A Decade of Division

A Decade of Division

Ten years pass, and still I imagine what life in Iraq might have been like on March 18th, 2003; I wonder about the millions of people waiting on the edge of a war they could not escape. What must it be like to take that deep breath before a siege, to take a final snapshot of an ancient society before it is yet again ravaged? But what is most heart aching is imaging the hundreds of thousands of lives subsequently sacrificed on the altar of violent imperialism, and those that continue to be lost in the dark shadow it cast. To think of how many families were ripped apart—how many suffer the mourning of a son, a daughter, a mother, or father, both in Iraq and here at home. This is the price being paid every day, but for what?

How Dick Cheney and the architects of this war can sleep at night is beyond me. But how our current government can possibly perpetuate such hostility and bloodshed… I am lost entirely. Clearly, we cannot rely on our elected officials to wage peace. Instead, peace must to be built from the bottom up. We must break down the barriers that exist to divide and conquer public opinion, control us all into fearing one another out of pure propagated ignorance. We must reject the societal indoctrination of xenophobia towards the global “other.” Such uninformed, distorted perceptions are manifested by our collective disengagement. Instead, we must actively communicate with one another, in both our own communities and among others beyond our immediate geographical reach. It is our duty as global citizens to weave together our common threads, for it is not our differences that alienate us from one another, but our individualism. We must stop building walls and start building communities of understanding; only then can we stop wondering what it’s like on the “other” side.

Kayla Rivara, Senior, Hofstra University
Program Assistant
LI Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives

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