In Afghanistan, one of the theaters in the U.S.-led war on terror, children are far more afraid of "ghosts" than "bombings and sounds of explosions" or "men carrying guns," according to a survey by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
I wrote in this column some time ago about a Tokyo nonprofit organization that asked those children to draw pictures of ghosts. Among them were charred human remains and bloody corpses, some with bones and internal organs exposed. Crudely drawn by young hands, the gruesome images were hard to look at. The war has worked its way into the souls of those children through their five senses.
As if the Afghan quagmire isn't enough, Syria is in flames, too. The nation is in a state of civil war, and children are not only being traumatized, but also slaughtered. The sight of their small bodies littering scenes of carnage makes me want to disbelieve my own eyes.
A civilian militia known as Shabiha, supplied with weapons by the Bashar Al-Assad regime, has been linked to a series of massacres. I understand that the word "shabiha" can translate as "ghosts," but the members are all flesh-and-blood human beings, of course, despite their inhuman deeds.
But the Syrian army is no less depraved. According to reports by the United Nations, the army used children as human shields when attacking dissidents in northern Syria in March. Young boys and girls were placed in the window seats of buses carrying the soldiers. The army's utter moral decrepitude stinks to high heaven.
Predictably, the U.N. Security Council is useless. Russia is selling weapons to the Al-Assad regime and China is supporting the dictatorship. These two countries clearly have their own agendas while keeping their heads buried in the sand.
Isn't there any way to protect these innocent children? It is pure nightmare that their young lives are being destroyed by the superpowers' self-serving "justice." This reality is just too brutal and tragic for any decent human being to take.
--The Asahi Shimbun, June 25
* * *
Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a popular daily column that takes up a wide range of topics, including culture, arts and social trends and developments. Written by veteran Asahi Shimbun writers, the column provides useful perspectives on and insights into contemporary Japan and its culture.
- « Prev
- Next »