(As posted to my Gazette blog on July 18)
“Why would we do this? We’re not animals,” a pro-Russian rebel is quoted telling a journalist in Ukraine, while he and his pals scavenged through the belongings of people murdered when their Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down on Friday. (See New York Times article)
He’s right about one part of his statement, if not the other: Animals would never commit such atrocities. Only humans are capable of doing such things.
Predictably, nobody is fessing up to the atrocity; everybody is blaming the other side. Not that it makes a difference to the victims. Nor does it make a difference to them whether you call the incident an act of terrorism or a mistake. It was all horror to them in their final moments. And it’s all horror to those who mourn them now.
Too many innocent people know such horror these days . . . in Gaza, in Israel, in Syria, in Iraq, in Nigeria, in Afghanistan, in South Sudan . . . in Ukraine . . . and on and on . . .
And even if we in the West aren’t directly affected, we, too, feel some horror when we read the reports, surely . . .
And, no doubt, we ALL feel a sense of helplessness, perhaps our biggest weakness as a species. We have given too much power to too few, who have allowed the creation and proliferation of weapons that should not exist, who are deluded in their belief that man can use such weapons responsibly. And it seems like there is no way we can stop the madness now . . . is there?
No matter how much we have cried out and sang for peace, the tiny minority — the killers — have stolen it away from us, and will continue to do so as long as weapons are produced.
An obvious solution: stop producing weapons and ammunition.
But you know that’s not going to happen. You know that the makers of the missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 will keep on making missiles. You know that the workers will show up at the weapons plant . . . you know they will put bread on their tables . . . and you know the price that was paid for yesterday’s bread.
Holy Father, give us this day our daily bread
And deliver us from evil . . .