Four Rooms
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2003-03-05 02:17:01 (UTC)

A Meditation on War

The other day I turned on the television, and on
nearly every news station that I turned to, I saw news
about the war, or the “Showdown with Saddam,” as the media
likes to call it. While many countries protest a war with
Iraq, such as France, Germany, and Turkey, a few countries
see a need for one. This dispute has caused much hostility
among people of this country, and the world. The American
government claims, despite the United Nations’ weapons
inspectors finding no evidence, that Saddam Hussein
has “weapons of mass destruction,” and he needs to be
stopped “by any means necessary.” I’m not sure if Saddam
Hussein does have weapons that don’t follow the UN
guidelines, but I do know that he is evil and wants little
more than power and wealth. There have been a good number
of prisoners who escaped Iraq and were able to tell their
story of torture. We saw the news stories on how no one
has opposed Saddam Hussein in an election, and that these
elections do not have secret ballots. With war comes
death; with death comes sorrow. Everyone knows how it
feels to lose a loved one; tens of thousands of people die
everyday. As each person dies, we are all affected in some
way. As John Donne said in Meditation 17, “No man is an
island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the
continent, a part of the main." Just as Donne’s statement
was true in the 1600s, it is still true to this day.

Each human has a connection to every other person.
When two airplanes struck the World Trade Center on
September 11th, not only were the people in New York hurt,
but people all over the world felt the sadness and pain
that Americans did. I remember the Christmas of 2001, my
brother- and sister-in-laws had just returned from the
United Kingdom. They told me that whenever they said they
were Americans, the citizens would apologize for such a
tragedy happening. Three thousand people, each with
families and friends of their own, is a great many people
to lose. In 1991, after the Persian Gulf War, the United
States had estimated that 100,000 Iraqi soldiers had been
killed in action, not to mention the many Iraqi civilians,
including women and children, killed during bombings of
Iraqi cities. Each of these families mourned the loss of
their loved ones. The spouses, children, and parents of the
dead cried. Another war would cause many more families,
both Iraqi and American, to lose their loved ones, some of
which have already suffered during the Persian Gulf War.
Every culture and country has known war, though some more
than others. People all over the world know the effects of
war, and many have seen the effects first hand. Because of
this, the prospect of war causes a lot of trepidation
throughout the world.

The leaders of the United States have not given
sufficient proof to the American people, and to the world,
that a war with Iraq is necessary. To unjustifiably attack
a country is a profanation of the people of that country’s
basic human rights. Our forefathers developed the Bill of
Rights to guarantee the American people the basic human
rights that all people should enjoy. The sixth amendment
to the Bill of Rights guarantees those accused of a crime
the right to a swift and fair trial. If that is a basic
human right, why can’t we extend that right to others?