Opinion: Do You Care?

There are wars going on all the time. Nations killing their own. Millions a year die because of armed conflicts. Do we care?

Currently there are nine nations in armed conflicts that have resulted in more than 1,000 deaths a year.

9. Mexico, since 2006 has been in a drug war. 8,400 have perished.

8. Since 2000 the Second Intifada has been playing out between Israel and the Palestinian Terrorities. Over 7,000 have had their blood run out from the struggle.

7. In 1988 Somalia has been in civil war. Over 300,000 have died.

6. Pakistan has been fighting in the north and west since 2004. Over 11,000 have been slain.

5. Iraq’s war has been ongoing since 2003. Reports of deaths range from 103,000 to over 1.1 million depending where you look.

4. War in Darfur, Sudan has claimed over 500,000 lives since 2003.

3. In 2001 war was launched in Afghanistan. 35,000 deaths have been reported.

2. The Kivu conflict started in 1997 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Over 4 million people have died.

1. Since 1983 over 80,000 have perished as a result of the Sri Lankan Civil War.

Again I ask, do we care? Many in North America can feel reasonably safe that they will not have to come face to face with these struggles. Our children will not play in the rutted fields caused by mortars. Our children can indeed play. They are safe from the diseases that come from lack of medical supplies. Many will never know what weeks of hunger and thirst feels like.

Do we care?

The top news items any given day will have some war stories. Those stories happen over there. Not at home. We will shake our heads at how life can be so horrid over there and be grateful it’s there and not here.

We will debate the causes of these conflicts and wars. We will point fingers at religion, government and cultures foreign to us. We will watch a bit of the news and then flip the channel over for some comedy to erase the images of crying children.

Do we care?

Writers will write their stories hoping to bring light on the issues and then move on to the next story. The fingers will tap out horrors that belong chained behind fences that never visit this world. Tears will be wept until the next story.

Do we care?

Before you answer the question think about it. The gut answer is yes we care, of course we care. The true answer though may surprise you. The true answer that may come out is it’s not my problem and it doesn’t affect me.

I want it to be over with. I want the children of Earth to not know war. I want to never type another sentence telling how children were killed when a bomb went awry. I want people to just get along with each other. What I want though isn’t the way the cookie crumbles.

Writers, reporters, bloggers, journalists will continue to write of the horror stories that humans produce. They will continue to light the darkness and then go on to the next story.

Until it happens to us it’s hard to grasp the full terrors. It’s hard to care about something so foreign. It’s hard to allow it to linger to long in your mind. Because if it does, then you have no choice but to care. Then you have to deal with the fact that humans wage war upon another, it’s the way of the food chain. As one conflict ends another will be tiptoeing in to take its place. And the innocents, the children, the people will suffer. And it doesn’t matter if you care. It doesn’t matter if you scream out into the dark, the story will still be there.

Do you care?


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