|Mindanao is Bleeding
Statements of Peace
Unleashing the Dogs of War
The Abuja Islamic Education Trust
Manila Moods Online
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by Said K. Sadain, Jr.
[The author is editor-publisher of www.bugsnbytes.com]
MY E-MAILBOX is always full every morning. Especially since the tension in Mindanao between government and rebel forces flared up toward the end of April. Mixed with letters from my family who reside in Manila, are the frantic messages coming from the Mindanao-based members of a very active mailing list that updates me of the worsening developments in Mindanao.
This morning, my wife Liza writes from Manila that she is very impressed with the intelligence of a cat.
She was once not even our cat, but a stray, unkempt street cat, dirty white and thin, who, some months back, just found herself inside the fence of our garden, scratching at the front door. Our kind house-help fed the cat. Before we knew it, the cat became a regular visitor to our home, patiently waiting at the front door early in the morning. Each time the door was opened, she would rush into the living room like a cotton ball and hide under the furniture if somebody tried to chase her out of the house, or she would gently rub her fur and tail around our feet if we just let her be.
Often in the afternoon, Liza would be busy at her cross-stitching and she would eventually find the cat silently napping or purring on the sofa beside her. Sometimes she would catch the cat just staring at her, and when she stared back at the cat, eye to eye, she got the feeling that the cat was smiling at her, and Liza would be overwhelmed with warmth and affection.
The children of course almost immediately took to liking the cat and always played with her whether inside or outside the house. When Liza realized the joy the cat brought to the children, the cat was given a good bath.
This went on for several weeks until our 9-year-old boy Ahmad began suffering from asthma. Ahmad had previously suffered from asthma attacks at a younger age, but the attacks had been far in between, and had not occurred for a long time since. However, when my wife suspected that this latest attack might have been triggered by the cats hair, she decided to send the cat out permanently from the house.
But this was not easy, my wife had written more than once in the past. When she threw out the cat to the street outside the fence, in less than an hour, she was back at the door. When she tried giving the cat to a neighbor, it did not take a day before she was again back in the confines of our fence. When Liza finally decided that the driver should take the cat for a long ride to a far away place, the cat put up such a fierce fight that they had to open up the car door for her to jump out before she totally wrecked the car seat covers.
In the end, Liza resigned herself to having the cat around the house. It was not that bad. Ahmad had only to be reminded to minimize contact with the cat and to always wash his hands before handling any food. The house furniture needed only to be dusted more often, the floor swept more regularly. After all, she was an extremely intelligent cat.
Today, Liza wrote, the cat delivered four cute kittens on the terrace. It was a beautiful sight, she said. More intelligent lives!
THE REST OF MY MORNING E-MAILS largely decry the bloodshed in Mindanao and detail the daily shooting and mortar attacks between government and rebel forces, and the bombings of buses, buildings and public areas all across Mindanao. This sad development has caused much havoc on the normal lives of civilians caught in the crossfire, civilians who are the first to take the brunt of the violence, dying and being mutilated, forced to leave their homes and communities in flames. If they are lucky, they reach evacuation centers to continue their suffering and anguish.
Some e-mailers are cautious in their observations of the recent spate of seemingly senseless bombings that swept across the cities of Mindanao, cities that had been known to be peaceful and far from the theaters of war. These bombs are apparently not meant to kill since they are exploded out of the way of civilians, but only seem to create fear in the hearts of people and give the impression that all hell is breaking loose in Mindanao.
Questions were raised as to who might be the perpetrators and what might be the purpose of such acts. Who or what were the bombs intended for?
Some commented that they could just be knee-jerk reactions by a populace that is increasingly becoming more polarized by the conflict.
So much for knee-jerk reactions, I say. The jerk would have to have some amount of conditioning done to him, either by having taken things for granted for so long, or by deliberate conditioning, for him to have accepted, concluded, decided and actually acted on planting and detonating a bomb to terrorize, maim or kill people.
For that matter, the jerk would have had some amount of conditioning done to him, for him to have accepted, concluded, decided and actually acted on waging a war that is bound to cause death and destruction to anyone within its reach.
There are always purposes to these deeds, there are brains behind these acts, certainly some amount of intelligence. Man has always been a thinking animal. So much for intelligent lives.
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