Sunday, December 28, 2008

Relentless News

A number of articles struck me today, just glancing at headlines:

Bomb kills 30 at Pakistan polling station
Suicide blast kills 6, wounds 36 Afghans
Suicide bomber kills 8 in Sri Lanka (17 others were injured)

Each of these attacks is as horrendous as the Southern California “Christmas Santa” rampage. Relentless carnage. Yet all pale in comparison to the strikes on Gaza:

Israeli airstrikes widen scope against Gaza

Over 280 have been killed there, and hundreds more have been wounded. Which is on par, or exceeds, the casualty figures of the November Mumbai attacks. In apparent response and protest, there was a suicide bomber in Iraq who detonated himself in the middle of a crowd. So in response to killing Muslims, an outraged Muslim killed himself and harmed more Muslims. That is an utterly tragic irony.

Such horrific carnage and abject misery of the past sixty years will continue unabated unless peace is allowed to settle on the region. I would join in the call of the United Nations Security Council for Israeli and Gaza leaders to end mutual hostilities. I also call on other world powers to intercede and help broker a lasting accord. Finally, I call on the parents of the region to teach their children the only way to break this cycle of violence is to do well to their neighbors, and avoid acts of malice and cruelty towards each other. Provocation and death will only lead to more provocation and death. If there is injustice, find impartial third parties to broker a just solution.

In a wider call, it behooves us as a civilization to consider deeply the nature of driving people to such extremes that suicide-homicide becomes the de rigeur means to achieve the notoriety of social unhappiness. How can we have governments consider the redress of grievances of minorities without requiring the bi-directional slaughter of majority and minority populations? What sort of century are we setting up for ourselves when malcontented people repeatedly try to pull the society down with them? This sort of destructiveness leads towards the erosion of trust in basic civil society.

It is time that we, as a species, address our addiction to violence, towards ourselves and our neighbors.

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