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When will the war on terror end?

Jake turned away from the news on TV and said to Alan, “This war on terror they keep talking about. When do you think it’ll end?”

“Not in our lifetime,” Alan replied, looking up from the writing he was doing.

“Really? Why?”

“Think about it,” Alan said. “Terrorism is a result of oppression, with displaced people feeling their only choice is to fight the oppressors. The oppressors call them terrorists, while the people those terrorists are fighting for call them freedom fighters. A few hundred years ago, the English used to call the Americans ‘terrorists’, while the Americans called themselves freedom fighters and patriots. They forget their own history, you see. They won independence by engaging in acts of terrorism against the occupying force – the English. Now, the more the Americans interfere in the destiny of another nation, whether through political or military means, the more the locals of those nations will resent their actions. The more people America kills in the fight against terrorism, the more people are going to rise up and fight the American oppressors.”

“So that’s why you think it’ll never end, because as they kill terrorists, they’re just helping create new terrorists?”

Alan nodded. “The more they kill, the more their families and their fellow countrymen will take up arms to avenge their deaths. Eventually you’ll have the US fighting entire countries in their war on terrorism, as those countries take up arms to defend themselves. Look at Iraq. You have the Iraqi people themselves fighting the US, or helping their countrymen fight the US. There’s so much anti-US hatred there, because of all those Iraqis that the US kills, abuses or tortures. It’s not a fight against terrorism any more, it’s a fight to suppress the entire country.

“Look at Israel and Lebanon. It’s not a fight against the Hezbollah, it’s an invasion and suppression of the Lebanese country. When it’s the people of the country that are taking up terrorism to free themselves from oppression, then the only solution is to destroy the country. The war on terror is actually a war against every country that refuses to aid or support the US and its allies.”

“Well, here in New Zealand, we don’t aid or support the US….”

“Don’t we? How much of our goods do we trade with the US? Sheep, and livestock, and even dairy products. We aid the US by helping to sustain them. They need us, just like we need them – that’s how trade works. But if we decided to cut all trade in protest, and we decided to actively complain about their actions, even if we weren’t actively supporting the ‘terrorists’, the US would claim we were. You remember the words of Bush: ‘If you’re not with us, then you’re with them.’ New Zealand becomes a terrorist-supporting country in the eyes of the US, and then we’re considered terrorists ourselves if we support our government’s stance. Terrorism is simply what those in control say it is, usually against those that resent the control of the oppressors.”

“So the only solution really, for us, is to support the US and avoid supporting other terrorist-supporting countries?”

“That’s not a solution,” Alan replied. “That’s hiding your head in the sand and hoping that ‘the bad thing’ doesn’t see you. The only real solution is for the world to change its state of being into one of love, instead of fear and retaliation. But that’s not going to happen.” Alan smiled.

“Why not? Wasn’t it Ghandi and Martin Luther King that started movements towards that end?”

“Sure, and they’re dead – assassinated, even – and the world’s worse off than it used to be. The world doesn’t want peace and love. It wants violence and chaos. Most people exist in a state of fear, and all they want is to be protected from their fear. Fear breeds violence, and that’s the way things are. The best we can do is seek peace in our own lives. There are countries in this world where peace exists. Those that want it will gravitate towards those countries. Those that don’t, will gravitate towards war. It doesn’t matter whether it’s world war two or even three – somewhere, there will be a country untouched by war, and that’s where the peaceful people will be.”

“But every country is touched by war….”

“Sure, just like us. But are you engaging in violence? Is violence being perpetrated against you or someone you know, as a result of war?”

“Well, no…”

“Exactly. We are at peace, and that’s the way I like it.” Alan smiled.

“Back to the war on terror….”

Alan chuckled. “Sure. I think it’ll never end, because terrorism and the fight against it only feeds itself. The more it’s fought, the stronger it’ll get. It can never end, UNLESS the US and its allies cease all foreign policy interventions, and foreign wars and occupations. And I think that’s less likely than everyone in the world existing in a state of love. But all that matters to me is that I exist in a state of love towards those around me. We create peace individually, and we spread that peace to those we interact with, and that’s how we have a peaceful life.”

“But what about the snowball effect? The more people that practice peace, the more likely peace becomes?”

“This planet is a playground for us to experience all kinds of different games in,” Alan said. “There is no experience that can’t be had on this planet. Everything you can think of is here. It’s simply a playground, and us children will play, and play all kinds of games. We’re here because of what we can experience. We create it because we want to. It’ll always be that way.”

Jake nodded, thinking about that, and returned to watch the games on the news.

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