Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

Men of the cloth have no clothes

July 23, 2012

Men of the cloth.

They know things. They can always tell us what is good and what is evil.

Go to church, pray, love your neighbor, have faith even when you can’t understand, and accept what you can not change.

They tell  us to pray so God can guide us to make the decisions He’d like us to make no matter how difficult they may be.

Well, until they themselves really have to take a stand that would make a difference, that is.

A few days ago, men of the cloth representing the Presbyterian church failed to  divest from companies such as Caterpillar, Motorola, etc… that make equipments that aid  occupation  (form of apartheid, really) of the WEST Bank and Gaza?

Granted, the vote was close (333-331). But why even was it so close? How could 333 men of the cloth, who supposedly fight for social justice and preach against abetting evil, vote for investing in companies that raze innocent people’s homes?

If these pillars of virtues can’t even bring themselves to stand against occupations (a term the U.N. uses, by the way, not just me) and speak truth to power, then why are they relevant at all?

Every thing they have been telling us (well, at least about things that really matter) seems like a lie.

The men of the cloth have no clothes.


Where is our own outrage?…Really

January 9, 2010

We as a nation, and not some fringe lunatic sect among us, are violating our own laws and ideals, let alone international laws. We are committing crimes at home and abroad.   Why haven’t we heard the outrage of our religious authorities and  elites over our own atrocities?  We commit these gross violations as a matter of public policy and it didn’t cost any public official, to my knowledge,   her/his job.

What we hear instead is  “where is the outrage from the Muslim World over terrorism” no matter how many times their highest religious authorities, let alone intellectuals from all walks of life, condemn these heinous acts.

 The New York Times, the Washington Post, and NPR, are  supposedly a progressive  voice.  All of sudden, they have developed a severe case of  blurred vision.  They can’t even recognize torture when they see it.

Yeah…where is the outrage? Where is the outrage  from the religious authorities and the elites over torture?  over indefinite detention of innocent people?  over keeping innocent people jailed in subhuman conditions when we even admit their innocence? over the use of  drones to indiscriminately bomb the populations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and (now )Yemen, causing the death of innocent women and children on an almost daily basis (over 700 civilian deaths by drones since Obama took office)?  over  war crimes in  Gaza and elsewhere? etc…etc…

But wait, it gets better. The religious authorities in our country are  either the most stalwart supporters of these criminal and immoral violations or at best silent. Corporate media pundits such as   Thomas Friedman repeatedly ask for an outrage from the Muslim World when he supports the mass killings in Gaza and Lebanon as an educational tool. He   boasts “suck on this” as one reason we invaded a nation causing unspeakable carnage and misery.

Have our religious authorities lost their moral compass? Have our elites become desensitized to killings? Has God died in America? 

So yeah..really…where is the outrage?


Cause Celebre

January 5, 2010

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 .