Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, December 2013
Global War on Terrorism is Killing Mankind:
Why Soldiers Commit Suicide?
By Mahboob A Khawaja
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, December 10, 2013
We should be saddened but not shocked when we see the broken men and women return from battles overseas. We should be angry with those who send them to suffer and die in unnecessary wars. We should be angry with those who send them to kill so many people overseas for no purpose whatsoever. We should be afraid of the consequences of such a foolish and dangerous foreign policy. We should demand an end to the abuse of military members and a return to a foreign policy that promotes peace and prosperity instead of war and poverty.
(Congressman Ron Paul comments when Daniel Somers wrote the last letter: “The Death of Daniel Somers.” Information Clearing House, 6/24/ 2013).
War is darkness – man killing man- overshadowing human consciousness of the self and the spirit – fighting soldiers driven to political indoctrination of “ennobling enmity” and wired to instigated emotional madness, forced to animalistic behavior and end-up losing the balanced material and spiritual manifestation of the nature of human originality. War means planned deaths and destruction of all that is holistic and progressively imagined by the human emancipation for the larger good of the mankind. Global war on terrorism is outcome of the few dreadful mindsets of those who are universally hated and feared by the global community. The contemporary politicians lack the realization of the hard facts of logic and moral foresight. The sensation of political power removes fear and accountability and the warlords get embolden to commit unchallenged cruelty and crimes against the people just to comfort their sadistic ego and to claim success at the cost of ruthlessness and barbarity spearheading human degeneration and continued viciousness across all spectrums of human affairs. Throughout history, warmongering sucked-out all the positive human thinking, talents and abilities to progress and peaceful co-existence. Who will know better than the Europeans fighting the Two World Wars with invincible armies and killing more than 20 million people just to safeguard superior ethnicity, flags and borders? American-led global war on terrorism and all those allied to this sinister scheme of things are overwhelmingly occupied in anti-human cruelty against themselves and others in a global context. The problem rests with those politicians who set policy agenda and make major decision lacking knowledge and practical understanding of short and long terms consequences of their own thinking and actions. To contemporary ego maniacs like George Bush, Tony Blair, Dick Cheney and now Obama and the historic Ivan the Terrible of Russia, torture and killings bring psychological satisfaction and enjoyable acts of sadistic pleasure to a favorite perversion. Common masses are duped to believe by the affiliated news media’s propaganda that war is a necessity to protect the national interest and security without any rational choice. After more than a decade, the war on terrorism appears unstoppable and unending. Its real victims and causalities are the ordinary people – the present and future generations entangled in a cruel web of ripple effects and undefined rationality of the war. Those combat soldiers who were pushed to such animalistic behaviors on the front-line – man killing man without any enmity and reason, are the real victims of the few insane politicians.
North American and West European combat forces and societal thinking reflect ambiguous and varied stonewalls erected by the war machine industries as if people are not the victims and that in an advanced technological age, machines fight machines in Iraq and Afghanistan. The hidden truth becomes reality when every day large numbers of war veterans commit suicides and internet news make it public. According to Congressman Ron Paul (“The Death of Daniel Somers.” Information Clearing House, 6/24/ 2013): “The numbers sadly tell the story: more military suicides than combat deaths in 2012, some 22 military veterans take their lives every day.” The US Army News (Rick Maze: “18 Veterans Commit suicide each day”: 4/26/2010), reported that 18-25 war veterans commit suicide every day and noted “Troubling new data show there are an average of 950 suicide attempts each month by veterans who are receiving some type of treatment from the Veterans Affairs Department……. Suicide attempts by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans remains a key area of concern. In fiscal 2009, there were 1,621 suicide attempts by men and 247 by women who served in Iraq or Afghanistan, with 94 men and four women dying.”
This week, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - CBC reported the suicidal deaths of 4 Canadian soldiers – the veterans of Afghanistan War. It is a painful story telling to common folks explains the CBC television news reporting on 12/4/2013, that some 42 Canadian war veterans have taken their lives since 2011 to 2012 and a total of 129 since the armed forces were sent to Afghanistan. Rationality fails to substantiate the reported 158 Canadians troops lost life in US-led war in Afghanistan when Canada is not at war with Afghanistan. The poverty-stricken Afghans were not the people to ever challenge or pose any threat of violence and security to America, Canada or Europe. Often the combat soldiers and their victims do not know why and what are they fighting for? America and its paid allies did not go to Afghanistan or Iraq for peace, freedom or democracy. They invaded to take control of the oil and gas pipelines to be managed by the American enterprises in which the warlords had vested interests. Be it the ideology or the nationalism being the focal point of human insanity as was the case of the Two World Wars, combat soldiers forced to fight against their own very nature – The Nature of Things based on which God created the human beings.
