The war and its cruelty: A stark reality By Dr. Bobby Srinivasan and Dr. Sudhakar Balachandran

The world is turning out to be an inhuman place filled with fear and hatred. Recently in the name of religion, hundreds of Iraqi’s citizens were killed. Several thousand were also displaced. A pitiable sight which is shown live on TV especially when women and children are sitting in the hot desert, not knowing when the Sunni insurgents will come on the scene and slaughter people. The same thing is happening in Ukraine where innocent people are butchered because of the political ambitions of Russia. We need to look at history to understand how the destruction and pain continue to persist. Jan 28, 1914, exactly hundred years ago, the First World War began in the Balkan town of Sarajevo. A 19 year old Serb nationalist, Gaurilo Princip fired fatal bullets at Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian imperial throne and his wife. Within a matter of weeks, the leaders of Germany and Austro-Hungary used the assassinations as a reason to justify a war which grew to become what then was called as World War 1.

What happened? Before it ended in November 11, 1918, 37 million people were killed. The Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires were destroyed. The imperial throne of Germany and Russia crumbled into bloody revolution. One hundred years later, another region that has been forcibly held together for centuries by the British and later the Americans is on the verge of disintegration. Iraq and Syria were once prominent ottoman provinces are becoming slowly extinct.

The middle-east as we know today is an artificial creation by the Britain and the French through an agreement referred to as Sykes-Picot agreement. This created countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel. This was done much against the wishes of the areas Arab inhabitants. Within months of agreement, the war broke out and the British were fighting the insurgents of Iraq. The so called war lasted nearly 50 years until Saddam Hussain appeared on the scene.

America entered into Iraq in 2003 unsolicited and stayed until 2011. Nearly 250000 people of Iraq died in the war. Why would the US get involved in Iraq? Is it a fight to retain democracy? Hell no. Is it oil? Yes. The American senate and Congress are currently debating as to whether to reenter Iraq to maintain peace among the various religious sects. People who study history will clearly understand that any war initiated by an outside country will not be winnable especially if it is a civil war. Iraq is the second largest producer of oil and so is strategically important to the US and so are playing a role in the internal politics of Iraq.

The war among the various sects in the middle-east stated 50 years ago is an ongoing affair. So it will continue with for many years to come. The aspirations of Sunnis and Shias who live everywhere in the country will not rest until one is eliminated and in the end like in 1914 hundreds of thousands of people will have been killed for no other reason other than holding a different religious belief.

For the free world, it is the output of oil and the price per barrel is of concern. Death of fellow human being never mattered and never will. As it stands, the middle-eastern countries would keep buying weapons both from the US and Russia, by using their oil money only to kill each other, while in our parts of the world hunger and poverty will continue to ravage our citizens. Every time you put a diesel or petrol in your vehicle, think for a minute where the sale proceeds of your purchase is finally heading to. Of course to fight a war among themselves. Can any peaceful country make efforts to stop it? No, because there is money to be made out of the situation. With war, oil prices will continue to go up. Traders in oil will make a fortune. Defense contractors will enjoy the bonanza. The middle-eastern children in the meanwhile look to the sky to protect themselves from the US drone dropping on their head. This indeed is a stark reality of today. Finally, let us at least pray for a minute to save the lives of these innocent people.

Where have the good hearted people gone?


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