters and terrorists killing hundreds of more innocents and breeding more of their kind from what remains of the onslaught. These children don't have any childhood, all they see is death and murder all around them so how are they expected to grow up normally? Many of these children are unimaginably poor and have no other way out of their misery than to be slaves of their masters who force them to do whatever.

I immediately drew a parallel to the situation in Gaza and how the Israeli government's argument that Hamas is forcing collective punishment on average Palestinians is totally baseless and erroneous. It's been said by many Palestinian interviewees and commentators that after the Gaza assault, everyone had become Hamas. Terrorism only breeds more terrorism, and when a band of terrorists attack a civilian compound, and the government in return disproportionately kills thousands of more civilians, how is this not seen as a recipe for disaster? So what did Israel accomplish? Only in creating more support for Hamas and radicalization of those who had just enough to live for so they wouldn't have to resort to desperation. When whole families have been wiped out, job facilities and infrastructure are destroyed, mosques and schools are desecrated and the only way for food, energy, water, and medical supplies are being blockaded and consequently bombarded - what else would a sane, rational person do but to fight against the madness that restricts all of their basic human rights?

And that is speaking of the adults alone. Something like 60+% of Gaza's population is below the age of 25! A good portion of that percentage is below 18 clearly and the violence they see around them only fuels in them the rage to continue losing whatever else they have in the fight against their oppressors. And so, when Israel occupies Palestine and angry youth protest, strike back and kill innocent Israelis with Qassam rockets, and when Israel responds by collective bombardment and mass-slaughter, the otherwise innocent child sees his father killed, his brother being humiliated, his sister raped, his mother dying, his classmates dead, his school bombed, his family starving and jobless. We need to ask the question, if these conditions inspire adults to radicalize, how much more so do they affect children? How traumatizing is it for them?

For each terrorist that terrorism creates by indiscriminate killing, the otherwise normal surviving family and friends are given the choice - after losing everything, either die in subjugation or fight with all that's left, even if it is only yourself. What would you do?

And thus, the cycle of violence continues onto the next generation...

"Little Weapon" by Lupe Fiasco

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