Those who consider an Indian-Pakistani war to be the solution to the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination against Indian colonialism ought to consider the many US-European wars of the past 100 years. The death toll is in the multi-millions & because colonial & military powers are unspeakably racist & supremacist (like Hindutva India), they have never kept records nor cared about the number of civilians slaughtered. They won’t even give an honest accounting of how many of their own soldiers have been killed because most soldiers are Black, brown, or working class. No agency has given a rat’s ass about how many Afghans, Syrians, Yemenis, Somalis, Libyans, Iraqis have been bombed to death. But the way war is fought necessarily involves the bombing of civilians. That’s why we oppose it.

Some might say, ‘well there you sit in the US of A without a hair on your heads touched by US slaughter of other peoples. What the hell do you know about war’? We won’t mention the social costs of war in terms of their impact on education, social services, & all that. We won’t talk about the physical & psychological devastation & harm it does to veterans & how that affects their families. We won’t even talk about how militarism & its glorification has corrupted US culture, made it violent, & enforced patriarchy. Because, as bad as all that stuff is, none of it adds up to the unspeakable suffering of living in a war, occupation, or genocide zone. But that doesn’t mean we don’t know anything about war. It doesn’t mean we can’t imagine the realities, haven’t seen the photos, heard the war crimes described, don’t understand what war means for unarmed civilians. We understand everything we need to oppose them, not as knee-jerk reaction as some have accused, but for principles of humanity & solidarity.

It’s a tragedy that the international antiwar movement has become an Assadist & Stalinist cult because at one time most of its activists, whether a survivor of war or not, could speak eloquently to the arguments against war. It’s likely that if Kashmiri voices were not silenced, none would speak more forcefully against war between India & Pakistan than them.