Saturday, October 31, 2009

Criminalise War

Today I went for a conference & exhibition on war crimes around my place. I have always known there are inhuman activities done in war prison, the torture during interrogation, and etc. But I've never understood much about it. I guess the main reason was because we being far from war zones have been ignorant towards the issues. Of course, I do find the mainstream media has been doing a good job in justifying the killings in a war, painting us the pictures those in power want us to believe in, and we didn't question much. There are outcries about war crime here and there, but it barely makes an impact to us who live an ordinary life, which is more to heavenly if compared to those imprisoned in war prison and those in war zones. I felt very bad as I walked through the tunnel in the exhibition. pictures of babies suffering from the effect of depleted uranium from nuclear weapons, malnutrition due to sanctions, suspects being tortured in Abu Ghraib, children who couldn't make it to schools or have a decent childhood playing outdoor, men who prayed to live long enough for the next meal.

I'm glad to be educated about what is happening behind scene. Theoretically sanctions or engagement could fail or work, either way, we always hope the government of a country will treat its people with respect, unlike the Sudanese government who actually hired private military company to carry out ethnic cleansing. But what really happen in a country under sanctioned is not as what we think. The Big Powers even go to the extend of banning pencil, medical swab, toothpaste going into the Iraq. Medical supply is a necessity for every place human inhabit! It is too apparent that the people there were pushed to extinction on purpose. I wonder what else that the outside world doesn't know. Maybe, we shouldn't have invaded Iraq at the first place. Torture in the name of interrogation for terrorist information couldn't be justified for the trickle-down effects (such as abuses) it brings, too. Water-boarding, limited space confinement, electrocution, and many more tortures we couldn't have imagine ourselves going through for hours, were done on the prisoners. No matter how we tried to justify it, we opened door for more casualties and killings.

It also hit me that, changing the mindset of the people living in comfort is important, too. Because they are the one with the resources and power to do something. If they'd move out from their comfort zone, they can change the way things are handled now. And in the mean time, raising more awareness among those around them, make a bigger impact. But what is more important, is to change the mind of the leaders who called for those wars at the first place. Irregards of on what ground a war is started, it kills. Not just one or dozens, but hundreds and thousands of innocent life are sacrificed. If killing a person is a first degree crime, what about burning down villages with bombs and rockets? Why aren't the master minds behind these murders be punished? At one point I felt helpless because I am not the one in power to stop the war or to end the conflicts. But I hope I can help to change the mindset of my society, making them see what is happening to our mankind, and move a soul to be compassionate about their sufferings. I hope everyone could understand that we can achieve more by having a bigger team, and eventually the ones in power can no longer ignore us.

Shut down Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. Send that BU-ll SHit and his army to trial. Find out more at today.


Xu Vin said...

i'm wondering if thr's a part of this we missed out. in the midst of the terror n inhumanity, is thr a perspective left hanging we fail to see bcz all the turmoil have blocked the view. stil wondering..

Gine said...

there is, from the perspective of an American citizens. When your country is under attack, you'll live in constant fear of the next attack. They torture the suspects for information which supposedly can help them track down terrorist activities before anyone get hurt. But there are reports of wrongly captured person being tortured for information they don't even have at the first place. If no one can make sure they always get the right man, I don't think this move it is acceptable, even if only one is wrongly tortured.
The effect of sanction is indiscriminate, too. Whoever that is, it were the adults who started the war, but the innocent children have to bear the sufferings even before they could know what was happening. In 1991, the UN introduced Oil-for-Food programme. We never hear UN introduced Diamonds-for-Food programme in African nations though. Why? Iraqi government was accused of corruption and not spending the aids they received wisely, while everyone knows that 30% of the oils given up was not traded with food in return - it went to the Gulf War reparations account, and the food promised never come in matching ratio.

All they wanted, was the oil.