Sat, 12 Apr 2003

Things never be the same again JP/7/DAILY

Things never be the same again

Ershad Khandker The Daily Star Asia News Network Dhaka

In medieval times one kingdom was hardly ever secured. The fear of being attacked and run over by another state was constant. The one way a ruler could feel safe was to eliminate all other nearby states by conquering and turning them to vassals. We have read of the conquests of the Moguls, of Charlemagne and Alexander of wars and conquests that happened so many hundreds of years back.

We could not imagine that the world would ever see medieval times again. An army has moved in and laid waste another nation simply because the leader of conquering army decided to wage war.

The world expressed a desire, after the world wars and millions of casualties, to try to put an end to wars. This utopian dream was the basis of the League of Nations and its successor the United Nations. Unfortunately, many conflicts have taken place after that desire was expressed. But in all instances of conflict in the era of the birth of the United Nations, the world saw a need to go to war, only because a greater disaster was looming if preventive measures were not taken.

The human race, with all its shortcomings was trying and succeeding to show a humane and just face. If there was injustice, then there was a crying desire to make amends and try to help the needy by going after the bad guys, collectively. In came someone, already well known for a lack of proper judgment and knowledge of the world, and changed everything.

The biggest casualty in this war is the loss of the anguished but justified sentiment.We could always say that, we are just humans, and prone to make mistakes. Whenever the dust settled, the human race showed a commitment to change and make the world a better and safer place. That was what set us apart and gave us hope.

The worst causality in this war in Iraq has been the loss of that collective conscience that the world and humanity held dear. We have heard different other nations and people asking, who's next? Meaning, who would be the next conqueror and the conquered?

The war will end and the reconstruction of Iraq would be started. We have already come to know that USAID has been given the over all charge of rebuilding Iraq. American companies will now make money by doing business on Iraq. Contracts could be awarded to American companies to rebuild the same cities that their own army destroyed. If this is not medieval in its shamelessness, than what is?

It is hard to believe that George W. Bush does not know the very real threat that this conquest of his would bring to the U.S. citizens all over the world and potentially, within the U.S. It is conceivable that someone may decide that something has to be done to cause America harm and avenge the deaths of the Iraqis. The world knows that, and the Americans themselves have said so as much. If that is true, then one fails to see how Bush has made his own country safer, much less the world.

The conquest of Iraq, with all its blood and tears, leaves a scar in the history of this great nation that would never be healed. An Iraqi would always know that, his people died because two nations decided to invade his nation. That irrevocable loss of pride has to have a price, and Bush may very well have made his own nation hostage to that costly loss.