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Thursday, February 22, 2007

The World's Most Dangerous Road

I looked back at my "War in Iraq" index page recently. Those who read this blog know too well my thoughts on the issue. So many words expended, so many lives lost in between, so many hopes driving us - that if hopes were horses the whole world and his sister could ride to better places.

I've written so much on the subject that I wouldn't be surprised if even my most faithful readers give a quiet groan: "Oh no, not Iraq again". It is only too human of us to read about Iraq in the news and just skim past the death tally that mounts day by day. For some of us, it just doesn't move us at all anymore.

If that's a slight exaggeration - for the rise of deaths must still worry some - other aspects of the war are bound to bore. Take a look at the headlines: the UK moving troops out, stories of tours of duty, sectarian strife in Iraq, war inquiries...

We've all had enough, haven't we?

Do you find yourselves nodding in agreement?

Then please stop.

The road to indifference we've just been down is the most dangerous road in the world to take. If I am disaffected by the news of one more death or issue, if I begin to see it as just another news headline, then something deeper and more profound than hope will have died.

This war will have taken our humanity, too.

A Window to the World

Minorities are windows to a country, and outsiders (especially those original communities from which the minorities come) see into that nation through them. That is why so many countries such as Israel, Europe and some parts of Asia have to an extent looked favourably on America, because when they looked through their "windows" - with the eyes of their minorities based in the USA - they saw a place that was a bastion for freedom and equality.

When the Middle East looks through their windows into America, what do you think they see?

When Iraqis read of US soldiers gang raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and then killing her and her entire family, what do you think they feel?

If we are to have any hope of saving this world, then we must stand outside and take a look through the windows of others, and feel a little of what they feel.

Americans must read the gang rape of that dead girl, and then place her in the position of some American girl living in Middle America.

That is the safest road in the world to take. It is a road that will lead us all home.

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