Saturday, June 07, 2008
From Katmandu to Karthoum, from Burma to Beltwayistan, the Conscience of the World Seems Cut-Off from Action; Here's How to Break the Spell
Image: Salvador Dali, Geopoliticus child watching the birth of the new man
From Katmandu to Karthoum, from Burma to Beltwayistan, the Conscience of the World Seems Cut-Off from the Path of Action; Here's How to Break the Spell
By Richard Power
Cruel irony in Katmandu.
The Nepalese, who are undergoing the profound transformation of their own society, from a stifling, feudalistic monarchy to something more democratic and egalitarian, have arrested at least 450 Tibetans, who were protesting the Chinese government's oppression control of their country. Some of the protesters, who included many Buddhist monks and nuns. were beaten by Nepalese police in riot gear. (Associated Press, 6-7-08)
Government perpetuated misery in Burma.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners-Burma (AAPP), the Burmese thugocracy is feeding "moldy, foul and inedible rice" to political prisoners in its infamous Insein Prison, and causing these inmates diarrhea, dysentary, etc. -- despite the fact that the International Committee of the Red Cross had replaced the rice ruined when Cyclone Nargis blew the lid off of the storage silo. (Irrawaddy, 6-6-08)
In eastern Chad, Darfuri children are being sold into soldiering in plain sight of the entire world community.
Waging Peace reports that children as young as nine years old are being "kidnapped in broad daylight," then sold to rebel groups and forced back into Darfur as child soldiers. (Agence France Press, 6-7-08)
In Karthoum, the Sudanese thugocracy still refuses to turn over Ahmed Harun and Ali Kushayb. One is a cabinet minister, the other is a militia commander. They are wanted by the International Criminal Court, on charges of crimes against humanity. (Associated Press 6-7-08)
Meanwhile, in Beltwayistan, despite the powerful one-two punch of Scott McClellan's book, and the US Senate Intelligence Committee's report on how the Bush-Cheney regime abused, disregarded and misrepresented US intelligence analysis in the run-up to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the two men most responsible for this foolish military adventure remain in power and under no immediate threat of investigation or prosecution.
Somewhere, somehow, in one of these wretched circumstances, if conscience were heeded, and justice were done, then there would be a similar reversal of fortunes in the others.
Let's start here.
Richard Clarke, one of the heroes of the last seven tragic years of US history, has made some insightful remarks.
Noting that “prominent Democrats” had ruled out impeachment, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann asked former counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke on his show last night, what “remedy” there could be for the lies and misinformation highlighted in the new Senate Intelligence Committee reports on the Bush administration’s misuse of pre-war Iraq intelligence. ... CLARKE: Well, there may be some other kind of remedy. There may be some sort of truth and reconciliation commission process that’s been tried in other countries, South Africa, Salvador and what not, where if you come forward and admit that you were in error or admit that you lied, admit that you did something, then you’re forgiven. Otherwise, you are censured in some way.
Now, I just don’t think we can let these people back into polite society and give them jobs on university boards and corporate boards and just let them pretend that nothing ever happened when there are 4,000 Americans dead and 25,000 Americans grieviously wounded, and they’ll carry those wounds and suffer all the rest of their lives. Think Progress, 6-6-08
The impeachment process was despoiled in the 1990s by the Cult formerly known as the Republican Party. Perhaps it is best to give it a rest.
If the US electorate chooses reason over madness in the 2008 election, and Obama is sworn in along with a filibuster-proof US Senate majority, the establishment of a "truth and reconciliation committee" could turn this country around, and with it the world.
Yes, the community of nations would find its moral compass again, and its will to act collectively, and in accordance with its highest principles.
You may think this an impossibility.
But most people on the planet did not see the fall of the Berlin Wall coming even a year or two before it came down.
A year or two before the collapse of the Soviet Union, you probably would not have believed me if I had told you that the Baltic nations would not only soon be free but belong to the EU.
The whole world is watching.
Perhaps the USA will astonish it.
And if that happens, then I assure there will another astonishment on the way, i.e., Tibet will be free in this lifetime. (I have a few decades left, hopefully.)
What is unhealthy in Beltwayistan is nourishing what is unhealthy in Beijing, and vice versa, one illusion cannot last long without the other.
Imagine a geopolitical world-view shaped by altruism instead of greed.
I encourage you to follow events in Burma on Irrawaddy.
I encourage you to follow events in Darfur on Mia Farrow's site, it is the real-time journal of a humanitarian at work; the content is compelling, insightful and fiercely independent.
Click here to sign the TURN OFF/TUNE IN Pledge.
For a Words of Power Archive of posts on the Crisis in Darfur, click here.
Here are other sites of importance:
Dream for Darfur
Enough: The Project to End Genocide and Mass Atrocities
Genocide Intervention Network
Divest for Darfur.
Richard Power's Left-Handed Security: Overcoming Fear, Greed & Ignorance in This Era of Global Crisis is available now! Click here for more information.
Tibet, Burma, Genocide, Mia Farrow, Dream for Darfur, China, Sudan, Richard Power, Words of Power