Monday, January 25, 2010

Haiti is Bleeding… so too is Afghanistan, Iraq & the Arizona Desert

Column of the Americas

Jan 25, 2010

Haiti is Bleeding… so too is Afghanistan, Iraq & the Arizona Desert

By Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez

The images from Haiti compel us to look at the mirror and ask

ourselves, if we have a heart and a face? What we see compels us to

ask if we are the human beings that we profess to be. The answer moves

us to act.

As Haiti bleeds, we don’t ask for proof of their humanity; we feel it.

We do not ask if we are related; we know it. As Haiti bleeds, we do

not ask for their citizenship nor do we ask their religion. We… we

realize that the world is we and we have become one. And so their

children are our children and their elders are our elders. And all

nations open up their borders.

As Haiti bleeds, we all open up our hearts. Celebrities freely lend

their names, their words, their music and songs and we respond by

sending ten dollars via a text message. Is that enough? Can we do more

than simply send some bucks for a tax-break? Can we give of ourselves?

Can we give blood? Indeed, some do more.

Yet, deep down, we all know that no matter how much is raised, it

won’t be enough. On the disaster scale, Haiti is 100 times Katrina.

Haiti is in danger of becoming one gigantic and permanent undignified

Sally Struthers plea for assistance. Haiti does not need pity; it

needs to be rebuilt. $100 million from the U.S. government and

assorted charities will not suffice (This is 1,000 times less than the

U.S. has spent on its current wars). Beyond that, Haiti needs to be

brought into the family of nations, with dignity and a clear path to

self-determination and self-reliance.

Haiti’s tragedy was not borne of a natural disaster; it was a tragedy

before the quake. The U.S. imperial footprint is all over Haiti’s

corridors of power and thus it cannot return to what it was. But

that’s a narrative that will have to be written by Haitians, which may

include the return of Jean-Bertrand Aristide – Haiti’s first

democratically elected president that has been ousted several times by

U.S.-supported forces.

The other narrative that Haiti has already changed is that mirror that

the rest of the world now wakes up to each morning.

We now know that when Haiti bleeds, we too bleed. Perhaps people will

come to understand that about Afghanistan and Iraq too. The people

there daily bleed, not because of earthquakes or hurricanes, but

because something has happened to dull U.S. minds and eyes. Something

has prevented us from seeing our true hearts and our true faces. It is

a smoking mirror. It is what has permitted illegal, immoral,

senseless, costly and bloody wars to be waged in our names to the tune

of over $1 trillion. And that’s but the short-term financial cost.

For at least a decade, U.S. bombs have been dropped all over those two

nations with our names inscribed upon them. Our silence permits the

carnage. Hundreds of thousands have been killed and maimed and

millions have been displaced. Yet, we don’t have an actual count

because the U.S. government doesn’t even bother; this is the meaning

of dehumanization. As far as this government is concerned, everyone

there is a potential enemy, a terrorist or collateral damage. And we

all accept their deaths and this generalized and permanent war as

necessary to maintain “our freedoms” and “our safety.”

Most of us know better, yet we’ve grown accustomed to looking the

other way. Perhaps it is war fatigue. Most assuredly, there is no

urgency, nor are there mass appeals to stop this destruction. If we

protest the illegality and immorality of these wars, we are told that

they are yesterday’s wars or yesterday’s news. But they are being

fought today and tomorrow. But already, today and tomorrow is Yemen

and Pakistan, Somalia and the Sudan. Possibly even Cuba and Venezuela.

We have found our collective humanity in Haiti and it now compels us

to remove that smoke from our mirrors. It compels us to act, not just

in Haiti and not just abroad, but even at home.

Perhaps we are not far off from the day when people will also feel

compelled to demand from the U.S. government to put a halt to its

draconian, anti-immigrant policies that contribute to the killing

fields along the U.S. Mexico border. In this decade, more than five

thousand corpses have turned up in the mountains and desert, yet where

are the mass appeals? Where is our humanity?

Rodriguez, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona, can be

reached at:

No comments:

Censored News Special Edition

Censored News Blog Radio

Donate to Censored News

. Censored News is free of advertising and has no sponsors.

Censored News Homepage

About Censored News

Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
COPYRIGHTS All material is copyrighted by the author or photographer. Please contact each contributor for reprint permission.
Audios may not be sold or used for commercial purposes.

"O FRIEND! In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love, and from the nightingale of affection and desire loosen not thy hold." --Baha'u'llah, Baha'i Faith