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The Crisis Of War

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What will it take for society to acknowledge the evident crisis’, wars and struggles plaguing certain areas of the world? As industrialized countries thrive and prosper, citizens enter a bubble, only aware of self-interests; a lack of empathy. The troubles, and concerns of others only become relevant if a weakness is acknowledged that can exploit benefits; oil for example. There are acts of violence occurring in the Middle East today, so far away that North American’s become apathetic in the sense that it’s just brush it off, feeling no relation to it, and perhaps even a helplessness at times. In the novel, by Omar El-Akkad, he uses a direct anthesis to create a potentially realistic, devastating America in which present and historical events a re-visited, examining the possibility a colossal collapse of the super-power nation. In Sarat’s journey as a refugee, the main character, she experiences situations that are of close relation to the past, and present of American history. A consistent cycle of the events and mistakes on American soil, or foreign soil, are continued even in the near future of 2074.

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As America has broken non-intervention policies, it has since played a role in most international conflicts. Joe Chestnut, the brother Sarat, explains the internationality of an American War. The novel exemplifies American significance through the quotation, “Everyone fights an American War” (El-Akkad 308). With America in shambles, Joe explains how foreign nations of China and the Bouazizi intervene to assist, though have selfish intentions of stealing resources, and ensuring the collapse of the formerly dominant America. The Bouazizi is an alliance of middle eastern countries who united following decades of war. In reflection to history, following the first Civil War, the separate states united to prosper as a glorious nation. It can be implied that the Bouazizi finds an opportunity to retaliate on America for the impact of today’s conflicts. Ironically, with American presence in the Middle East from the 1990’s, they added fuel to the fire, causing further hatred, but minimal affects back home. “Your side fought the war, but the war never happened to you” (El-Akkad 85). Americans may never understand the complexity and devastation of war until it is experienced at home. The most powerful of countries grow through the exploitation of others.

The war is the result of a climate a climate change disagreement, with rising sea levels whipping out the east coast, Florida submerged under water and millions of Americans flocking inward to safety. The government decides to impose legislation prohibiting fossil fuels to control the situation, though several southern states decide they would rather secede the accept the proposal dividing the country. The connection to fossil fuels mocks current middle eastern conflicts in which America intervened sparking devasting events, including 9/11. As the second civil war is caused by environmental political differences and controversy, it reminds citizens of the potential consequence of continuous disagreements. Since the election of Donald Trump, America has been as divisive as ever, with congress failing to use bipartisan leadership. In a recent environmental conflict, on a lesser scale, the President has refused to see truth in climate change, withdrawing from environment preservation acts including the Paris Accord. There has become a hatred between democrats and republicans, and a distinctive geographical difference in the support between each. It is in the best interests of America to not re-enact the deadly civil war, dividing the north and south. Racism, a cause of the first civil war, continues to divide Americans. American leadership refuses the acceptance of refugees even of Sarat’s original sane state, as a girl trying to escape war. “It seemed sensible to crave safety, to crave shelter from the bombs and birds (drones), and daily depravity of war” (El-Akkad 234). For many it is impossible to imagine a situation of an American collapse, being the location of an active war. Readers are attracted to this intriguing, yet realistic concept, being a book to open one’s eyes, the theme of the Canada Reads Awards.

Current problems destroying the Middle East such as refugee crisis’, chemical attacks, and radicalization continue to be issues in the 2070’s, though this time in close proximity to readers; America. Through the brilliance of reversing today’s situations, one learns there is a great threat, even in the backyard. With roles being reversed, Sarat, an American who reluctantly applies to be refugee in South Carolina, witnesses the trauma of an active war. Surviving an attack, she feels that Camp Patience, the refugee camp, is her only option. Conditions of the camp are brutal, with diseases and storms destroying tents in repercussions to climate change. As a southerner, she is convinced by her family, and others in the camp, to turn against the North and pursue patriotism. From a young age, just like some refugees today in the middle east, she is trained how to battle and pursue retaliation, a reoccurring theme of the novel.

As she grows older, she enrolls herself for the southern cause, using violence to pursue hatred. Sarat’s loss of innocence is explained by the narrator, as “She knew from experience that there existed no soldier as efficient, as coldly unburdened by fear, as a child broken early” (El-Akkad 410). Innocents are killed, as well as top military generals as a result of Sarat’s southern radicalization. Sarat feels a need to retaliate after her return from prison and use a chemical attack to plague the north of the country, which ultimately leaks to southerners. Sarat reaches an uncontrollable state, causing a devasting end to the novel, in which the reader can no longer feel sorry for her troubles. Sarat finds enough closure to use violence against herself after others have also been affected. There’s a cycle of mistakes constantly repeated, needing action to move forward from the past, and conquer current issues, with inaction and not hearing the stories of hard truths formulating such repetition. North America often fails to recognize the struggles of those in other parts of the world, and even in homeland. In a recent trend of school shootings, those guilty have been of a troubled past, not receiving assistance needed to overcome trauma. As a result, the most vulnerable, and innocent of society fall victim to overall ignorance.

The title says it all, a war in America, simply in context with nuclear significance. The world has the potential to in the darkness of American War. History, the refugee crisis, climate change, racism and mental illnesses are all real. American War opens the eyes of readers to each issue experienced today, and of the past. Omar El-Akkad has done a service to voice conflicts, and struggles of others, to the backyard of those who are ignorant of truth. Knowledge, understanding, and acceptance of others regardless of their struggles will result in a resolution of conflict. If America collapses in chaos, Canada will not be able to escape it, therefor must be aware of reality. In a strategic resolution, citizens must understand, revise and heal, to avoid an American War.

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