More From Alder's Ledge

September 30, 2012

Mouths Sewn Shut

A Muffled Scream
(Part of The Darkness Visible post) 

For hundreds of thousands of years humans have celebrated death with a perverse sense of fascination. Neanderthals have been documented to have buried their dead with flowers. We exercise the same sort of flirtation with death today. But what is it about the death of innocence that shocks us... immobilizes us... paralyzes us?

It is one thing to bury someone who has died of old age. It is one thing to bury someone who dies of a disease. But it never seems to make sense to us when the life of an innocent man, woman, or child is lost in a violent way. It takes the breath out of our lungs and stifles our tongues.

In many ways this kind of death forces us to close our eyes and keep our mouths shut as if our lips have been sewn shut.

In Myanmar this sort of death has been given a face. It has taken on a physical form that can no longer be ignored. In Myanmar death is the being that walks about while the living remain paralyzed with fear. We watch as the country of Juntas and murders commits a full scale holocaust. The innocence of the Rohingya is bleeding before our eyes. And yet here we are... with our mouths rigidly shut tight.

Today Aung San Suu Kyi was rewarded another hollow award in San Fransisco. Once again she was paraded before an audience of Westerners. Once again she was shown as a symbol of our collective guilt as the audience, men and women who will go home and never know the fear Burmese live with, applauded a woman who supports genocide. Aung San Suu Kyi supports ethnic cleansing in much the same manner as the West does.

By remaining silent.

Silence in the face of genocide is complacency. To do nothing is to condone the killings of helpless women and children. To say nothing is to help clean up the corpses of innocent babies as the murders move on to kill again and again. This is how we support the Juntas in Myanmar. This is how we supported the machete wielding hordes in Rwanda. And this is how we supported the snipers in Bosnia.

When the corpses of this genocide are carried off to the back of the history books will we once again tell ourselves that there was nothing we could do? Will we once again put a hand to our lips and force another crocodile tear for the lives we helped end?

Never Again...

When the SS were sent into villages in Poland the neighbors always knew what these black coated jackboots were there to do. In many cases the neighbors helped rat out their Jewish "friends". It was no secret what the death's head pins meant.

So when the Holocaust was over... when the killers were trying their best to fit back into crowd... when the graves were still fresh... we promised ourselves "Never Again". We told the world that this sort of tragedy would never be unleashed upon the world again. We promised all before us that no matter who the targeted population might be... we would never allow this again.

So here we are again.

Syria continues to degrade into a war of attrition. The jackboots in Syria continue to use a scorched earth policy as they slaughter their victims daily. And the world shuts its eyes as we cover our ears.

Myanmar now ramps up a policy of ethnic cleansing as the Myanmar military establishes rape centers where their soldiers can receive "comfort" and "moral". The bodies of Rohingya children are literally stacking up before our eyes. Their fathers' bodies are forming a barrier along the border with Bangladesh as the Rohingya are reminded that they have nowhere left to run. And all the while the world turns its back.

It is long past time that we wake up. It is time that we cut the thread that binds our lips. It is time that we open our eyes to what crimes our inaction has allowed. It is time for us to finally live up to that promise... Never Again.

Join with us where at Alder's Ledge by sharing these post on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Help up raise our voice as one so that we might scream... that we might scream so loud that those in Washington and the UN might hear us. Do your part... Scream.

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