http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/251799

Op-Ed: What If The Shoe Was On The Other Foot?

Posted Mar 17, 2008 by KJ Mullins
Oliver Poole is a Western journalist for the BBC who spent almost 5 years in Baghdad. He wrote an article reflecting on the impact of war and the average Iraqi family. Would we feel differently about this war if it was our children being changed forever?
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They worried for their children, they got stressed about how to pay their bills, they commuted to work, they made jokes about their hardships and they struggled to maintain good relationships with their spouses.
Families are basically the same wherever you live. Parents worry about their children and children enjoy their childhood. Unless there is a war going on in front of them. then children grow up believing that death and destruction is a normal occurrence.
Poole saw war through the eyes of his translator Ahmed. Ahmed has a 4 year old daughter who has only known of war. She plays in the streets and pretends to be a "jihadist" like the ones she views on her TV.
We are becoming a war culture and our children's playground has become a battlefield," Ahmed told me.
"Our children's minds are being changed and we will have to change them back to stop Iraq's future from being a bloody one. I wonder if I will be able to do this and if God will help me to get it done."
Most of the West can't image what it would be like to have their children pretending to be at war. It's not the norm but if our streets were the battlefields the shoe would be reversed. Our children's viewpoints would be altered to think that bombings are normal and tanks are just another vehicle that goes down the road.
Would our children look up at planes and wonder if a bomb was about to be dropped? Would they play silly games and giggle or would their games deal with adult issues?
War is hard for everyone involved. There is no question on that. It's those who grow up though surrounded by death that we should worry about. Will they ever know peace? Will they understand peace if it ever arrives on their doorstep?
How would we feel if our children's games reflected the carnage and pain that only comes from being an eyewitness to the worst in man?
As Poole ends his article so I end this piece:
We often think we know what war looks like but it is not until we get to war that we realise it looks like us.