September 27, 2023

Child soldier picture courtesy of Iranwire

By Ahmet Abdulaziz….

Just think of a situation where territorial disputes between two neighbouring countries, lead to a full fledged war between them, and that war continues for around eight years, at the enormous loss of valued human lives. Yes, I am talking about the Iran-Iraq war, that continued from 1980 till 1988, when the two countries ultimately agreed to finish it.

The eight years war led to an almost “no win” situation for both of the countries, as far as the territories are concerned. But on the other side, over a million people had lost their lives. The financial losses of both these countries were disastrous for their economies.

I was in my twenties, in those days, and do remember war proceedings, as reported in the press. Over passage of time I have forgotten most of the details of that long war. But what I have not forgotten is “The Human Wave Attacks”.

At a particular stage of the war, Iran had introduced the “Human Wave Attacks” technique into the war. This technique refers to the technique of sending huge number of untrained or very slightly trained infantry volunteers, to a frontal attack on the enemy, with the idea of over-run or over-whelm the enemy just because of massive numbers of the persons involved in the attack.

The “Human Wave Attacks” usually lead to heavy loss of human lives, since the attackers are mostly untrained. That was exactly what had happened in that particular war. At one stage of the war, Iran had started not only sending the untrained civilian volunteers, but also underage young boys into the attacks on the enemy.

Over 34 years have passed since the Iran-Iraq war has ended, but I still cannot forget the photographs of under-age Iranian boys, going to the war front, facing almost certain death.

During 1960s I had seen the photographs of Vietnamese children running to save themselves from the napalm bombs. I still have those photographs saved in my memory. Along with those Vietnamese children I have photographs in my mind of the Iranian underage boys going out to face certain death. Both these two sets of photographs, I always keep them in a “no to war” group, since I do not want to see many more human lives lost in wars like this.

The cost of war Vietnam

Unfortunately, my belief in world peace, and my slogan of “No to war”, has not made any impact anywhere. The world has seen too much bloodshed in various parts of the world, just because some people are more interested in killing other human beings. These are the people, who can give too many reasons, to prove their right to kill.

The human history is filled with wars fought with the aim of extending the boundaries of particular areas or countries. All these wars led to killing of Innumerable numbers of people. Some lose their lives in their efforts to extend the boundaries of their homeland, whereas some give their lives while defending the same boundaries.

So I ask myself, which one is more sacred in this world ? Human life or the lines drawn on the globe, making countries boundaries?

That’s why I always advocate the idea of erasing the lines drawn on the world map, dividing the people in the name of the countries. Whereas all humans are the same, they all are the residents of and share the whole world. So why do we have to divided the world, by drawing these so called “Sacred Lines”.

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