When Will We Hear the Moaning?

May 27, 2009

Every time the US imposes military force in another country, either on the ground or from the air, whether covertly or overtly, our nation is violating international laws and increasing the rage of people everywhere against us. This is foolish for it almost guarantees that we will be targets, sooner or later, of enraged “retail” terrorism from aggrieved people who have few options for addressing the structural injustices being inflicted upon them. It is also cruel, as it violates the fundamental, practical principle of treating others in a way that you yourself would like to be treated. Empathy and mutual respect are indispensable for assuring a safe and secure world for everyone.

Every drone strike, every bombing, every ambush, causes pain and suffering to nature and its inhabitants, including people, of course. When people or other living things receive pieces of steel in their body, or incendiary particles, or are zapped by modern weapons that leave no physical scars, the victims utter sounds of pain, often heard as moaning or screaming. Imagine that happening to you, or me. It happens every day in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and wherever else the US has inserted military operations. We do not know these people, and have no beef against them. But if we were to truly know our history as a nation and the number of times and manner in which our policies have affected them, we would understand why they might have a beef with us.

Listen carefully and see if you can hear the moaning, and attempt to identify where in your own body, your viscera, you feel that person’s pain. The moaning is everyone’s. If you can get in touch with this moaning, respond in the way your inner human spirit suggests to alleviate the pain behind the moaning. We are all one, and it is in that recognition that promises, if anything does, our salvation as a species.


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