War for peace


Every day that I am here I wonder what I am fighting for. I used to believe that we are here so that the people of this country can live the kind of life that those of us in the West take for granted. They called it a battle for peace. After three years, I dont know if thats what it is.

I have done my part. But somehow it feels like its not enough. It never will be. Men are still dying without reason. Women are still subjected to inhumane and sexist practices. Children still grow up fearful of each new day. How is it that even after thousands and thousands of lives are sacrificed, no real progress can be seen?

I hesitate to point out the futility of war because I am a soldier. I voluntarily signed up to serve my country in the hope and belief of making even just a tiny difference in one persons life, in one part of the world. But to this day, I cannot validate that the purpose of this war is truly for what they say it is.

Ive seen friends die in combat and revered as heroes, rightly so. They sacrificed their lives so that others may live. But when can it be said that the cost of war is too much? Thousands upon thousands of lives have been lost, which leads to thousands of families who must grieve for loved ones who did not have to die.

Did he die in vain?
Did he die in vain?

Its ironic to proclaim that were fighting for peace when part of seeking peace is violence and warfare. What solution can we really derive from killing innocent lives, from torturing soldiers, and from spending billions of dollars on guns and other instruments of murder? It is not right to say we are fighting for peace when we use arms to defend it.

Peace. In these last couple of years the true meaning of the word has eluded me. I lay awake at night wondering how we can achieve peace when we spend so much time averting its arrival. How can peace become a reality when we do not give it a chance to manifest itself?

The constant fighting is unnecessary. In fact, initiating war to achieve peace is nonsensical. In the Bible, humans are advised to turn the other cheek, to love thy neighbours as thyself, and to treat others the way we want to be treated. Granted, not everyone in this world is religious, but nonetheless the principle behind such teachings is applicable to everyone who seeks peace. The only way it can be attained is if we dont reciprocate wrongdoing.

It breaks my heart that something so simple is so difficult to achieve. Peace is not an illusion. It is not an elusive ideal when we realize that it is only a matter of being content with what we have and treating everyone with respect and fairness.

The root of warfare is not the search for peace. It is driven by a desire for revenge, a power struggle to dominate others and to conquer new lands. If only we can be satisfied with our share of this world, then maybe, just maybe, peace wouldnt be such a challenging goal to achieve.

I dont think it is a lot to ask that our world be safe for children to grow up. It is not much to ask that personal vendettas be set aside for the common good. And it is certainly not asking for much to preserve lives that dont need to be lost.

At the base of any relationship is compromise. To make something work, to make global relationships work, we all have to sacrifice a little something. In this world, peace can be only achieved if everyone is just a little more selfless. That is not a lot to ask for. But peace is worth all the effort we can muster. I am a soldier but I dont kill. I am