Cause Celebre

In yesterday’s New York Times, Bono, the lead singer for the group U2,  wrote an interesting article in which he paid tribute, among other things,  to  the fallen heroes fighting against tyranny, injustice, and brutality.  One of those heroes was Neda Agha Soltan, the young Iranian woman who was killed in the recent brutal crackdown on the protesters  against the regime  in Tehran. He also mentioned the evil regimes of the world, the usual suspects, Iran, Myanmar, and North Korea, of course.

While the article contains some original points, there was a huge negative space in the picture on display. The essential prerequisite for any honest reformer or self-appointed champion for human rights is the willingness to see truth and justice as non-fragmented whole. 

Noticeably missing from his article is the young and brave american woman Rachel Corrie  that was crushed by the Israeli bulldozers while trying to protest the demolition of Palestinian homes. If he’s so appalled by the  brutal murder of  Agha Soltan, why wasnt he equally appalled about Rachel? What about that “little” snaking wall, that is cutting the limbs of the Palestinians, that Bono’s sensitive lens  couldnt detect in his prescient article?   He wondered about a Gandhi, a king, a San Suu Kyi coming from Gaza but was totally oblivious about a similar  coming from Israel. These huge holes call into question any genuine point Bono was trying to make in support of oppressed people’s struggle.

Bono may be  doing a commendable and visionary work with his advocacy group “One”. But he is the same old hack when it comes to human rights in the middle-east where the mantra seems to read: “Whatever you do or say has to have the approval stamp of Israel”.

This has become a  fad. A celebrity choses a “safe” cause to champion. He/she carefully dances around the controversial issues which, for the most part, are at the heart of the matter. The celebrity starts getting enormous publicity with help from a senile  corporate media. The white knight to the rescue. Everyone feels cozy. A real-life-fairy-tale- induced smile beams across our face.   Good triumphs over evil. Meanwhile, unspeakable atrocities are being committed  with few genuine, outspoken, brave people  standing up to the madness .

Ekwaysan

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