Sunday, September 11, 2005

But What About When Others Die?

Today being September 11, we are seeing a lot of commemorations, and in many regards that is fitting, as many lives were taken en masse. It was, of course, a horrific act, and it stunned the world. However, the US invasion into Iraq, a direct result of that day, has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens since March 2003. And there is no commemoration ceremony planned to honour them.

Nor are the victims of other acts of evil being remembered today, in Rwanda, in Sudan, in Congo, in China, in Yugoslavia, in countless other countries where genocide happens, where governments collude with multinational organizations at the expense of human rights, where people die through neglect by the western world. No one is stopping to remember their deaths today.

I in no way mean to disrespect those who lost their lives in the US on September 11, 2001, but wonder why we don’t show the same respect to countless others who are killed daily, or better yet, do something to stop the deaths.

I think our first responsibility is to become aware. There is absolutely no justification for remaining blinded to what is going on in the world, or for thinking that somehow acts of atrocity are not related to our lives. They are. We influence actions around the world through the choices we make every day and how we spend our money. We influence actions around the world when we do not speak out about wrongs. We influence actions around the world when we wait for someone else to take action, for someone to hold yet another benefit concert. We owe it to the people of the world to inform ourselves, to recognise the root causes of conflicts, and to take action.


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