Monday, March 13, 2006

IRAQ War - Story of an American Soldier

Recently on net, by chance I met an American Soldier who is fighting in Iraq and was on a short leave to his hometown in America. Believe me after hearing his story my heart skipped a beat. I was forced to think that what has happened to us, where are we leading to in our lives.

Initially this guy was very quite but after lot of persuasion from my side he started telling about himself. With pride, he announced to me that he is an American soldier fighting in Iraq to save his country. I asked him hiding my surprise, 'What do you mean by fighting to save America. I thought you are fighting for the liberation of people of Iraq'. He hesitantly replied, 'We are fighting to remove terrorists who can harm America'. Showing further interest, I asked him, 'How many terrorists you had killed until now'. He didn't speak for few minutes and I thought that he may be counting. Suddenly he said 'None'. I got shocked with this revelation and remained silent for sometime.

Slowly-slowly when I was able regain my composure, I told him that 'I heard you people are killing lot of terrorists and you are saying none, why?' He confessed, 'They are not sure that the people whom they killed were terrorists. They can be innocent citizens also'. I sincerely asked him, 'Do you like it' and he said 'No'. I got agitated and shouted at him, 'Then why the hell you want to go back to Iraq and fight and kill'. At that time, he dropped another bomb in our conversation.

'I want to go back because they had killed my brother. My brother died in my hands and I was not able to do anything' was his reply and even though I was sitting so far away from him, I felt his restlessness, I felt the warmth of a volcano ready to erupt and gulp everything coming its way. Still putting up a brave face after hearing his tragedy I probed further, 'Do you know who killed your brother?' He replied calmly 'No'. I asked him in frenzy, 'Then with whom you will take revenge of your brother's death'. He answered in a deep voice 'I will kill everybody'. I pressed pause button to our conversation for sometime so that both of us can come back to reality and let the overflow of sentiments pass.

After controlling my spinning head, I asked him bluntly, 'Don't you think that what you are feeling today about your brother, same way dear ones of all those people you had killed in Iraq would have felt'. He didn't reply to my question but I was sure that he is now in the turmoil of thoughts and emotions. After sometime he quitely replied,'May be but you know my 12 year old son didn't talk to me just because I was not able to bring his uncle back. Everybody in my house wants me to go back to Iraq in search of his assassin and punish him'. I said, 'Very well but if something happens to you also, do you ever want your son to grow up and go to Iraq and do the same thing for you what you are doing for your brother today'. I felt his heart cry and stream of tears flowing from his eyes. Unknowingly I had touched his weakest emotional chord.

Suddenly as if he had come to some conclusion he replied, 'No, I never want my son to go to Iraq'. And his feelings got exposed to me, which he was hiding from me with great effort. He shouted again, 'I never want my son to go to Iraq, in fact even I don't want to go back to Iraq. I am afraid that if I will go back, I will never be able to see my family again'.

After this, I tried my best to persuade him to leave the army job and do something else. I even tried to convince him that the war, which is going on, is not because of terrorism or nuclear weapons, it is actually for the control of Oil in that region but he seemed to be too lost in the twister of his own thoughts and emotions. With this, we promised to be in touch and parted ways but I was left with something to think. At that point of time, I felt that where are we going, what has happened to us, our morals, our emotions. I will not say that he was right but each and every character in his life had played their role to put him in such situation. Why each one of us are mere pawns in the hands of a system made by somebody and rules laid by somebody else, which keeps on changing for the benefit of few bureaucrats. Why can't we make our own system and live our life as per our rules, as per our happiness. I had decided in my life, I would listen only to that what my heart whispers to me..........

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