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How Can We Stop The Killing?

Posted by spritzophrenia on November 3, 2010

Yesterday I couldn’t write. The violence of the world sickened me, and I was in shock.

In the news is the story of 58 people killed in a Baghdad church by attackers who systematically shot them, and detonated explosives when the security forces tried to free them. If that wasn’t enough, today scores more are killed in markets and workplaces by ten car bombs.

I’m so sick of the violence and evil of fanatics. They kill Muslims, Jews, Christians, Atheists, and even themselves.

The thing is, this is not new. Violence, death and hate have been going on for decades centuries, in many places around the world. I don’t know why the news yesterday affected me so much, but it did.

Muslims and Christians chant anti-terrorist slogans during a funeral of slain Christians in Baghdad, from here.

We can argue about whether religion ’causes’ this kind of violence, as some do. I think it’s a little more nuanced than that. “It’s all being blamed on the failure of Iraqi politicians to agree on the formation of a government”, according to Rawya Rageh, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Baghdad. Politics, not (just) religion. (For those interested, there’s evidence Al-Quaeda only grew in Iraq AFTER the invasion by Western forces)

But that’s not what concerns me here. Mostly, I just need time to grieve.

I could write a long piece analysing this and that, trying to create the definitive statement for peace. But in the end, others have done it far better than I and there’s really not much more to say. All of us hate the killing of innocents.

For me, the bigger question is: What can I do? How can I stop it? Can anyone tell me?

Here’s a few ideas:
* Join an organisation which works to bring peace. (Which one? Do they do any good?)
* Nuke Iraq out of existence (Military “solutions”.)
* Use my skills as a writer to change the world. (*cough*)

To repeat something I said on Crystal’s blog: I know that love is more important than belief. Sadly, I don’t know how that will ever get through to fanatics.


What do you think we can do?
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10 Responses to “How Can We Stop The Killing?”

  1. No ideas yet? I guess being confronted with horror is hard for anyone. Several US friends weren’t even aware of this as coverage of the US elections masked it.

    In a world of hatred, disappointment and violence I’m glad you’re here. There ARE good things happening, and people who choose peace. I don’t know how good will prevail, but let’s not give up hope.


  2. SugarPop said

    I read about this in yesterday’s paper – it took up the full lower half of the first page of the World section in Wellington, New Zealand’s Dominion Post. My heart caught in my mouth when I read it.

    Whatever you choose to do will make a difference…
    Are you concerned with the size and power of your impact?
    Does that matter?

    I read somewhere, a long time ago, about someone walking along a beach who came upon a great mass of starfish that had washed up. There was a woman diligently picking up one starfish at a time and placing them gently back into the ocean – a seemingly trivial and insurmountable job given the multitude of stranded starfish. Upon enquiring of the woman why she was even bothering – it didn’t really appear to be making a difference to the scene on the beach. The woman replied that it was making a huge difference to the few starfish she was able to touch.

    Do you want to save the world?
    Do you want to know that what you do makes a difference in the places that you hope to?

    I know I haven’t offered you anything concrete to do, but I do hope that in some way this helps you find a way to meaningfully contribute to stopping the killing of innocents.

    • Thankyou. You’ve raised a very good point, and I suppose (in my ego) I do want to save the world, and know that I’ve made a difference.

      Very thought-provoking, thanks.

      • meryl333 said

        A few things come to mind when I have my own feelings of horror, grief and dread at the many forms of fear, hatred and violence plays out in the world. This starfish story is so apt. When looking back in history, there have always been those who are primarily motivated by desire (lust) for power/money. They create a great deal of unhappiness for others. I’ve been pushing the boulder uphill in fights for social justice and freedom for as long as I can remember.

        I feel like the woman who rowed the Atlantic. In frustration for yet another unbelievably, treacherous, life-threatening obstacle, she finally got down on her knees on the deck an asked God for forgiveness for her helplessness against it and for her helplessness in protecting her brother from harm and all the people she sought to serve as a minister in the downtrodden neighborhoods.

        We do what we can. Starting with ourselves and with everyone we connect with. We do what is in front of us to do with our particular abilities. Like the woman with the starfish. Great story. Thanks for reminding me.

  3. […] How Can We Stop The Killing? […]

  4. leesis said

    The most important thing we can do Jon is ensure that in our own behaviour there is no hint of domination through violence and that we set that standard in our own world…ie walk our talk.

    For me a terrorist act brings the same tears to my eyes as does as a teenager I recently saw violently treated by his father, a friend I had, who got drunk and died in a violent episode with a man he was jealous of. Its the woman who loses her temper and swipes at her kid. And its the man I saw verbally abuse and demean another adult in the post office all in front of his six year old son. Its the young gays getting bashed oh and on and on…

    It is not just these religous radicals that use violence as a form of intimidation. it is a large amount of the you and me’s. I think Ghandi got it right with acknowledging we have to be the change we want to see. Beyond that I’m with Sugarpop…you do what you can do and accept both your amazing potential to change the world and the fact you can’t change anyone but you.

    And may I say hun with love…sometimes its not that a subject is too hard for someone but that sometimes it takes time. Ive had Iains post ‘living compassionately’ on my mind ever since he posted it but havent responded yet because I havent formulated my thoughts well enough to write them down. I loved this post Jon…it was real and heart felt…the best kind :).

    • Lydia said

      I agree with Leesis about it taking time. I’m still mulling over my response. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Leesa.

      I knew I was being provocative when I wrote it, asking questions and not providing too many answers.

      On one level, it sometimes feels that there aren’t any answers. And I think I’m ok with that as an “answer”.

      I totally agree… it starts with me, and with our relationships here. I have believed for many years that the root of war is the same as violent arguments in our homes.


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