The World has rapidly slipped into the mind-set of acceptance that we live in dangerous times. We harbour deep fears concerning predictable and unknown future horrors, that have become not a matter of if they will happen, but when.
Recent events have demonstrated very clearly, that instead of attacking the root cause of indiscriminate religious violence by firstly recognising the problem, the answer has been to respond with more violence. It goes with the territory of the criticism of other “beliefs” that we must also re-evaluate our own. This, the West, is not prepared to do. It fears the exposure of its “beliefs” as only superstitious nonsense, greater than it fears the terrible consequences of refusing to do so.
Humanity fears the truth more than it fears annihilation.
Pakistan has a population of some 160 million people, 97% Islamic. India hovers around the billion people mark with over 80% Hindu and 10% Islamic. The two countries have been at “war” since Partition on August 15, 1947. At this time Pakistan was religiously separated from India, with both becoming individual nations. Further separations ensued with Kashmìr and Bangladesh.
Hostilities surrounding Kashmir are ongoing “skirmishes” with deaths in the thousands from each side. Other religious terrorism is and has been rife, with the latest attack upon the Indian Parliament bringing the situation once again to a head.
India and Pakistan are classed as nuclear powers, and although restraint in the escalation to all out war is being maintained, the threat could evolve into reality by way of many avenues. Religious zealotry, pre-emptive strike, mistake or just plain old human stupidity, to name just a few.
The consequences of such action, in these two highly populated countries, are just too great for mere imagination to predict. There is no such thing as a limited nuclear exchange, and Pakistan especially, would try to inflict as much damage as possible with its small number of weapons (five or six?). India would do likewise with a greater arsenal. A chilling reality is that those weapons-of-mass-destruction are presently, cocked, aimed and ready to fire at “targets” to cause the greatest physical and psychological damage possible.
Millions would die instantly, millions slowly, with involuntary euthanasia widespread in the aftermath. Vast areas would be made uninhabitable and both economies would collapse. The radio-active fallout, being at the whim of the weather, making the Chernobyl accident seem quite benign by example, would engulf many of the surrounding countries, the ocean, rivers and the rest of the World.
Aid resources from other countries would fall short of requirements and how far the world economy would teeter, is totally unknown.
As frightening as the portrayed scenario is, it may even be, and is more likely to be, worse. Chaos on a planetary scale is a distinct possibility.
Sanity by those in charge, and luck, may avert a nuclear war this time but the precursors that have brought it to the present brink, remain. Leaders are deposed and political situations change over-night. With a wealth of fanatical religious would-be “messiahs” waiting in the wings to establish the rule of their particular “god”, it is only a matter of time until the unimaginable happens.
Religion, faith, “belief”, “souls”, the supernatural, “God”(s), heaven, hell, etc., all totally un-evidenced premised hearsay and childhood induced concepts, are in desperate need of critical examination. The Globe could become a safe place within a generation, simply by not indoctrinating the young with this adult sanctioned foolishness.
There is no other way.
UPDATE: This article was written at the time of the attack on the Indian Parliament. As of 23rd May 02 media reports state that India possesses between 100 and 150 nuclear weapons and Pakistan between 25 and 50.
By David Nicholls