- Post 19 September 2012
- Last Updated on 19 September 2012
- By Idang Alibi
As I said in the first part of this treatise last week, which actually served as the ‘Preamble’ to the legislation we seek to enact, God gave me inspiration to realise why conflicts germinate everyday in our world and why old ones prove so intractable to resolve. The reason is that the people who initiate conflicts; who sow the seeds of conflicts; who finance conflicts; who benefit financially and politically from conflicts; who mobilise the orators who speak so eloquently and persuasively in favour of conflicts; who urge others to engage in conflicts while they themselves remain actively in the background orchestrating the conflicts and who take the final decision that a community or nation should get involved in conflicts, do not themselves directly bear the brunt of conflicts. In fact, they hardly ever get physically involved in the conflicts by fighting and getting killed or maimed or getting their property and businesses ruined from the insane madness they incite, provoke or endorse. No.
They make sure that they and their immediate family members are conveniently kept out of direct harm’s way. Their children’s school do not often get disrupted because of conflict. They ship them to peaceful places abroad to continue their education while the children of the poor get recruited as ‘child soldiers’. The rich and powerful think out everything in favour of their best interest to the minutest detail before they stoke the fire of conflict from which they hope to gain the maximum profit; they can even delay declaration of the D-Day of the fire whose ambers they have been fanning until they have worked out their best possible gain. They make sure they are completely satisfied that they and their immediate family members have little or nothing to lose before they give the go- ahead for others to go and die or get hurt. This is extremely cynical, wicked and very unacceptable to a humanist like yours most sincerely, Mr. Idang Alibi and other humanists all over the world.
Take a look at how cynical and mischievous the ruling elite in big or small communities or countries can be. In the USA, some of the draft dodgers are mainly children of the rich. They send their children to schools abroad in order to avoid the draft. George Bush the Younger was a draft dodger. I think Clinton the Husband too was one of them. When it was time for him to be enrolled in the army to begin to fight America’s numerous wars of blame he was conveniently a Rhodes Scholar in Britain!
But consider what happened when the then poor man Mohammed Ali objected on the basis of principle from participating in the unjust Vietnam War. Just consider the terrible harassment and injustice he suffered in the hands of the American Establishment. Here is a man of honour and principle who ought to have been hailed and made an object of emulation being banned from practising his trade, boxing. The rich in America did not mind taking away Ali’s grindstone, his means of livelihood. Yet, they kept their own children from enrolling in the army to fight a war from which they normally benefit handsomely.
The recruitment of the poor to fight unjust wars and the extreme reluctance of the rich and powerful to risk their lives or those of their children is the simple reason responsible for why many are willing to foment and sponsor conflict but are quite often very reluctant to end the conflicts they rashly initiate. In the light of this small but significant discovery, i hereby propose a law that may not completely eliminate conflicts from the surface of the earth, but will significantly reduce the level of conflicts in our world today. Where men do not stand to suffer any direct personal injuries of any kind but where others are going to beheads that would be used to crack the coconut which they will eat from, the key decision-makers are most likely to be rash and inconsiderate in the decision they make or support. Given this truth, I hereby propose a crazy law that should be entitled A Law to evenly distribute the Risks and Responsibilities, the Dangers and Discomfort, the Profits and Loss involved in the Initiation, Encouragement, Fighting and Management of all Violent Conflicts and Wars.
Preamble: Whereas of all animals, man is the only one that wilfully, deliberately, purposely or maliciously kills his own kind, yet he takes delight in describing himself as a ‘higher animal’, we sane and concerned members of the human family who are desirous of putting an end to this barbarous conduct, deem it expedient to enact a legislation whose intendment is to severely curb, if not completely eliminate, what Professor Wole Soyinka calls ‘this cannibal instinct in man’.
We deem it expedient and as a matter of survival of the human family, to enact this legislation with the aforementioned title.
Section One: It is universally observed that the people who manufacture guns used in violent conflicts and wars; those who are merchants of death, whose means of livelihood is trading in guns and ammunitions; those who live on commission from the sale of the implements of war; those who get the contract to distribute arms and ammunitions and provide logistics for would- be combatants; media practitioners who are recruited to beat the drumbeats of war and all those who are involved one way or another in the conduct of war, hardly, if ever, participate in the actual fighting of wars.
Section Two: This fact is responsible for why the decision to go to war is so often flippantly or thoughtlessly taken by those who stand to suffer no danger whatsoever but are poised to profit maximally from it. Those who take the decision are conveniently out of harm’s way, they and members of their immediate family. Their taste for blood and destruction and hope for personal gain is not moderated or tampered by the hazards and inconveniences of actual warfare. This is unfair and unjust and unacceptable. The concept of natural justice demands that those who love wars and who often stand to gain so much from them, should be in the forefront of the battlefield and not be at the rear in the comfort of their offices and homes, often wining and dining and carousing with women even at the time when the war is fiercest and hundreds and thousands of young men are being mowed down on the battlefields or exposed to some other debilitating danger.
Section Three: This being the case, it is now required that all those involved in the arms industry; all those who seat in the War Council and all those who act as accessories in the prosecution of war are PERSONALLY required by the provisions of this law to adorn military and participate in warfare whether they are within or outside military age.
Ouster Clause: No legislation in existence or any one yet in contemplation should ever be invoked to in any way undermine or subvert the provisions of this law.
Interpretation: What this law means in effect is that if, for instance, President Barack Obama of war-mongering America should order American troops to invade another country, as American presidents often do, he is by this law required to wear a General’s uniform and lead the troops in front and not be in the White House.