THE PAINS OF BEING A CIVILIAN

Have you heard the term, ‘bloody civilian?’ this is how men in uniform in many parts of the world often refer to civilians. Perhaps there may be a substitute term where you come from, but reference in meaning remains the same.  I have often wondered why civilians are perceived in this derogatory way by arm bearing men; it does not matter whether these armed men are in a gang of militia, in a country’s security service, a bunch of rebels or the police.  As long as the bear arms, civilians often bear the brunt of their anger or quest for dominance.  In many wars around the world, civilians fall into the highest figures in terms of casualty rates even though they bear no arms against any one. Reason for this, is because of how civilians are perceived by these violent men.  Imagine murdered civilians been described as collateral damage or been counted in estimates and numbers with no trace of human essence in them.  Imagine the figure of lost civilians lives in Syria, Congo, and in many troubled spots around the world and the murders and extra judicial killings that occur in many ‘peaceful countries’ of the world, perpetuated by police and blood thirsty men.

Shouldn’t members of the security forces be subject to civil authorities? Are they not supposed to safe guard the lives they now exterminate with impunity?  Why were the armed forces and other paramilitary organizations created? Is it to protect and serve the people or serve the leadership of a country in which they were created? I have often wondered why those, whom we have placed arms in their hands through the hard earned money we pay for taxes and through our collective resources, turn around and use the same arms to dominate and kill us at will.

Why are civilian lives not worth much? A dictator goes power mad, he turns against his people; a gang of rebels and men of fortunate thirst for a share of power and they target civilians as they shoot their way to the capital; a bunch of religious fundamentals go further extreme and they blow their way to heaven through the lives of civilians; police becomes lords and they lord over poor civilians. To be a civilian, what a cruel fate!

Should every man be armed and cease to be a civilian? Then he can protect his life and defend his dreams? For no man is killed that easily when he can protect himself.  If all become active men of a force, who then shall grow food, build the economy or pay taxes for guns and other weapons? The point here is that civilians’ lives are also important and should be respected.

What has become of human Rights and the laws that guide the use of arms? Why do military and Para-military authorities often seek to protect their own by covering up for their own’s evil crimes? A civilian is dragged to a police station, tortured and then murder and the authorities tell us the victim committed suicide in his cell; after that, justice is never served and the murderer continues to walk freely and kills more.

Many countries talk gladly of how disciplined their forces are and how greatly Geneva law crazy their forces are? But under the cover of no prying eyes, one would be shocked at what evils these forces could do against civilians. I pray that the day will come when civilian lives will matter, when their rights will be respected and when justice will never be delayed or denied. I pray a day will come when men in uniform will recognize that that which they swear to defend and protect is not just a mere geographical territory but the lives that dwell in such a territory.

 

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