Human consciousness enjoins a synchronized balanced of material and spiritual life but killing others is an affront to continuity of the self within the interwoven compound of human life. Overwhelming materialistic powers, advanced technology and rigid expert determination often stall approaches to understand the reality of human life composed of material and spiritual balance and the imperatives of freedom of critical thought and Divine knowledge to articulate a better future. Life is not an invention of human mind or machines but God is the creator of all living things: Life, Time, Universe and Earth and its sustainable supporting system - immensity of factors constituting the scope of self-realization of human life. Could the reality of life and death be realized by human thinking, instruments and approaches? During the 2011 London annual war memorial parade, the last surviving First World War British veteran age 111 years made it known on BBC news camera that “he did not know why he fought in the war and war made no sense to him.” With broken hearts, wounded minds and tarnished bodies, when combat soldiers return to homeland, they confront another challenge of survival – the ripple and constantly haunting images of the inhuman cruelty of man against man. None of post war syndrome treatment (PTSD) can cure or sideline such first-hand real life experiences asking for rational answers why and what for were they fighting and killing innocent peoples? All politicians are self-centered; they have no knowledge and understanding of the human nature as they have not fought on any real war fronts or created anything durable except amplifying the self and re-election ambitions. Greed and wickedness knows no ending. Politics is a game of pretension on stage, not a connection to reality of life-making and life-supporting endeavors.
Daniel Somers (“War Criminals Bush and Blair Claim Another Victim - "I Am Sorry That It Has Come to This": A Soldier's Last Words.” Information Clearing House: 6/24/2013), an American war veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom 2004-2005 and then again 2006-2007, was 30 years old and suffered greatly from PTSD and was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and several other war-related conditions. On June 10, 2013, Daniel Somers wrote the following letter to his family before taking his life.
“I really have been trying to hang on, for more than a decade now. Each day has been a testament to the extent to which I cared, suffering unspeakable horror as quietly as possible so that you could feel as though I was still here for you. In truth, I was nothing more than a prop, filling space so that my absence would not be noted. In truth, I have already been absent for a long, long time………The simple truth is this: during my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity……….To force me to do these things and then participate in the ensuing cover up is more than any government has the right to demand. Then, the same government has turned around and abandoned me….. And for what? Bush’s religious lunacy? Cheney’s ever growing fortune and that of his corporate friends? Is this what we destroy lives for……. My body has become nothing but a cage, a source of pain and constant problems. The illness I have has caused me pain that not even the strongest medicines could dull, and there is no cure. All day, every day a screaming agony in every nerve ending in my body. It is nothing short of torture. My mind is a wasteland, filled with visions of incredible horror, unceasing depression, and crippling anxiety, even with all of the medications the doctors dare give. Simple things that everyone else takes for granted are nearly impossible for me. I can not laugh or cry…….Thus, I am left with basically nothing. Too trapped in a war to be at peace, too damaged to be at war. This is what brought me to my actual final mission. Not suicide, but a mercy killing. I know how to kill, and I know how to do it so that there is no pain whatsoever. It was quick, and I did not suffer. And above all, now I am free. I feel no more pain. I have no more nightmares or flashbacks or hallucinations.”
American politicians no longer enjoy moral and intellectual leadership but claim it and act like surrogated mothers to the war-lobbyists and pundits of the major military-industrial complex. America needs a stern challenger and that is what is missing. The global warlords continue to divide and rule the mankind. The sensation of political and material power drives them to commit untold crimes against the very humanity of which they are a part within the living Universe. War is not peace and peace will not emerge out of the broken hearts and dreams of One Humanity. But contrary to the brutal perceptions and actions of the US and former Europeans imperialists, the international community is informed, mature, and enjoys the moral and intellectual capacity to know and understand the facts of life and to challenge the politically imperiled insensitivity to universal accord and unity of the mankind against brutality of the Terrorism of Wars that unites them with a common fate more than divides them by any token of adversity and separate national identities.
Politicians waging wars against the mankind are not the competent people to answer vital issues of moral and spiritual values and significance affecting the soldiers and on the growing epidemic of combat soldiers committing suicides. Fighting soldiers and the common people are the victim of delusional and vengeful hatred of the few global warlords who have vested corporate interests in the oil and gas supplies coming out of the Muslim world. All troops are indoctrinated with mythology of animosity to fight the unknown enemies. While on the war front, they lose rational consciousness by targeting and killing the innocents - men, women and children as are the instances in Afghanistan and Iraq and daily drone attacks on innocent Pakistani civilians – a cold-blooded murder game of the warriors. It is probable some governments and secret agencies could be using drug formulas to enhance the invisible crush for fighting and enmity. Those fighting soldiers - men of conscience lose unity of the human consciousness- unity of material and spiritual balanced characteristic– fair and foul. It is a tragic conjuncture of inner revolt of human consciousness for a crime that is not part of the human nature and not visible to scientifically expert minds – the doctors who simply identify mental health issues of those suspected of syndrome to commit suicide. These are the net causalities of man’s war against man. The real reasons are hardly mentioned in expert reports. Science and machines cannot comprehend the intricate balance between material and spiritual life and inner consciousness of the self- the human. Politicians who entangle the human beings into warmongering are void of the knowledge of Unity of Human Self - an all embracing sanctity of sacred life created by God: time, material, spiritual, thought, life and purpose of life - the ultimate source of all individual life and human unity. Politicians and concerned social scientists and military strategists perceive the broken hearts and minds of returning soldiers as they want to see it and they do not wish to see the reality as it persists.
