Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Dream or Reality?

To be among one million people who speak of peace, love and justice and cry out their hatred of war and massacres is of the most auspicious feelings that one can experience in one’s life. London, on Saturday created such an experience. It was not really that important what the speakers were saying or what was written on the placards. What was important was the gathering of one million people even from other parts of Europe and America in such cold freezing weather on a the day after the Valentine’s Day to deliver their message to the people of those hot and arid lands that the fire of the oil wells has made their land even hotter; from the shores of Tames’ river to the coasts of Tigris and Euphrates, from Britania to the Mesopotamia that the British drew its map eighty years ago and turned it to a country that since a quarter of century ago has been the seat of heated news.
Not only for the British who had never in their life assembled in such a great gathering, but also for all the Europeans, last Saturday turned to be a majestic day. Europe that has seen many great wars in the past few centuries still carries the wounds of the two World Wars on her body. Saturday’s gathering showed that the British and other Europeans do not want their children to go to war fronts and participate in any war in the twenty first century as well.
When in Germany that started the two world wars the majority of people will Peace and have forced their government to say NO to America, attainment of a life without war no longer seems far-fetched. Europe will not see anymore wars. But it appears that the people of the Middle East must bear such a wish in their hearts for many years to come. Until the day that the problem of Israel is still an issue and the oil wells are springing, the desire for peace and love seem unreachable. It is a long time now that these people die with the hope to live on lands where one million people could gather to express a view different from their regimes is buried with them. But it appears that as long as people like Bin Ladin are trained and as long as dictators are in power, war, hatred, disease and death will not leave them alone.
An English poet who is accompaning us in our march along Hyde Park asks a Syrian journalist ‘why do you put up with dictators?’ And the young Syrian journalist replies, ‘as long as the representatives of our dictators have embassies in your Europe and America and make great deals, sell oil and buy arms we will not be able to get rid of them.’
In the history of Britain, gathering of one and a half million people is unprecedented, but in the Middle East it is something that often happens. Their big difference lies in the fact that such great gatherings in that part of the world is either for the purpose of overthrowing regimes or they are summoned to support the regimes. A peaceful gathering of even hundred people without the fear of police and shooting, without the horror of arrest and execution taking place somewhere in the Middle East in protest to certain policies of their governments is something that has not happened yet. In most parts of the Middle East, not only people are deprived of the possibility of gathering in such great numbers to protest against their governments, but of having independent newspapers and parliamentary members and the students are arrested for writing an article against their states and get familiar with violence when twenty, put in prison cells with thieves, murderers and brutes
Saturday, more than one million people gathered in the heart of London to send their love to the people who sell them oil to warm up their houses so as to warm their hearts in return. They gathered to send their love to the people whose greatest sin is that they happen to live on lands with great oil reservoirs that can turn the wheels of cars and in Europe and America for years to come. If they wish to live in a world where every day of it would be a Valentine’s Day, they have to ask their governments to sell democracy to the people who live on the oil wells. To sell medicine to them to heal their pains and agonies.
Solana, a Spanish student who had come all the way from Brighton to join the gathering in London, while crying out of a great excitement had cut Janek’s caricature from the Guardian and showed it to the people around him and said ‘to the world that would be devoid of Bush, Sharon, Saddam, Bin Ladin, bombs, missiles and explosives where the political and economic powers would allow people of the world to exchange love with each other.’ Oil only heats up the houses, but loves warms the hearts.
Living in my hometown while Iraqi planes manufactured in Russia with French exhausts bombarded it at nights with my child trembling of horror, I never imagined that a day would arrive that I will participate in a gathering whose main desideratum was the fall of Iraq Regime. But it happened and now the thought of Iraqi children trembling of horror in the arms of their parents horrifies me.
Tony Blair was right to say that even if the number of people participating in the anti-war demonstration in London reaches one million, it is still less than the number of people killed by Saddam, but what he did not say was how Saddam attained such a power. Why is it that until September 11 when Bin Ladin changed the political image of the world, nobody talked about such figures? The statistics that Collin Powel, US Foreign Minister revealed to UN about the number of people killed by chemical bombs dropped by Saddam Hussein’s army were not obtained this very yesterday.
Last week Akbar Montakhabi died in Tehran after twenty years of struggle against his excruciating pains and wounds and lung cancer and blindness. He was wounded twenty years ago in the chemical bombardment of the city of Halabcheh by Saddam’s special forces and all these years nobody asked him about what he was going through.
To live in a peaceful, loving world, requires more of these gatherings.