I felt the pain in my chest when I looked at his face like it was me who was tortured. A thousand faces like his were hanging on the walls inside the War Remnants Museum, to immortalize a 19-year of Vietnam war. A lot of tourists but almost nobody was taking pictures. Not sure if they are lost in their minds like I was or they were afraid to carry those memories with them back home?
2 hours later I left the building, sat next to the exit staring at the tanks, the fighter aircraft and all the guns left. I reached out for my phone to find more terrifying facts just like the ones I’ve seen inside the museum.
1.8 trillion (One followed by 12 zero) dollars is the world’s annual military expenditure (WTF!). When we can eradicate the world hunger with only $30 billion which is less than 0.02 of what we spend on killing each other! Moreover, since 1996 the world military expenditure increased by more than 70%! History never was my favorite topic at school but anyway, why do we teach our kids the stuff we didn’t learn anything from! Instead of learning from it, we are making it worse.
The USA for example, Since World War 2, participated in 26 wars. The military budget is almost $700 billion (40% of the world total expenditure). 19 years in Vietnam, 13 years in Afganistan, 8 years in Iraq. A long list and one question, For what? Whatever reason you may think of, is it worth the millions wasted souls, the lost generations, the birth defects, the psychiatric illnesses and the destroyed planet!
For what do we build all those museums and memorials?! Is it only for the grief?
“Mangrove forest was destroyed by agent orange. There was no birdsong nor murmur of leaves. Dead world that was not at all a jungle but a boundless stretch of the standing carcasses of ruined trees. I met a Vietnamese barefoot boy Hung (7 years old) in the forest where the soil was contaminated with dioxin” (cape Ca Mau, 1976). #war #museum #vietnam #history #humanity #child #hochiminhcity #travel #digitalnomad
In 3 days I will go back to Jerusalem and I ask myself the same question. After 70 years of fighting over the ‘holy land’ (and yes we can argue forever who was right and who was wrong). What legacy are we leaving for our kids? hatred, ridiculous stories about glory and another pointless 70-years of fighting.
“Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.” – George Bernard Shaw
My words may not change the politicians around the world, but it may change you. It’s just about stop believing that we are more or less than anybody else just because we were born in a different country with a different language, color or religion.
If War Is The Answer, We Are Asking The Wrong Question.