Updated: Aug 31, 2022
That photo haunted me for many nights. But it’s forgotten by so many – even by me.
by Louis G Lyras – October 25, 2019
The article in a recent New York Times piece called “‘What Is Going to Happen to Us?’ Inside ISIS Prison, Children Ask Their Fate.” Take a look at the little boy in the center of the photo from this article. He’s not playing in a back yard or playing on one of the newest games on his I-Pad. He’s not getting ready to go to bed after a nice warm meal. No, he’s not doing any of that, he’s just staring at the photographer and his eyes are filled with anger, defiance, revenge.
These kids are trapped. Events beyond their control put them in these prisons and the “grownups” have to decide their fate. What country will claim them? Who is responsible? Who will pay for them? Who cares for them? These are the questions being asked and with good reason. They are in a surreal state with no country, home, or family. I will not comment on who is wrong, history will one day tell that story. I know that we’ve grown weary of all the fighting in the Middle East … it is easy for us to leave it to Russian’s or Turks. Let them spend billions of dollars and sacrifice the lives of their own soldiers. It was never our problem therefore it shouldn’t be us anymore. At least that seems to be the consensus.
However, that little boy in the middle of the photograph will grow up one day, and unless someone intervenes with food, clothing, shelter, school, and love, he may very well become the next terrorist. Then what? Future armies that are our little boys will go out to fight and kill him or be killed, and America will be spending billions of dollars insuring this outcome. Life will go on and his children, if he gets to that stage in his life, may end up in a similar prison continuing this unfortunate and horrible cycle. The “war” goes on and on and on. We cannot ignore the misery that we’ve created… and I don’t mean only our country. All countries of the world are responsible. The cycle of hatred and war must stop, and the only way is to help these children is with food, medicine, shelter, schooling, empathy and love. We need to realize that the millions we spend today is far better than spending billions and trillions later.
If we are wise enough to craft a permanent solution, that benefits everyone, or at least a majority, then the cycle will eventually stop and maybe one day their children will be able to play in a back yard with ours. It is said that there must be war if there is to be peace. Maybe just maybe, what is needed is empathy and as redundant as it sounds, peace in order to truly have peace.