Lavinia Moore (SA) writes to Adelaide Advertiser re natural and man-made upheavals 17Mar11 March 17, 2011

There are two historically significant stories that are pre-occupying the international media. One is the result of a natural disaster in Japan. The other is the result of decades of human tyranny, dictatorship and unsavoury collaboration by so called western governments.

Multinationals who have exploited resources and extracted profits under the aegis provided by their government’s placement of accommodating and corrupt regimes prop of those selfsame tyrannies and dictatorships and are therefore implicated in the oppression and brutality inflicted on the people.

The historical significance of the first may have to do with rethinking the advisability of nuclear energy. The historical significance of the latter may have to do with a transformation of the power balance and structures of world politics. Both of these things matter, and they matter to all of us.

While there is immediate assistance given to Japan, a very appropriate and humane act, those fighting for their “rights and freedoms” in countries where autocratic, tyrannical, despotic, corrupt and brutal dictators rule wait and wait and wait and still no assistance is forthcoming.
Those freedoms and rights that they are asking for are the ones that we in the west like to claim that we represent and we support.

So why?

Are Libyans or Bahrainis less than us? Less worthy than the Japanese? I heard one listener say that call back should focus solely on Japan and leave the “others” to sort things out themselves.

Is this racism? Elitism? What?

Then I remembered the huge outpouring of generosity after the 2004 tsunami. And similarly, at the very same time hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were facing death and horror and occupation and I cannot remember collections around the world to assist the Iraqi refugees happening then either. Is it that we find it easier to fight nature, but not to support others fighting for human rights when by so doing we might have to make a stand ourselves?

If it’s a natural disaster we all rush to help. If humans caused it- too bad?

That is an indictment of our so-called humanity don’t you think?


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