When I wrote the article yesterday titled “The Wolf We Feed”, I wanted to highlight the choices we have in life and how these choices have a direct implication on whether the trajectory of our lives bends towards happiness or bitterness. But I left out one central facet in the presentation for there is a wider ramification beyond just our own happiness that comes along with the decision to repay hatred with yet more hate. When a society chooses the zeitgeist of hostility instead of opting for kindness, that society will eventually consume itself.
I write this in light of the senseless bombing in Manchester, England which took the lives of 22 civilians, including young children that only the most depraved and wicked would choose to harm. Let me make one thing clear, there is no justification in this world that allows for the taking of innocent lives. People who target civilians and try to claim they are serving God or a greater good are serving only the devil himself. Apply this to ANYONE or any nation that goes after civilians and rationalizes this act by using holy books or fancy words like “collator damage”. What occurred yesterday is not an anomaly; on a daily basis civilians and innocent lives are being ripped apart and torn to shreds by an endless war that is being declared in the name of power and money. We only take a second look when the bombs explode in a city that is like ours yet we overlook the endless ordinances that explode in city after city from Syria, Libya and beyond.
The root of terrorism is revenge and the feeble leaders we keep electing who think of it as virtue to declare war for the sake of keeping us safe. This is absurdity of the highest magnitude. George Carlin once said, fighting wars for peace is the equivalent of fucking for virginity. Excuse my language, but there are certain statements that are so profound that I’m willing to risk offending sensibilities. The absurdity is not in the curse word as much as the sheer insanity Carlin’s joke exposes. How much longer will we keep declaring wars before we realize that these wars are only begetting more warfare?
Sixteen years after 9/11, the absurd“war against terror” ravages on with no end in sight. Tens of thousands of American soldiers lost, hundreds of thousands coming back home with PTSD and war horrors, millions of civilians lives lost and displaced from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and beyond. Yet almost 20 years later, we are at a stalemate. The ones who benefit from this perpetual war are the “jihadist” bomb makers in the Middle East and the corporate nihilists weapons manufacturers on Wall Street.
There are other beneficiaries who are making a killing as the killing continues:
- politicians who slither their tongues feigning patriotism while having none of it
- pundits and “terror” experts on TV and social media who sell copious books as they smile with glee each time a bomb explodes for tattered bodies beget more books and guest appearances
- The yellow press mainstream media who get to air live broadcasts of crying mothers and dead children with news hounds pretending to be shocked when all along they are just chasing ratings and clicks
- The brokers on all sides who use senseless killing to gain more adherents and followers and in the process acquire more power as their people succumb to sheer terror
This is an indication of a planet that is sick and in dire need of an intervention. We are letting people full of bravado march us right over the cliff while they use the globe as a chessboard. When will realize that hatred will not drive out hatred? How much longer before we understand that adding fuel to the fire will only lead to infernos that consume yet more innocent lives? We have come to accept human suffering and mini-genocides committed in the name of the industrial-financial complex as a cost of doing business. But this cost cannot be locally contained, the bombs that tatter lives in far off places eventually boomerang in our own cities and homes.
As long as there continues to be a profit motive in wars and conflicts can inflate the bottom and top lines of corporations who are enmeshed in warfare, the mindless menace of terror will continue ad infinitum. Too often we let our political leaders cut for stones as they misdirect the public debate from the root cause of terrorism and keep us focused on the symptoms. What is being done to us is the same thing that people like Osama bin Laden in the past and now ISIS is doing to their lot. The masses are emotionally manipulated to react to the outcome but few question the reasons why these wars keep erupting, anyone that tries to look beyond the surface is immediately libeled as a terrorist sympathizer. Our mass media does to people who question official narratives by way of character assassination what ISIS does with a knife to people who are branded collaborators. When it comes to terrorists, the ones who pull the trigger are no different than the ones who supply them. Terrorism is one big circle with instigators on all sides needing one another in order to perpetuate conflict and consolidate power.
When will we get leaders who will be brave enough to say stop and broker a cease-fire in this never ending warfare we have entangled ourselves and the world into? Perhaps it is time to stop blaming the malignant upper crust of society for we only get the government we deserve. Politicians are just a projection of our brokenness as they are only emulating the contempt we keep unleashing on each other. Malice towards all has become the our motto as people justify vile rhetoric by saying “I was hurt first”. Some don’t even understand that their guiding light is actually a flame as they go around bashing “white people”, excoriating Muslims, shellacking Mexicans, and castigating anyone that does not look like them. Exclusionary talk is the new normal; we have turned into a society of trolls that screams victim when we are attacked yet most have no problem victimizing others.
May the victims of terror in Manchester rest in peace. Likewise may the victim of the military-financial terror complex who perish in Aleppo, Sana’a and throughout the world rest in peace. May the mothers who cry as they miss their perished children be comforted and their hearts be healed. If we cry for England, may we have the heart to cry for Afghanistan too. Above all, I pray that we pause and reflect and seek healing within our hearts. Maybe when we learn to be more forgiving and forbearing with each other, we will finally start to rehabilitate the world and in time get leaders who want to mend this planet instead of electing politicians who want to terrorize this world as they let revenge be their moral compass. Love is power, revenge is cowardice–may love win the day. #LetLoveWin
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you appreciate this article and value the message behind it and want others to help us spread this message, share this article on social media using #LetLoveWin
Please listen with an open heart to the words spoken by Robert Kennedy Jr., may he rest in peace, he was speaking love to this world before hate took him away.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.