Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, South Sudan, Mali, Nigeria: An Alphabet Soup of Nations at War

Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, South Sudan, Mali, Nigeria

An Alphabet Soup of Nations at War

By Siegrid Raible

The horrors of war are with us today.  Historians tell us that war has been with us from time immemorial; some of these same historians and sociologists advise us that in order to avoid future wars, we must learn from past mistakes by studying history.  With so many war-torn regions in need of attention, I would have to state that we are very poor students of history.

I live in a very peaceful and economically secure region on this pale blue planet, the United States of America.  We suffered our own civil war which lasted from 1861 to 1865; the North and the South lost anywhere from 600,000 to 750,000 men.  The civilian death toll and the destruction to the land and its cities are incalculable.  I hope and pray that we never live through such a calamitous event again.  Although my life is not threatened by the violence of war, there are what we euphemistically call “hot spots” around the globe where people suffer with the direct effects of war and its companions’ death, displacement and destruction.  One such region is Ukraine.

When I picked up the New York Times one recent Saturday morning and saw on the front page a full color photo of Ukrainian children whose ages appeared to be anywhere from eight to twelve years of age cowering in a school hallway covering their ears my heart ached.   They were practicing a drill for a response to a possible shelling. My first thought was “what have we wrought?”  We are very poor students indeed when we prepare our children for death instead of learning.

I do not pretend to have answers to the problems in Ukraine.  But violence cannot be the solution to those problems; an eye for an eye, leaves us blind with the same problems unresolved.  What I do know is that we cannot and should not accept conditions where children are better prepared for death than learning.

I believe that we as citizens of this planet must urge our leaders, our own and those or other nations to swear off violence for the sake of all those children who cower and cover their ears in all the many hallways of all the many buildings on this planet.

On February 14th, the day the US celebrates Valentine’s Day, a day to celebrate love, let us celebrate the love we proclaim for our children by denying violence a foothold in their lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *