Opinion
Opinion: Towards a World without Weapons
Friday, September 19, 2014

September 11, 2014, is the 13th anniversary of the terrorists attack (September 11, 2001) on the World Trade Center in New York, USA, popularly known as nine eleven (9/11).  

This year is also the 100th anniversary (centenary) of the First World War, WW1. 
It is a fitting occasion for me to introduce the case for the abolition of firearms and all other weapons of murder and destruction in the world. A careful appraisal of violence in the world since 2001 would render plausible the suggestion that the Third World War, WW3, has, surreptitiously, been going on, piecemeal, without formal declaration, since the dawn of the 3rd Millennium. By the time this fact is recognised and openly admitted, it may be too late to save human civilisation as we have known it, given that only viruses could hope to survive a full unleashing of all the destructive weapons currently available in the world. 
This call for the abolition of ALL weapons on earth may be considered a tall order from an insignificant voice, in view of the complicity of the richest and most powerful nations on earth, let alone the distributive networks of middle men (and women?) of all countries, in the manufacture and distribution of weapons as a highly profitable economic activity.
But the call is reasonable, do-able, and the only means ever to ensure sustainable peace on earth. It is, in fact, quite surprising that the many people and organisations, such as the United Nations Organisation, UNO, that work for peace on earth, either do not seem to realise this or keep quiet over the matter for some other reason. 
Were it not for the easy availability of sophisticated weapons, how would a group of semi-literates like Boko Haram, absurdly calling for the abolition of education, have taken hostage an African country we thought as powerful and promising as Nigeria? Because they have guns, they kill and kill and kill, indiscriminately, in a most senseless manner, in open markets, churches, mosques, camps, towns, villages. Before their onslaught, the Nigerian army, which we thought one of the most powerful on the African continent, runs and hides in a most cowardly manner.
What coherent or even incoherent ideology could possibly justify such indiscriminate killing and destruction? None, other than the mere fact of having the weapons, whose aim and raison d’être is killing. Were it not for the guns, ordinary Nigerians of good will would long have wrestled Boko Haram in their courtyards and open fields to shameful submission.  It is needless enumerating Boko Haram’s other partners and counterparts around the globe. Their modus operandi is the same and their common crime is wanton destruction of innocent human lives.
Every human life is valuable, sacred if you like, simply by virtue of being a human life and particular human life is more or less valuable/sacred than any other. If we pay attention only to this fact, it is an alarming scandal the number of human lives, let alone completely innocent ones, that are being destroyed on a daily basis in the most brutal manner all around the globe today. There should be no double standards of appreciation here. You did not have to wait until two American journalists were brutally slaughtered to be shocked into taking action. 
It is hard to imagine anything worse than, say, opening indiscriminate machine gun fire in a village market or dropping a bomb which snuffs the life out of children excitedly, obliviously playing in the courtyard or on the beach. Our rationality should move us into attempting to solve the problem from its very roots. And we have not got to the roots of the problem until we address the fabrication and distribution of the weapons which make such atrocities possible.
The reasons are unfathomable why some human beings get mad to the extent of being convinced, let alone obsessed, that their continued existence, let alone well being, depends on annihilating other human beings. Our collective human wisdom may not have found an answer to the problem of madness, individual and collective, but it should lead us, at least, to attempt limiting the harm that mad people can cause by abolishing the making and distribution of weapons whose one and only reason for being is destroying life and property. For this to happen, the war mentality and posturing of the really powerful nations of the world needs to change into one for peace, under the realisation that real security in the modern world is not possible as long as any part of it is or feels insecure. 
A transformed United Nations Organisation, UNO, would be in a good position to push for and to ensure such ideology and mentality in the world. The most powerful nation in the world would greatly help in this regard but it is sad to note that the USA seems irremediably fixated on the security and well being of America and Americans as opposed to the rest of the world. President Barrack Obama, in 2008, triumphantly rode into the White House on the waves of anti-war sentiments. Today, two years away from the end of his second and final term in office, but for the absence of boots on the ground (American boots, that is), he is the champion of all belligerent war-mongers of America and its war satellites.


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