Daniel Somers letter tells us all: “My mind is a wasteland, filled with visions of incredible horror, unceasing depression, and crippling anxiety, even with all of the medications the doctors dare give. ….. I can not laugh or cry…….Thus, I am left with basically nothing. Too trapped in a war to be at peace, too damaged to be at war. This is what brought me to my actual final mission.” The war-torn human consciousness needs spiritual and moral enhancement support to come out of the self-inflicted tragic and inhuman experience of killing other human beings. Politicians and society that drives soldiers to the madness of war fronts to kill others and get killed have no sense of moral responsibility to facilitation of remedial human help to console and motivate the entrenched life - the wounded inner soul of the combat soldiers. Pills alone do not remove spiritual stagnation but scholars of the Divine religious knowledge and wisdom could help the fractured human soul and body in moment of self- endured crisis for survival and sustainable future-making. All experiences are immediate and individual. Others see the prevalent reality differently with overwhelming societal and political expediency. Nazism and Fascism did not grow out of the nowhere but to a large extent were supported and propagated by the then European and North American academia, news media, businesses and politicians. During the WW2, helpless common people, Jews and Gypsies were targeted by the extremists and global warlords and now Muslims are seen as the eye of the storm. The political warriors and the military-industrial complex have not learnt anything from the pages of living history.
All beginnings have an end. Throughout history warlords were subject to time and place, not for ever. Hitler and Mussolini were democratically elected but drove the humanity to terrible consequences of their own insanity. The contemporary warlords need to see the mirror and the urgency of a Navigational Change, if they have the moral and intellectual capacity to THINK and ACT and to spare the mankind from further catastrophic tragedies. Can America revitalize its originality of thinking, moral and intellectual values and people’s interests-based system of political governance for a peaceful co-existence and future-making in relation to the global humanity?
With 17 trillion dollars in budgetary deficit, approximately three millions Iraqi civilians massacred by the US led bogus wars on terrorism, 20,000 or more American killed and many times more wounded, and almost one million Afghan civilians killed and displaced, and millions of wounded American and disabled veterans causality of the two bogus wars on Muslims are surviving on mere food stamps and neglected drug addicted corridors; continued daily US drone attacks on innocent Pakistani civilians, 18-25 US war veterans daily committing suicides, insane politicians acting in egoistic behaviors, leaders without lead in the society point-out to more dreadful things to happen to America - it could soon be replaced by another morally and economically competent nation or group of small nations in global politics. Strangely enough in a knowledge-based age, American politicians are not mindful of this historical and unstoppable phenomenon of change. The living Universe and American politics appear to be set on a direct clash course. America does not appear to be on a path of harmony with the rest of the global community. In situations of adversity and crises, competent leaders extend moral and intellectual security to the people and represent hope and optimism for a navigational change and future-making, not egoistic political agenda and shutdown of the government and irrational behaviors to the interests of the people who elected them to govern. On the 10th anniversary of the Iraqi genocide, there were no statements issued by the Obama administration or apologies by British politicians. Tom Ingelhardt (“The 12th Anniversary of American Cowardice What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You.” Information Clearing House: 3.28.2013), sums up the paradox of contemporary global warfare and how the history shall judge the warlords?
“We should already know more than enough to be horrified by the state of our American world. It should disturb us deeply that a government of, by, and for the war-makers, intelligence operatives, bureaucrats, privatizing mercenary corporations, surveillers, torturers, and assassins is thriving in Washington. As for the people — that’s us — in these last years, we largely weren’t there, even as the very idea of a government of, by, and for us bit the dust, and our leaders felt increasingly unconstrained when committing acts of shame in our name. So perhaps the last overlooked anniversary of these years might be the 12th anniversary of American cowardice. You can choose the exact date yourself; anytime this fall will do. At that moment, Americans should feel free to celebrate a time when, for our “safety,” and in a state of anger and paralyzing fear, we gave up the democratic ghost.”
“Among the many truths in that still-to-be-written secret history of our American world would be this: we the people have no idea just how, in these years, we’ve hurt ourselves.”
(Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012).
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