War. What is it good for?

Absolutely Nothing. Say it again…

The recent escalation in Gaza and the ongoing plight of innocent and culpable alike in that area has led me to consider some serious questions.

If you don’t think you’ll like what you read next, don’t read it. It gets a bit ranty in parts. Feel free to comment but don’t expect anyone to agree with you. I’ve already expended a fair amount of thinking getting to this point, and I’m still not sure I’m right enough to have a monopoly on it.

Could I put myself in the mind of a person so completely alienated by an occupying power that becoming a suicide bomber seems not only desirable but God’s will? Is God vengeful indiscriminately as pieces of shrapnel from mortars blast through civilian settlements, or is it some kind of balance?

Can I work out how a people can operate when they live in such apparent fear? When they live in a world which seems like it has almost forgotten the holocaust which had the stated purpose of eradicating them? What drives a nation to operate a two-tier citizenship based on rights of birth and consider this just?

I don’t understand how global powerhouses can pick sides. There isn’t a clear righteous combatant. If you’re more one way, it seems the guys with the bigger guns and the Biblical imperative win out. If you consistently favour the underdog, you’re all for those who resist with the minimum of resources and no claim to the land more significant than centuries of their ancestors buried in it.

The Biblical imperative is a personal thing. You either believe with certainty that the current state of Israel is a fulfillment of prophecy and has legitimate claim to the lands given to Abraham’s descendents, or you aren’t certain and can allow some honest doubt that their current tactics would be endorsed by a loving creative God who looks for justice from his people. Most of the recent rhetoric I have seen has been more to do with rights to security and risk management than claiming promises made to the patriarchs.

It seems from my relatively ill-informed viewpoint that some very stubborn people on both sides with entrenched fears and hatreds are calling the shots (literally) for a majority and by consequence speaking for all.

Couldn’t we spend our time and effort trying to end the only conflict globally with both a sizeable body count and enough time clocked up to claim a pension? It’s the only significant conflict in recent times which is older than most of us, and definitely older than the poor souls who fight it out at the front line to defend the principles so enthusiastically espoused by the people on television keeping things going.

In a gentle attempt to point this out to the people who might actually have the power to help, I’ve gone against every instinct I have about effective governance and taken it to the top. A single page of writing paper to David Cameron, asking him to work as hard as he must, for as long as he must, to bring this conflict to a position of just peace. I signed it.

I doubt he’ll read my letter, but should he chance to, I hope it’ll be one of many similar petitions from British citizens to act with justice and compassion rather than one eye on long term self interest balanced against the next parliamentary election.

I don’t care that this looks like an impossible task. It looked impossible to end slavery, to break apartheid, and to breach the Iron Curtain. I want to live to see the situation in Israel brought to some kind of peace before somebody with a big weapon does something remarkably stupid and we’re all suddenly involved losing our young people and taking sides in a war we could have stopped.

A hundred years after the war to end all wars began, we haven’t grown out of this? That’s not good enough.


One Response to War. What is it good for?

  1. Peter says:

    Religion eh? And you thought it was soulful singing and happy clapping on a Sunday Morning to the tune of Doris on her organ. There are many ongoing wars or conflicts that are older than ourselves, but at the heart of the majority of them is religion. Sadly religion is used as a bandwagon by many to try to justify what they do, suicide bombers are not religious they’re just murderers. Global powerhouses have to pick sides to try to end things, if they just stood by and watched, then the governments of those countries involved would also stand by and watch, but we have to empower the governments to tackle the problems internally, if it was me I’d carpet bomb the lot of them.
    Mind how you go…………..

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