Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Thoughts on Things

So, Syria has been in the news a lot for the past week, and while I'm not going to pretend I'm Jason and I'm overwhelmingly well versed in world politics, I have been thinking a lot about it.  That picture over there to the left?  That's Syria, taken recently and published in the Washington Post.  Seeing this made me think about how I recently watched the movie Elysium, and I was really uncomfortable when watching the conditions people were living in on Earth in the movie while the fortunate got to live on an immaculate space station.  I sat there wondering how anyone could live in the conditions shown in the movie, and I found that for that and a few other reasons, I just wanted the whole film to end.  On an intellectual level, I know people around this world already live in those conditions, and when I look at this photo of Syria, I'm brought right back to that film moment where I thought "People shouldn't let these things happen".  The sad fact is, however, that we do let these things happen.

I've been told pretty recently that I'm the sort of person who has a passion for things that most people can't understand.  I don't feel things in small, compartmentalized ways.  I can't do that.  I don't compartmentalize. I am more like this:
So when I see things like what's going on in Syria, I start to wonder why we have so much news coverage and no one is DOING anything.  In some ways, I feel like countries like the US, Canada, and most European countries are those people living on Elysium compared to what Syrians experience.  And we're all here, sitting around, drinking our lattes and bitching about how it costs so much to have your teeth professionally whitened, and these poor people are getting bombed with chemical weapons that are killing their children and we're all "Oh hey, no big deal.  They don't have oil".  And we sit around shouting that anyone would even propose the idea of a ground invasion there, or going to war with them for MURDERING INNOCENT PEOPLE WITH CHEMICAL WEAPONS.  Remember when we were all "Oh hey, we're not going to do this WWII thing because handle that one Europe.  That Hitler guy, he's a real firecracker!" and then sat around shocked and appalled when we found out what happened to millions of Jews while we sat around doing nothing?  I'm not saying history repeats itself or anything, I'm just saying that maybe we've seen things like this before.  And don't misunderstand me, I'm not advocating for war, but I am advocating for life.  I'm advocating for some of these people to be spared the hell they've experienced at the hands of their own people, and if some other people have to get their hands dirty to help accomplish that, then maybe that's what we should be doing.  The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and all that other Star Trek stuff.

I think what struck me the other day while listening to the NBC Nightly News interview a six or seven year old boy in Syria about what happened, and how his father had to stay behind to fight with the rebels, and how he doesn't know if he'll see his father again, is how we as a society can be surprised when little boys like this grow up to be angry teenage boys with large guns and a very deep rooted hatred of others who would allow these monstrosities to happen.  We are so keen to fight these wars on terrorists, but we do nothing to fight the conditions that breed those terrorists.  I can't help but feel like if we have the ability to achieve some sort of stable environment in some of these countries with troops, and we began building more schools instead of dropping more bombs, we'd be giving these suffering children the ability to do more than be angry teenagers with guns.  We'd be giving them the keys to a different future, or at least the opportunity of hope that there could be one.  Today's kids are tomorrow's leaders, and if we keep dropping these bombs, or allowing others to drop them, we breed leaders who know no better than to drop bombs.  There's got to be a way out of the cycle, and I don't know what it is, but I wish we could all start to see that terror starts in the young, when they feel terrified and begin to turn that into anger and fight back.  

At any rate, I hope that little boy from the news broadcast finds another way and another future for himself, if he is allowed to have one while we all stand by and watch his homeland get blown to bits.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. The best way to stop terrorism would be to start helping the children in those horrible conditions- a preemptive move. In nature vs nurture, nurture wins out every time as far as who a person will turn into. Seems silly for all our efforts to be reactive instead of proactive.