The Iraq war has been a hot topic of conversation since the early eighties when Dictator Saddam Hussein launched indiscriminate ballistic-missile attacks on Iran and messed with chemical weapons. Since this time, millions of people have lost their lives, Islamic state extremists have emerged and a growing refugee crisis has forced the world to pay attention to the evolution of racism, religious discontent and the middle-eastern upheaval.
But what does the Iraq war or any war on terrorism have to do with us?
It’s an interesting question and one that billions of people informed or uninformed ask themselves regularly. Terrorism in any measure is defined by the unofficial or unauthorised use of violence to intimidate in the pursuit of political gain.
Terrorism has become an accepted term that citizens throughout the world recognise as the leading form of oppression and the greatest driving force between the breakdown of communication between religious sects and countries divided in belief. But again, how does this affect us? How is global terrorism affecting our commercialised consumer-driven lifestyles?
For one, the families of the soldiers on both sides of this equation are suffering with the loss of life and love. Though divided by purpose, these people share commonality and yet, compassion remains absent despite the loss being substantially equal.
Trust has ebbed between foreign leaders, allied armies and even the general populace. We are now so consumed by the fear of the unknown that racism often rears its ugly head. What was once celebrated as our differences is now scorned for its possibility of future wrong-doing.
No longer can we travel freely between countries of interest for fear of political backlash or religious agenda. We are screened at public airports for explosive devices and are regularly updated via social media about what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. Our differences as human beings once set the tone for the uniqueness that inspired the best in all of us, but now we huddle in mass and conform, mostly to maintain personal safety or avoid public scrutiny.
The effects of terrorism, localised discrimination or middle-eastern wars are so wide-spread and accepted as normal in this day and age it’s no wonder our evolutionary process has slowed in its tracks. Our intellect is poisoned by our emotional drive to avoid those people and activities that are different from us. Naturally it’s easy to assume that a change in perception will ultimately inspire correction in our global attitudes, but realism must be adopted.
Good vibes and peace and love sentiments from a small percentage don’t incite change, but in saying that, when the human race decides to stop believing that the individual has the power to make a real difference; to change perceptions and recalibrate government powers for the greater good, we will really see the effects of war and terrorism. Why? Because it means that we no longer care and that is simply unacceptable.