I have a request.
Take a moment or two to hop on Google.
Do an image search for “Aleppo 2010”
Take another moment to reflect on the true human reality of this. imagine walking or driving those street. kids skipping to school with cellphones in their pockets, families going out to dinner and to stroll through the shops.
a major failing of our media is that we never see these places “before” pictures.
It is much better for the agenda of war if we have an image in our heads of poverty stricken dirty streets, bare bulbs on strings, wood stoves huddled in dusty corners, surrounded by illiterate children.
Those are LIES.
Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Somalia, these are not third world countries. Baghdad was the greatest center of learning on Earth. not so long ago…
They would have you forget that.
This disparity between perception and reality is the root of the seeming outrage when westerners see the refugees in their rubber boats with new iphones and tablets. when they see their relatively new clothes, ear buds, purses.
We want to think of the entirety of the middle east and africa, as well as most of asia, as some rampant pit of despair.
We like to pretend that even if we are bombing them into oblivion, or standing by while someone else does, that maybe, in some small way, we are HELPING them. Saving them from themselves.
words can’t express the grief and total impotent anger I’m dealing with the last several years.
I often feel like the whole world is deaf and blind, and I am not big enough or loud enough to ever get through to everyone.
So please, take a moment.
Just browse around. Search Iraq before the Bush era, admire the beauty of Syria, see the beautiful resort cities on the coast of somalia and get all this black hawk down propaganda out of your face for a little while. Then ask yourself, have you ever felt true kinship with these peopel? Or only pity? There is a difference, and it’s an important one. Maybe The important one.
So long as you see them as “others” somehow integrally different and distant from yourself, you can have sympathy, but no empathy. That matters.
Perhaps you cant relate to the dirty hoards living in the rubble, but go back a little further, see how much you can feel for those happy working educated families.