Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Little Progress and Too Many People Failing

Now that we have remembered this Memorial Day Weekend those who have given their lives for us, I am reminded of this quote by the late Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, who once said:

"We see lasting discord, even wars in the world, little reconciliation, little progress and too many people failing. And with all of this there is a frightening lack of respect for each other's life and well-being, of all life on earth, that is visible again and again in dozens of terrifying shapes.

"However, all of this is no cause for surprise in a world inhabited by four billion egoists, all of them inclined to fancy themselves to be the focus point of the world."

The quote is from the seventies. But the violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor, Palestine and Kashmir is today and was around over 25 years ago when this quote was written. It just goes on and on. And young men and women in military forces around the world die or are maimed because of it.

My wife and I had been guests at an Indian mission attached to the UN in 2002. I mentioned in conversation that I had once been in Kashmir and found it to be really beautiful. A young Indian boy, about 16 years old, suddenly brightened and turned to me and asked, "Worth fighting for, isn't it?" He was referring to the 59 year old Indian-Pakistani conflict over Kashmir.

As Juliana said, "...little progress and too many people failing."--Walter Haan, www.war-books.com


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