I’ve been writing about Yemen in a few blogs, and I can’t seem to let it go. I’ve been holding on to Yemen because I HATE war. Sound strange? Yemen had already experienced an ugly transformation when I was there in 2008, but now it’s even worse, thus it’s on my mind. I keep wondering if any of these people are still alive?
Young brother and sister at a restaurant where we ate in the countryside of Yemen.
Is it possible to imagine a worse insanity than war? There isn’t a war that ever brought peace. Wars aren’t imagined by those who end up dying in them. They’re created by powers, governments, leaders who somehow convince those that die that they’re dying for right, whatever that might be at the time. The only war I’m aware of that had to be fought was WW II, otherwise we would all be fascists today. Now only some of us are. I suspect John Quincy Adams was the last (and perhaps only) U.S. president who understood diplomacy versus war. It’s even possible the American Revolution could have been resolved that way, but that’s inventive conjecture.
A young Yemeni boy.
My heart goes out to the Yemeni, Afghani, Syrian (and so many more) refugees because those that flee are fleeing just that: the stupidity, cruelty, insanity of war. When I was expressing my personal sorrow about this to a friend here, she looked at me almost in anger. Basically she said, why aren’t you crying for the homeless right here, those that work 2 or 3 jobs just to manage a small life, right here in front of your eyes?
Yet, I wonder if these young men still have food to eat and can laugh about anything.
I understand this. It isn’t that I am blind to those, but I see the world from a variety of vantage points. There are so many issues facing us, one is tempted to be the proverbial ostrich.
A cheerful worker at the fish market in Sana’a.
I recently re-read a marvelous novel by Ahdef Souief, The Map of Love. On one level it is a love story, but it is so much more. You will learn much about Egypt and the evils of colonialism and what we are reaping from that today, but you will also be captivated by the fictional characters and understand the historic ones better. I mention it here for this reason—one of the characters says during a complex discussion: “You know, your government, all the Americans I meet are good people, but your government’s foreign policy is so bad. It’s not good, you know, for a country to be hated by so many people.” Yes, we experienced this same sentiment as we sailed for ten years around the world. For us, it was during G.W. Bush’s presidency.
So I will leave Yemen, war, and, the fate of the world’s refugees.
Next time, The Revenant: An Opposition View