Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Why are the voices silent?
It's difficult sometimes to sort out the important from the unimportant in the constant flood of information that inundates us from all quarters. We are forced to pick and choose what we feel is important enough to get behind and voice an opinion. Oftentimes, we choose those things that mean something to us -- education, food and gas prices, jobs and who burned the dinner last night -- and it isn't until it's too late that we realize we are not just citizens of our home towns, states and country but citizens of the world.
Once it was easy to ignore what was happening "over there" because we didn't have instant access to world news and letters from friends and relatives overseas sometimes took weeks to reach us. We knew there were starving children in China and Africa, but their plight wasn't real to use, except as a goad to shame children into eating what was on their plates or being shamed for throwing away good food.
We live in a rich and powerful country and it is nearly impossible to imagine the things we take for granted -- life, liberty, freedom, the pursuit of happiness and a job -- are not equally available in other countries. We see, but we do not believe, and so we continue to keep our eyes on our own prizes and forget that we need to look up and see the rest of the world.
We are all connected, not just because we are all humans living on the same planet, but because what we do -- or do not do -- affects everyone around the world. History is full of examples. When we forget how connected we all are we give room for Hitler, the Ayatollah Khomeini, Kruschev, Stalin, Idi Amin, Qaddafi, Osama Bin Laden, Kim Jong Il and others like them to gain power and devastate the world and the people in it.
The time when our land was safe from predators and megalomaniacs are gone. Our borders are no longer safe. Terrorists gain easy access to our country and willingly fly planes full of Americans into our cities to destroy us. Leaders of Arab countries exhort their followers to give up their lives to bring in a small suitcase full of anthrax to spread like confetti on the White House lawn and kill 330,000 in a matter of days because it's more efficient than capturing planes to destroy buildings and cities. Hizbollah operatives move like tourists through the underground system of tunnels on the Mexican-U.S. border to bring in guns, disease and bombs in order to spread out across the country and create chaos, leaving death in their wake while we fret over bonuses paid to AIG executives and whether or not the President will be on Oprah or Jay Leno tonight. We ignore the President giving hundreds of billions of dollars to the very terrorists who want nothing more than to see us converted to Islam or destroyed knowing we cannot keep the money from getting into terrorists' hands just as we could not ensure the food and medical supplies we sent to North Korea wouldn't end up on the black market to buy materials and plutonium so North Korea could build an atomic bomb while the people starved and children died.
We are asleep at the wheel, mesmerized by a President who is more interested in jokes and sound bites than in governing this country and standing staunchly beside our allies while he woos and cajoles our enemies.
Where are the people demanding change now? Where are the cries of outrage for slights and outright abandonment of our allies? Why are our voices silent?
It takes no time at all for a world power to slip and fall while the jackals and vultures descend to rip its carcass apart. The USSR is no more. Britain is fighting for its life in an economic tug of war. Australia has been devastated by unchecked wild fires. Israel is drowning in a sea filled with sharks determined to rip her apart. And the U.S. has a clown for a president playing to the cheap seats while he poses and preens and watches the world burn, holding a can of napalm with an open hand out for every terrorist, liar and cheat. Why are the voices of change silent now?