Iraq War – You can’t blame me!

10 years on and Iraq is still suffering severely from the war instigated by the Bush Administration. Sure, the nation of Iraq was not in a great shape prior to the invasion, however, the invasion and war has not made matters any better.

The Atlantic magazine recently ran a series of photographic essays to mark the passing of ten years since the invasion. Image 37  (NB. very disturbing) in part 2 shows an Iraqi woman holding her dying son who was shot when their car came under gunfire whilst the family was returning from enrolling their children in school. Viewing this image and reading the story behind it broke my heart – it still does whenever I reflect on it.

Who do we point the finger at for the tragedies that have unfolded in Iraq? On whom do we lay the blame? The man who pulled the trigger of the gun? The corrupt regime that led (or at least gave an excuse for) the US to invade Iraq? The Bush Administration who unlawfully invaded and started the war? Yes, the blame lies squarely on of all of those, but we too must admit to being accomplices to the crime.

Our insatiable demand for the oil that fuels our economies surely lies somewhere near the root cause of the Iraq War. By driving our cars, flying on aircraft, buying anything that has been manufactured using oil based products have we not somehow contributed to the tragedies that have befallen the people of Iraq? In the words of Jack Johnson – “It was you it was me it was every man. We’ve all got the blood on our hands”.

How can we learn to live in a way that does not adversely impact the lives of others, both now and in the future? This is the heart of sustainability. Even better though would be to live in such a way that our lives contribute to the enhancement of the lives of others both now and into the future.

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