Wednesday, March 22, 2006

We’re All A Bunch Of Fakes

Imposters. Me. You. Protestors. Picketers. Couch Potatos yelling at the television set. Middle-Aged people stuck in traffic listening to talk radio. Every Occidental human. Our heads are up our asses.

If we really care so much about the Oriental Iraqi citizens – enough to support the war, or enough to support the withdrawal – why only them? If we really care about the citizens of the world, why just the Iraqis? Why nobody else? I’m probably as pissed about Iraq as the next person, but that’s the least of the human rights violations I see on this list:

Burundi: State sponsored torture, executions, and violence.
Chad: Overflow of Darfurian fighting. Refugee camps bombed.
China: Thousands of rural civilians starved to death. No rural medical attention available. Sweat shops. WalMart.
Colombia: “Over the past week, FARC-EP have killed at least 20 civilians in two separate massacres and an attack using gas cylinder bombs.” That’s illegal. Who cares? Who’s going to stop them?
Congo: Fighting still left over from 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Cote D’Ivoire: Civil War. Thousands dead – civilians and soldiers.
Darfur, Sudan: State sponsored genocide. Remember Rwanda? No we don’t. If we did we wouldn’t let Darfur continue. Mass rape. Rape camps. Girls as young as 8 years old (confirmed) forced into sexual slavery. Mass starvation. Civilians attacked by: the government, the Janjaweed militia, the rebel militias sworn to protect them (for food). Upwards of 400,000 dead. One more every four minutes. How many dead are enough? The graves are already full and the rivers are choked with bodies. How long is enough time for us to react? Is since February 2003 not enough time? Is it avoidable? It was as recently as November 2004. Now our opportunity has passed.
Earth: Oil dependence. Lack of common sense leading to violent intolerance in every country and city.
Guatemala: Transgender and sexual orientation based violence.
India: AIDS epidemic. Slavery. Sexual Slavery. Child prostitution.
Indonesia: Papau invaded by Indonesian police and military. Student demonstrators (America would be lucky to have student demonstrators) seriously injured or killed.
Iran: Sexual orientation based violence.
Iraq: Citizens killed by foreign forces and internal demonstrators. Torture. Beheading of foreigners and those helping foreigners.
Mexico: Gender based violence and rape.
Nepal: Police brutality against transgender people and anybody deemed sexually deviant. Thousands “disappeared” by the government in the past few years.
South Africa: See Nepal. Not as severe.
Southern Sudan: Government backs out of promises used to end the 21 year civil war. The treaty was signed last year.
Uganda: Expulsion of foreign press.
UN: Has done nothing to meaningfully fulfill its mandate since formation.
USA: Killing of Iraqi citizens. Torture of freedom fighters. Imprisonment of innocent people. Innocent people on death row continuing to be killed and posthumously freed of blame by a DNA test. Homeless killed by teens. Rape. Gang wars. Police brutality. Government sides with Cuba in opposing a new UN Human Rights Council. Drugs. Sexual Slavery. Child prostitution. Parents forcing children into – or out of – abortions. Racial violence. Class violence and hatred. Apathy.

Citizens of Humanity focus on political boundaries rather than feeling compassion for human beings, fellow homo sapiens. Why do we, as Occidentals, continue to tell the Oriental world, to paraphrase Hotel Rwanda, “You aren’t even niggers. You’re dirt. You’re less than human.”

How quickly we forget that “No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.” - John Donne, Meditation XVII

And we are deaf to its tolls as the death tolls rise. Where is outrage? Where is anger? Where are either justified anymore? Who cares about getting cut off in traffic, people’s heads are getting cut off the world over. As humans, we have a responsibility to the only race there is: that of humanity as a whole. We have a duty to educate ourselves, and protect our own. The dark areas in media coverage scare the shit out of me. It’s frightening how much we don’t know, but when the media doesn’t know either, that terrifies me more. And it occurs more often than I would like.

This is in no way a complete list: these are based on incomplete reports from the last week alone. Visit HRW.org for more.

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