Music:It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) - R.E.M.
Got up (as per usual, I wake up every day no later than 7AM) at 6:30AM, hit the power on the coffee maker, rebooted the laptop, and got busy checking my RSS feeds. Coffee finished, I poured a big cup - then got my eye caught by something on The Independent. Now bear in mind that I'm well aware of the ethnic cleansing/genocide in Darfur/Sudan, Rwanda, Bosnia, [more] - and the mere idea of such a thing occurring in my lifetime is well beyond reason for me. It's quite hard to even imagine anything on that scale, but I always do imagine these things happening here in America when I read about them elsewhere, trying to imagine what it would be like to have to live in an environment where this is a daily fact of life. One could argue that this is one of the reasons I'm a Liberal, because I would be hard pressed to find a Conservative who thinks automatically along the lines of social humanitarianism and applies the effects of these kinds of issues to us as a democratic society. ABSOLUTELY, I'm bitter about that - what affects one affects us all as a whole as far as I'm concerned. When I see an image of a child starving to death, it diminishes me as a human and I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone could have a reaction other than that, I really don't.
So I find this story on Iraq disintegrating as ethnic cleansing takes hold, and there was a very different and very visceral reaction I had to the story. I think there is a profound difference in the reactions I've had to instances of this before versus this one, because in this case it is partly our responsibility to assume as a nation for this atrocity. Say what you will about our real reasons for declaring war on Iraq, but the fact remains that it will be years before we as a nation can come to understand the ultimate prices we're going to pay for this war and its fallout. This is only beginning to unfold, there's little doubt in my mind that it has been an ongoing thing since this entire debacle started, its just not getting the kind of press it now is with a story like the above linked one. I am absolutely shaken to my core reading this, it's got my stomach in knots and I'm going to work up a post on the subject later in the week.
I posted earlier about John McCain getting booed at the New School commencement [link], and this morning I found a blog at the Huffington Post from Jean Rohe, the student speaker who went up before McCain and ripped him - check it out, it's an explaination from her about why she spoke up and a transcript of her speech.