Print Version    Email to Friend
Who doesn’t want peace and reconciliation?

Who doesn’t want peace, harmony and reconciliation in their lives, their family, personal relationships, their nation and the world? Only those who can make personal gain from chaos.
 
Jenny May (not her real name) is 14 years of age and wants peace above all. Without reconciliation with her mother, she will continue to suffer greatly. In the padded therapy room, she unleashes her pain, emotional hurt and deep anguish. The anger at her mother comes gushing out. For her abuser, there is bitter hatred.
 
She howls, screams and punches the cushions continually. Her cries make me and the therapists shiver with every moment of her outpouring of pain. Our hair stands on end with the shock of such naked hatred being released like a volcanic eruption. She throws herself against the foam-padded wall in a violent counter-attack against her rapist as she relives those terrible times of helplessness and fear. 
 
Jenny is an abused girl, raped by the live-in partner of her mother who did not want to believe her daughter when she finally recounted what happened whenever her mother left her alone with the man who had replaced her father. She shouts at her mother, “Why did you let it happen, why did you not believe me and help me? I hate you, hate you!” she cried out.
 
Later in counselling, Jenny May says despite the betrayal of her mother she wants to talk with her. Will there be reconciliation and peace making? That we don’t know. For many of the 56 children recovering and healing in the Preda Home for abused children, it is similar. They want reconciliation and peace with their unsupportive mothers. Her silence was akin to approval. Her inaction makes her an accomplice in the terrible crime. It will have life-long consequences for both her and Jenny May.  
 
The lack of Emotional Release Therapy for most victims means the pain has to be kept locked up inside, a cork tightly pressed into the emotional bottle. A barrier of repressed memories is built up as the victims struggle to survive the ordeal as they grow and mature and find a way to survive and make something of life. 
 
Self-induced forgetfulness keeps them going, affecting their personality, character and behaviour throughout life. For peace and reconciliation to take place, there has to be a change within both parties.
 
For dialogue to be possible, there has to be justice for Jenny May so a criminal charge of rape of a minor will be filed against the live-in partner and the mother will have to support it if there is to be reconciliation and peace between child and the mother. 
 
Conflicting parties in family, society or between nations can find a peaceful settlement if they really want to have peaceful co-existence. As for the individual, Jenny May, so too for the world—much pain before peace.
 
Governments that are invading, occupying and blockading the territory or seas of the native inhabitants are robbing them of their sovereign rights and national dignity. They have aggressive instincts like the rapist of Jenny May. Appeasement and dialogue is not possible but a change of mind and heart is and justice must be done. There will be no peaceful solution by insulting and humiliating their opponents by threatening obliteration, violence and the threat of war.
 
There is enough war in the world. In Yemen, the children scream in pain and die and hundreds of thousands are starving. They too feel the pain, anger and even hatred at being oppressed and raped. War brings only misery, great pain for the victims and for the aggressor. 
 
In the United States of America (US), an average of 20 former soldiers commit suicide each day. In 2012 alone, an estimated 6,500 former military personnel died by suicide. More active duty veterans, 177, succumbed to suicide that year than were killed in combat, 176. The army suffered 52 per cent of the suicides from all branches, according to the US State Department. With such pain and suffering, the opiate addiction is inevitable.   
 
In the United States, the warmongers are beating the drums of war. These war-loving politicians are likely to be in cahoots and collusion with the private war contractors who have made it a colossally big business. They love war. They want to sell weapons, provide services, give protection. The munitions manufacturers likely have huge stockpiles of bombs and bullets with expiration dates. They must use them or lose them.
 
These war contractors are still deliriously dizzy from the billions of dollars they earned from the Iraqi war. All in all, a total of US$138 billion dollars (1.08 trillion) was gouged from the pockets of the American taxpayers. According to the Financial Times, the top 10 corporations earned US$72 billion ($563 billion) out of the Iraqi invasion.   
 
War contractors are hungry for more of the taxpayers’ money. The feeding frenzy is not over yet. The US State Department paid US$3 billion ($23.4 billion) from 2011 to 2015 for the private contractors guarding the huge US Embassy compound in Baghdad. This contract was likely renewed for a higher price until the present.
 
One of the biggest war contractors during the Iraqi invasion was Halliburton. The chairperson of Halliburton was Dick Cheney, the vice president of George W. Bush. Cheney pushed for the invasion of Iraq. His subsidiary company, Kellog Brown & Root, earned a cool US$39.5 billion ($309.3 billion) in wartime contracts.   
 
The US sanctions against Iran are another moneymaking ploy. US president, Donald Trump, withdrew from the agreement that limited Iran’s nuclear development and imposed sanctions that it could not sell its oil. Prices of oil, diesel and gasoline have soared. This greatly benefits the US oil drilling and fracking companies who can now produce and profit from higher price of oil. Everyone else loses.
 
 Who wants peaceful negotiation? Certainly not those who profit from war. 
 
 
Father Shay Cullen 
www.preda.org