Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Out of Sight

Amidst the mourning of the death of a Pope who promoted a "culture of life", the Moose observes that there is an appalling indifference to the mass taking of life.

Nicolas Kristof writes in the New York Times,

"President Bush and other world leaders are honoring John Paul II in a way that completely misunderstands his message. We pay him no tribute if we lower our flags to half-staff and send a grand presidential delegation to his funeral, when at the same time we avert our eyes as villagers are slaughtered and mutilated in the genocide unfolding in Darfur."

Then Kristof reports on another horrifying aspect of the genocide in Darfur that has already taken approximately 300,000 lives,

"These days the Sudanese authorities are adding a new twist to their crimes against humanity: they are arresting girls and women who have become pregnant because of the mass rapes by Sudanese soldiers and militia members. If the victims are not yet married, or if their husbands have been killed, then they are imprisoned for adultery."

He then concludes,

"If there is a lesson from the papacy of John Paul II, it is the power of moral force. The pope didn't command troops, but he deployed principles. And it's hypocritical of us to pretend to honor him by lowering our flags while simultaneously displaying an amoral indifference to genocide."

We live in an age when more attention is devoted to a celebrity child molestation trial than the mass slaughter of innocents. One can only conclude that this incongruity is explained by either the numbing banality of the times or a racist indifference to the massacre of Africans. Perhaps, it is both.

Maybe one day a movie will be made that depicts the slaughter in Africa and the West's inaction. Call it Hotel Darfur.
-- Posted at 8:23 AM | Link to this post | Email this post