On my 50th birthday, I want to send a message of love and compassion and prayers and condolences to those suffering the effects of war.

Life ends for those families who have lost love ones. It does not matter what else happens in the world, they have lost.

"The physical and emotional scars will remain with them for the rest of their lives." Kofi Anan's words bring home the grim reality of the ugly face of war.

What does war do for us? It creates anxiety, fear, frustration, insecurity, even depression, on both sides. At the same time, the spread of diseases such as typhoid, hepatitis, cholera and smallpox because of the lack of clean water, medicine and food due to the destruction is far greater and more real than the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction.

The price we will pay for environmental pollution is unimaginable, with new strains of viruses infecting us.

Is this a war among dictators for power and money, between rich and poor nations, or is it really in order to establish peace and love in the world?

Compassion and dignity are the hallmarks of human civilisation. Civilisation to me means respect for human beings around the world, in whichever cultures they live.

Each has its own beauty and advantages. Coming together is success, as Henry Ford said.

Ahimsa paramodharma, non violence, is the supreme religion - as taught by all religions and practised by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Doesn't the thought of bringing a smile to the face of a poor child by the provision of food, water, clothes and toys bring a joyous feeling to your heart? Does bombing a city do that for you?

Non violence does not mean not giving in to aggression, it means trying to solve problems with love. We should be getting rid of dictators and winning wars by winning the hearts of poor people throughout the world by helping them build their nations. The smiling face of compassion and sharing can alleviate human suffering.

Virgil said "Love conquers all things" and Blaise Pascal said "Love cures people - both the ones who give it and those who receive it." Instead of spending £7 billion on war, what if we invested it in building good schools and hospitals, developing resources and industry in Iraq and winning people's hearts? Reciprocal fair trade could mean a future world living in harmony and peace. Such moves would earn respect, love and dignity for generations to come.

As Gandhi said: "There is enough for everyone's need but not enough for everyone's greed."

Another great man, Albert Einstein, said: "The most important human endeavour is striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life."

Dr Milind Jani works as a conventional and holistic GP and Dr Asmita Jani as Ayurvedic Consultant from 3 Eaton Gardens, Hove. Call them on: 01273 777448 or email: milind.jani@ntlworld.com