Saturday, September 04, 2004

Beslan, Russia. Breaking news. Chechen rebels- 20 dead, 10 alive still, 10 of this 30 believed to be Arab- taking women and children hostage inside a school gymnasium. 210 children are dead, as many more adults dead or wounded. One boy amongst those who escaped couldn’t remember his name, his eyes were blank. Mothers with pretty fingernails wide-eyed and staring over the hands that cover their faces. People lifting sheets from stilled bodies, terrified of the chance that they may find a face they love.
One man’s rebel is another man’s hero. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom-fighter. And we are living in a world where there are people desperate enough to kill babies to make their voice heard. We are living in a world where governments believe that the only solution to a problem is to beat dissent into submission. Force to answer force. War is unspeakably horrific, but it is still some form of a fair fight. Killing women? Blowing up children who went to school in the morning probably looking forward to recess or dreading a math exam and never came home? Unforgivable. I understand that sometimes the only way to make someone, anyone listen is by violence, because nobody will listen to you if you won’t scream. But does anyone realize that an eye for an eye is nothing but endless hell? Where has decency gone? Where has the bigger man gone, the one who was supposed to listen to what the oppressed, the poor, the weak had to say? Who had to because it was his responsibility to, by very nature of his power? We live in a world where power is everything, where money is what makes a nation great- not its poets, its philosophers, its scientists, its humanists. Everyone is Brutus, and if you dare hope to be a Caesar or even an Anthony, we all know where you’re ending up. Everyone makes fun of Communists for being idealists, stupid, IRS funded. At least they have a dream, a hope, a cause for something better. Maybe democracy isn’t such a great idea. Maybe we don’t deserve to rule ourselves, democracy or communism or whatever. We should have a monarch or a dictator who can keep us under control because we are all savages. What does democracy care, as long as you re-elect them to office? So they’ll cut taxes (Ricardian equivalence means that’s bullshit), build a hospital (and wait two months just to see a doctor), pave a few roads (wait until it rains). Makes you happy because your butt is a little more cushioned, your health a little safer, your money feels like a little more for a while. And the next time a minority demands it rights, the army will pound them into pieces instead of solving the real issue at hand: a group demanding that democracy be their right too. There is no terrorism in a world where the underdog has a voice that is heard. There is justice, but we don’t understand what that means. Because justice means giving up some of your power, your luxuries, your wealth so that the other person can breathe like you do. Justice means keeping your word, something nobody knows the meaning of any more. Justice means knowing that your power, your arrogance is a fleeting thing, that a real republic is one where everyone is heard. That a real leader is one who an entire nation loves- and that means everyone, not just the 51% majority in the Parliament. We don’t know what respect is, respect for anyone, not even ourselves. Because really, if you respected the rights of other people, there would be no-one crashing planes into skyscrapers. There would be nobody blowing themselves up in the name of God because whoever was running your goddamn government would respect him or herself enough to do the right thing, and that is listen and take action. We are no better than animals. We should be ashamed. Is this all there is left to life? Who can get ahead faster, stronger, bigger? Who is going to stop and help up those who fell along the way? Who is going to wait for the gunshot before taking off? Who is going to fight fair? Nobody, that’s who. And my heart goes out to every single life that has been lost, that is hanging by a thread waiting, hoping, watching….because nobody gives a damn about anyone but themselves. Because greed and egos have no ears to hear with, nor eyes to see.

Mina at 1:13 AM

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