“Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn’t every war fought between men, between brothers?” - Victor Hugo
Remember the Arab Spring? Commentators are now bemoaning the fact that its positive activities and effects are rapidly withering into a cruel Arab Winter… As if the recent events in Egypt were not enough, the tragic situation in Syria has become a tinderbox set to explode any minute as the USA builds its presence in the Mediterranean. Other international players are becoming more or less involved, some threatening, some cautioning, and some keeping a respectful and neutral distance.
War is a horrible enough evil, but civil war is really the ultimate evil where former neighbours or even members of the same family suddenly find themselves on opposite sides of a dispute that demolishes every trace of humanity from the people engaged in the warfare. In these days of the 21st century, where we have ostensibly advanced to a highly civilised and technologically competent stage of development, it is disheartening to see that we still are plagued by wars of the type that is being played out in Syria currently.
Chemical weapons attacks are the latest offensive to deprive and destroy lives amongst the long-suffering civilian population in Syria. The collateral damage is immense in any war, but in a “dirty” war where chemical substances and terrorist tactics are used the huge number of civilian casualties becomes frightening. That we are still having to cope with issues of chemical warfare after the tragedies of the toxic gases used in World War I, is evidence enough that we are not advanced enough as a civilised species. That we have the spectre of nuclear warfare hovering over our heads after the atrocities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II, is shameful. That people are still prepared to kill others for simply having a different ideology, religion or ethnicity is completely repugnant and reprehensible.
How can we expect to survive as a species, as a civilisation as a planet if we develop better and more effective ways of destroying each other? How can we advance all of the ideals of humanity if we are divided by issues that ultimately are unimportant in terms of survival – both personal as well as on a planetary level? What can we do in our everyday life to further a spirit of goodness, peace, respect, tolerance and love for our neighbour? Perhaps this video has the answer…