The situation is full of ironies
Stabroek News
October 3, 2001

Dear Editor,

As the peoples of America and Afghanistan, and indeed the world, brace for confrontation, one cannot help ponder over some of life's ironies.

An armada of American military might has moved into the staging areas, as options are weighed and plans to strike finalized. At the same time, food supplies from this country form part of the relief effort directed at that wretched sea of humanity - the Afghan refugees. The sword in one hand, a tablespoon in the other.

In addition, religion is subtly taking on a life of its own. The terrorists - known or unidentified - have parlayed their actions into `declarations of jihad.' This from a religion that has peace, and the sanctity of human life among its more sacred tenets. Perhaps the leaders of those responsible, dream of emulating the exploits of Babur the Tiger and Saladin. In the meantime, the United States has denounced the evildoers and the President has assured the nation that God is on our side. On every occasion, stirring renditions of `God Bless America' have graced the airwaves.

If my jihad is holy, what does that make you? As God blesses this wonderful land, where does that leave your expanse of sand?

Whatever the answers, war - whether of an unconventional or hitherto unfamiliar variety - will be fought for the perpetuation of peace, in search of peace, and in the name of the Prince of Peace.

Recall the pictures of those holding the snapshots of `missing' loved ones for the camera's eye, and an inner cry is wrenched for the hope that springs eternal. Then reconcile those memories with the images of turbanned men, shrouded women, and forlorn children as they trek towards a frontier of no hope.

Men have unleashed the dogs of war. They howl not for rice, but for the blood of innocents. When has it not been this way?

Yours faithfully,

GHK Lall