GEORGE W. BUSH
Of The Very Worst Kind Of Environmental Racism
If this tsunami had hit Western Europe, or South Florida, imagine the response. If even 10,000 souls had been lost to white Christian northwest Europe or America, THINK of the howling, and the flapping of Gov't checkbooks, the bang and clang of boots and military vee-hikkles, headed for the site before the waters had even receded an inch.
But here it is Friday, six days after the tsunami. 130,000 people died. Over five million are homeless, and many may die for lack of aid. US Navy ships were not dispatched to the scene until today.
Military or not, a mariner's first duty is rescue at sea. Every ship in the United States Navy within two days, at full steam, should have been deployed to the affected areas on Sunday morning, six days ago. US Navy and Marine Corps helicopters should have been ferrying sick and injured victims to ships' sick bays by Tuesday, at the latest. US Navy and Marine Corps planes and helicopters should have been dropping advance teams and relief supplies before then. The Seabees should have had airstrips, landings and disembarcation zones cut and cleared anywhere needed by now.
US Air Force and Army planes and troops should have been rolling in and out like clockwork. Food, shelter, clean water, and copious medical supplies should be in evidence everywhere by now. Instead, they have not even begun arriving.
Instead, we see children starving and dying of thirst. We see their mothers trying to shelter them from the weather with nothing but their own bodies, and whatever they can find for cover. We see their fathers scrounging for food and clean water, and finding none. And on the very same day, we see European and American tourists returning to the seaside, umbrella drinks and snacks in hand, sunning themselves on the very same beaches where human bodies are still washing up.
If this image is not enough to wake you up to the gross inequities, the monumental inadequecies, the inhuman apathy of our system, you may be dead yourself. Soul dead, for sure. These people died, and will go on dying in this tragedy, because they were poor and Asian and brown and yellow-skinned and Hindu and Muslim and Animists. They died because the former colonial powers, and the contemporary powers-that-be chose not to warn them of the approaching disaster.
Chose not to install warning systems they themselves enjoyed. Chose to do nothing as the waves struck, and struck again, and again. Chose to ignore the suffering of the victims, and the horrors of the many deaths there. Chose to do nothing for the survivors. Chose to busy themselves with political squabbles when finally called to account. Chose, even then, to do as little as possible, as slowly as possible.
The powers that be are demonstrating the weakness and inhumanity of their own systems before our very eyes. What sort of a system could undergo such an enormous tragedy, and choose to do nothing, for so many people, in so many countries, for so long? What sort of a system could tolerate such conditions as these, and ongoing tragedies in other parts of the world, that have been killing millions, for years? A corrupt, and broken system. An inhumane, immoral system. A system that has outlived its' usefulness, clearly.
The great powers who formerly dominated South Asia, and much of the world, are still great powers. England, France, Germany, Japan, Holland, Portugal, Russia and China have all had a hand in, or designs upon the history of these twelve victim nations. They are now led by the United States of America, according to most Americans, which demands unchallenged hegemony over this region, and all the regions of the Earth. Yet, when their subject peoples suffer a calamity of historic proportions, America and these other nations do nothing.
Where is their humanity? Is there a human intellect anywhere in them, any more? Or are they simply digital calculating machines, adding up the numbers, figuring the angles, cyphering the odds, adjusting the polls, and coughing out a "bottom line"? If this is the best they can do, what do we need them for?
Average, individual, private citizens the world over have sprung into action, doing whatever they best could do to help the tsunami victims. Their time, money, materiel, expertise and energy have poured into charities, relief organizations and personal acts of extraordinary kindness. When corrupt, incompetent local governments could not or would not respond quickly or efficiently enough, non-governmental organizations took their place. When the great powers evinced only avoidance and denial, private groups jumped in, and filled the yawning gap. If we can do all this, why do we need governments who only seem to tax us, and oppress us?
Governments today are capable of war, and always ready and eager for it. But they are not ready for peace, or prosperity, or human kindness offered across their borders. The citizens of the world would love dearly to see their brave sons and daughters now in uniform out of the business of human slaughter, and into the battle for human dignity, and survival.
If only we had an army, an air force, a navy, a marine corps, to send swiftly into areas in great need! If only the trillions of dollars we all pay in taxes worldwide would go to something good, for a change. If only our governments really represented us all, and not just the rich and powerful few, like George "Dubya" Bush and his family, who clearly don't care about the vast majority of us, at all.
This tsunami is a Sign: It's time to wake up, to take responsibility, to demand ownership of our own lives, to join together in the free exercise of our own best powers for doing good in the world. It's time to remake our system so it includes everyone, everywhere. It's time to start acting like we are all human beings, all family, all deserving of equal love and consideration. It's time to put our collective energies into ending evil in the world, and doing good works.
Governments are not the enemy: Those who now control them are. In our own hands, what better things could we do with the powers of our own governments than our self-styled "leaders" are doing right this very minute. Or choosing not to do. Let that be an indictment of George W. Bush, and the other self-styled "leaders" of the world. Let's take control of our lives, our governments, our world, our destinies. Let's never allow a tragedy like this tsunami to be ignored, or short-changed, or dragged out. Let that be our New Year's Resolution.
"FIRST, BUSH DOES NOTHING; THEN WORSE THAN NOTHING"
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