Friday, February 28, 2014

One hundred years after the war to end wars, a harrowing image

Some pictures convey more than others. The following picture, published around the world (locally, here) conveys the plight of many Syrians caught up in a war, seemingly without end in sight, which threatens death everywhere. If not from a bullet or shell, then from starvation and disease. The scene could be from somewhere in Europe during the forced famines of Stalin's USSR, or the movement of refugees somewhere in Europe in WW2. But here it is, in the one hundredth year after the beginning of the war people thought would end all wars.

May God have mercy on us all and hear the cries of the poor.


carl jacobs said...

Short of armed intervention, there is literally nothing that can be done. The only way to fix this would be to invade in force, suppress the warring factions, seize control, and govern as a colonizer. But if you do that, the very people you sought to help will turn on you as soon as their immediate needs are met. They won't thank you. They will curse you for ruling them - or more precisely - for not giving them the reigns of power and leaving.

The Turks have the power to stop it. They have not seen fit to do so. The Israelis have the power to stop it. They would be insane to try. The US has the power to stop it. But Iraq has put paid to any such idea. The other western powers are too weak to make the attempt even in the collective. Who else? There is no one. So you are left with pictures. And aid that will always be pitifully inadequate to the need. It's going to get worse. Much worse.

If you want to effect righteousness in the world, you must create the power to enforce your will, and you must generate the will to use that power. You must seek out the oppressor and press your boot against his throat until he begs to be allowed to breathe. You must put him in chains, and cave in his skull with an iron rod if he dares again to raise his hand against you. No pacifism in that. Rather the willingness to kill. Are we willing to effect such a response?

The emotional response to the picture is itself meaningless. We can empathize. We can imagine the distress. We can give money to some faceless organization that cannot operate for fear of the carnage. But if at the end there is nothing but the plaintive assetion that "Someone should do something" then it was
all for nothing. Because there is no 'someone' anywhere who is willing to do anything that would actually work. That is the reality behind the tragedy and the sorrow.

It's hard to live in a world of evil men. Remember when you see the hoards of refugees that if you cannot do anything for those people, you have to power to protect your own from a similar fate. With that we shall have to be satisfied.


Andrei said...

They tell us the world is getting safer, and that less are dying in wars and famines than ever before

5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:

6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.

8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

Meanwhile the Godless, Western Empire is spreading its tentacles like a necrotic tumour, peddling vice as virtue while people are selling their birthrights, replacing their culture and heritage with trash TV watched in high definition with six channels of surround sound.

How many of you know in which temple our political leaders of all stripes gathered for worship the
Sunday before last?

Bryden Black said...

This link is to a lecture by NT Wright entitled, "What Gods Do We Believe in Now?"

It follows nicely after Andrei's post: