Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Blogging For Peace

I have signed Jouljet up to the One Million Blogs For Peace site, in the growing push to end to the war in Iraq.

As part of this membership, as one of the million (so far there are 217), there will be challenges set, and also a regular Tuesday Topic set for discussion. The aim is to get the blog world, and indeed the world talking about, thinking about, and hopeful doing something about ending the war in Iraq.

Today's topic, being the launch of the Tuesday Topic, is centered around the marking of the date, the 20th of March, being the start of the fifth year of the Alliance lead war in Iraq. Four years ago on St Patrick's Day, George W declared war on Iraq, and the 20th was when the first shots were fired.

Since then roughly 65000 Iraqi civilians and 3477 Coalition military have been killed in this war, more US deaths than occured on 9/11/2001, (numbers depends on what source you read), with claims that this toll is higher than that of Saddam's brutality, and yet today in The Age, our Prime Minister John Howard is quoted as stating that Australia will continue to 'stand firm' and that he is 'reaffirming our committment to the Iraq war'. Meanwhile the Opposition leads the opinion polls, with a major drive to pull out troops out of Iraq, and with the plea for a solution to the ongoing conflict, and occupation.

Four years ago, when this war began, I had just returned from Cambodia. Dazed and in reverse culture shock at being back home, I watched the news reporting the commencement of this new blight on peace.

As I was preparing to leave, and farewelling my Khmer friends, news of the imminent start of this new world battle was being discussed. So many of my Khmer friends, who so vividly remember the horrors of war torn Kampuchea, and the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge, were asking me how was it that my country's government was so keen to embark on a new war? When the world knows over and over, how war effects people?

How could anyone answer that?

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