What is our struggle?


Machine Guns, Band-Aids, and John Lennon

When in doubt, don't rely on God, rely on Imagine.

Whether it's on social networking sites, TV commercials, or background music for TV specials, we hear "Imagine" everywhere.

Especially fresh in our minds is the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. After 1,800 drones drew a huge checkerboard emblem in the night sky, the emblem turned into the earth, "Imagine" was played in the hall, and the athletes huddled together.

I had the instant impression that the Olympics = peace festival = Imagine.

Speaking of "Imagine," it is a fact that American radio stations refrained from broadcasting the song during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. For Americans (except for native Americans) who had never been attacked on their own territory before, the idea of terrorists flying into their country must have been a shock.

People panicked and vowed to take revenge on Osama bin Laden, the alleged ringleader, and decided to invade Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban regime.

In the midst of such a fighting mood, the government and the media that followed them said that they did not want "Imagine" to be played in such a way as to destroy the will to fight.

In October 2001, George W. Bush demanded the extradition of bin Laden to Afghanistan. The Taliban, which was in power, demanded that the U.S. provide evidence that bin Laden and others were responsible for the 9/11 attacks, but the U.S. refused to provide the evidence. The U.S. refused to provide any evidence, so the U.S. carried out a terrorist cleanup operation called "Operation Enduring Freedom. The invasion of Afghanistan finally came to an end this August 2021 with the unceremonious withdrawal of US troops.

Despite the fact that the U.S. has been sitting in Afghanistan for more than 20 years with the aim of cleaning up the Taliban regime and establishing a democratic government, now that the U.S. troops have left, the Taliban regime has been established again and seems to be gaining support from the citizens.

To put it bluntly, what have they been doing? I would like to ask, "What have you been doing? During that time, a tremendous amount of military expenditure was spent, many people were killed (more than 80,000 Taliban and civilians combined, and more than 3,000 American soldiers), and the country was torn apart.

In 2003, the U.S. released information that Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks and that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. However, when France, Russia, and other countries refused to acknowledge this fact at the United Nations, the U.S. and the U.K. moved into military action alone, and invaded Iraq without obtaining a UN resolution. In December of the same year, Saddam Hussein was arrested, and two years later, on December 30, 2006, he was executed for "crimes against humanity.

The hero of the Middle East, who had once fought in the Iran-Iraq war in alliance with the United States and was revered and feared like a god by his people, was hanged by his neck in rags, dressed in poorly laundered clothes that he had washed himself.

Time flies, and on May 2, 2011, news broke that bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, had been killed by US Navy SEALs. The place was Pakistan. It was not in Iraq. To my surprise, Saddam Hussein's regime was not behind the 9/11 attacks, and was not even harboring bin Laden.

This ended the war in Iraq. There are many theories about the number of people who died in the war, and no clear figure has been given, but it is said that the number of combatants alone was 20,000 to 30,000, and the number of non-combatants was 100,000 to 110,000.

By the time Bush left office in 2008, it had become a matter of public record that there were no weapons of mass destruction, and Bush said in an interview with ABC television, "My biggest regret during my term in office was that the intelligence on Iraq was a sham.

In other words, he said, "I was totally fooled by the gossip, but I'm sorry."

Iraq then began a bloody civil war between the Shiite Sunni Kurds and the Shiite Muslims, and Obama, a Democrat, announced the withdrawal of US troops. The civil war intensified further. This led to the birth of the Islamic State (IS), which in turn led directly to the civil war in Syria.

This is the general flow of events from the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 to the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in August 2021.

During this time, the world experienced the IT bubble, the Lehman Shock, and other such events, but the economy grew steadily. Then, when the Islamic State (IS) emerged and journalists were taken hostage, we hated the Muslims, sent a little humanitarian aid to Syria and Libya, and ran articles lamenting the terrible mess in the Middle East.

Whenever I read such articles about the world, especially about America's "freedom" wars and meddling in its internal affairs, I am reminded of a line from the movie "Apocalypse Now":

"This was the way things were done here. We shoot them with machine guns and hand them Band-Aids. …It was a lie. The more I look at it, the more I want to throw up."

A famous line from Captain Willard.

This is where the very deep and profound meaning of why "Imagine" is no longer played on the radio comes to light. If the world were to lose its borders, who would be in trouble, and how ridiculous this deceitful world is, would be conveyed to us straight away. This is surely the work of the genius that is John Lennon, which no one else can accomplish.

So, from the bottom of my heart, I would like to pray for world peace and remember John Lennon.