Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Whats Going On?

Living in China I am literally in a bubble. I have not been able to get cable TV because my apartment is not facing the right direction! And it would be an illegal connection anyways. This is probably a good thing though because I have a kick ass view from the bedroom and I am reading a lot more books. I can watch an hour of the news every morning in English on Pearl TV but it is heavily censored. Numerous websites including BBC and Wikipedia are also blocked in China so I can not really get access to worthy news or information. I can not read blog’s either so I am unable to share perspectives with other normal people. I am really out of touch out here until I figure out how to manipulate the proxy situation (now I can).

I had some time on my hands today so I browsed through what I could and I managed to download some news footage and even watch that knob Bill O’Reilly. He really pisses me off. He was the one who started that whole ‘Anti-American’ campaign against any Americans that disagreed with the actions of George Bush. It should be fucking obvious that in any Democracy the true citizens and patriots are the people who question their leaders and are not forced or choose to follow blindly. I do not know why I watch that fuck wit when I know listening to him just makes me want to plot his assassination.

Aside from that I also get a good dollop of world views from Cagle. It is an MSNBC site that features political cartoons from all over the world expressing different opinions. I really enjoy this medium because it is open to more individual interpretation. It is fascinating what powerful ideas an artist can put across with a simple pictures and a few words. I have been hitting this web site for at least 3 years now and I even have some preferred artists. If you have the time and you enjoy this stuff you should check into the archives and look at the cartoons dedicated to legends that passed on like Bob Hope, or the cartoons that were printed right after 9/11 and other tragedies. They manage to stir up quite a bit of emotion.

One clip I downloaded today really got to me. Some time last week an Israeli bomb dropped from a jet hit a car carrying a Lebanese family of four, the 2 parents and 2 young children, one looked about 6 years old and the other was less than a year old. The father was killed and the mother was unharmed. Both the children suffered burns. The younger one was raw and red on his right arm, leg, and torso. He screamed and cried as the mother sat beside his crib sobbing because there was nothing she could do. The other boy was in far worse condition. His face was burned and he was unable to open his eyes. The doctors stood by trying to sooth his pain as he wailed for his mother. They said it looked like the bombs contained phosphorous, a chemical that causes the skin to melt and turn black.

I wanted to reach into my skull and rip out my eyes. My chest felt hollow. Life makes no sense to me when I see things like this. I know there are far worse atrocities that take place all over the world everyday with sick and starving children, but news like this is a harsh reminder that really hits me hard. It is obvious that the men and women in power simply turn a blind eye to such instances and disregard them as necessary casualties of ‘The War on Terror’. But what of the pilot who flew the plane or the soldier who dropped that bomb. How do they justify their actions and face themselves everyday.

I know that both sides of the current conflict are equally brutal in their attacks. I am not pointing a finger at one side or the other but rather at both and the whole system in general. I wonder if the US had not acted against the United Nations and invaded Iraq, would Israel have been bold enough to attack Hezbollah on Lebanese soil to rescue 2 soldiers who were captured in the line of duty. At the same time I wonder about the line that separates revolutionaries from terrorists. That judgment will remain a very personal issue. I know all walks of people read this blog and the last thing I need is hate mail right now.

A few weeks ago when I was in India, I spent time hanging out with a Lebanese friend of mine who also came down for the wedding. He lives in Ghana as while, forced to make a living outside his home land while there was civil unrest. Over the last few years as there was normalcy restored in Lebanon he had repatriated his family as money other Lebanese all around the world did. Beirut was once again restored title as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. My friend loves to travel as I do and we talked of all the places we have been and India. He invited me to Lebanon and told me of her rich history, exotic night life, and gorgeous women. Not one week after we parted ways and he returned to his family I was watching the jewel he talked of being leveled to the ground while civilians ran for cover.

With ample funds at his disposal it still took my friend almost 3 weeks to evacuate his family from Lebanon. I believe they managed to smuggle themselves on a boat to Cyprus. It is ironic that when we met he showed me a deep scar on his back where he was pierced by shrapnel when he was only 8 years old and a bomb hit the house next to his. He reflected on those times with no premonition in his mind that his own children would face the same threats only one week later.

I do not know what I am going about anymore. I was hoping that while pouring these thoughts out on paper I might find some resolve but there is not. I will go on with my day as will everyone else, trying not to think about where this world is going and what future we have to offer the children we bring into this world but rather how much wealth we can accumulate for them to soften the blows they will be dealt.

1 comment:

IndCoup said...

nice post...

The problem Avi is that humans have always been fighting wars, and always will.

From Africa to Europe to the Middle East, it's the same old shit.