Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 12:46:29 PM EST
N.B. I originally wrote this dairy over two years ago, during the war between Israel and Lebanon. As was the case then, it is true that I have my sympathies, that I have my views and opinions about who holds responsibility for what. I've expressed them elsewhere. This diary is not about that. This diary is not about who is right and who is wrong. It is not about who is to blame. It is about the visceral disgust I have in response to all war. It's about the innocent victims of other people's decisions. A civilian is not more or less dead depending upon the nationality of the bomb that hits them, depending upon the "rightness" or "wrongness" of the army that takes their life.
Also, because this diary was inspired by the I/P conflict, not everything in it is applicable to the current situation in South Ossetia, my inspiration for re-posting it. However, enough of it is. Especially Devon Street and West Rogers Park, which was where most of the Russian, Ukrainian and other immigrants from the Soviet Union I tutored during the 90's lived. Together. In peace.
I. Don't. Care.
It's true. Maybe it is outrage fatigue. But I don't think so. I read a nice diary on kos with all the historical maps. I didn't care. Maybe war just drains me. But I don't think so. I still have the energy to go to protests and vigils and write my reps. It might be that it's so far away from my reality. But I don't think so. I mean, I'm just a little obsessed with what goes on in Russia.
I don't care who is right and who is wrong because there is nothing in the world to justify what has happened this week.
There is a neighborhood in Chicago called Rogers Park. Walk down streets like Devon Avenue and you won't hear any English spoken. You will hear Russian, Urdu, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic... You'll see mosques and temples and churches. It is the most vibrant neighborhood in the city, and Jews live next door to Palestinians who live across the street from Pakistanis whose children play with Hindus. These are not well-off, highly educated, totally assimilated people. They are mostly just off the proverbial boat. But they seem to realize they are all in it together. People from all over come to study this neighborhood because it defies all the laws of the universe. People. Getting along.
We've all been wronged.
We've all had loved ones ripped from our lives.
We'd all like to live wherever we want to.
We all want to live without worrying about being bombed.
We all have a loved one who has endured genocide, racism or oppression.
We all believe we are right.
Those of us who believe that our being right gives us permission to sacrifice another person's child are evil.
End of story. Don't care where you live, where you worship, what happened to your people a 100 years ago. Don't care. I don't have any interest in your grievances.
We all have choices in life. We can educate, or promote ignorance. Reach out, or build walls. Live together or annihilate. Accept humility or prove our might. Be decent or be ugly.
~Anyone who tells you they have no choice but to drop a bomb is lying to you.
~Anyone who tells you god wants them to have your home is lying to you.
~Anyone who tells you they are incapable of living with someone of a certain race or religion is lying to you.
~Anyone who tells you that the only path to peace is war is lying to you.
I'm rather sick of watching people die because of these lies. Darfur, Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, etc, etc... I don't know what to do about it. But the first thing I am going to do is stop being afraid to call out the liars. Label me an anti-Semite, anti-Muslim, anti-Russian, anti-American. I Don't Care. Then I'm going to raise my standards. If the Jews, Muslims, Christians and Hindus down the freaking street can live in peace, the rest of the world has no fucking excuse. None.
That's why I don't care who did what first or who was where why. Because these have become discussions that serve only one purpose, to undermine peace and strip us of our shared humanity. The world is on fire because it is easier to live in the past than build a future. Because it is easier to find our differences than our commonalities. Because it is easier to appear civilized by forcing other people to live like animals than by cultivating our own minds and souls. Because it is easier to kill someone than negotiate.
Tell me what you are doing to build a better future, to celebrate our shared humanity, to cultivate your higher sensitivities, to challenge your current way of seeing the world, and I will happily listen. But why is there war? I Don't Care. There is no reason valid enough for me to waste my time listening to it.
Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and feel differently. But that's not the point.
The point is that there are children who won't wake up tomorrow, or ever again.