(Part of The Darkness Visible series)
(The Darkness Continues To Engulf The Rohingya)
Words without action are meaningless when one is dealing with irrational minds. The soul once tainted with hate knows no sense of reason. The heart once blinded by this disease knows nothing but pain. This is the reason Obama's good will speech to the Rohingya in Myanmar was worthless. This is why the political gain from Obama's actions were all the President wanted from this trip.
We live in a world where we let the voices of cowardly leaders heal our sense of injustice far to rapidly. We allow their desire to preserve their own image rather than to act boldly in the face of evil overwhelm our own desire to fight. For this we have no one left to blame but ourselves. For all evil has ever needed was for truly good men to do nothing. And by putting our faith in man that is known for what he doesn't do... we did nothing.
As the world watched Obama's speak they did not listen to what he had to say. They did not once ask the President to clarify what America thought needed to be done to end this genocide. He did not once lay out a method of attack that America would be willing to take to end the killing. He did not stand toe to toe with the wretched men and woman who have carried out this latest spat of ethnic cleansing. Instead we got what we have always got out of Obama... softly spoken lullabies for those who were about to die.
The Rohingya in Sittwe and the rest of the Rakhine state remain on the run or in hiding as the genocide continues. The ethnic cleansing has spread eastward in Myanmar as the radical Buddhist infect the rest of Burma with their cancer. Rape has become a more pronounce weapon of war against the Muslim Rohinya as the Buddhist attempt to rid "their homeland" of this "invader". Attacks on Rohingya children are on the rise as Myanmar sinks further into the darkness.
For nearly half a year the world has sat back and listened to their screams. We have watched as the satellite images show their homes and ghettos being burned. We have closed our eyes as images of their dead flash on random news reports. And as best we could, we have covered our ears to attempt to block out the Rohingya peoples' pleas for help.
G-d himself should not forgive those who have the power to stop this sin against all humanity. The leaders of Europe, Canada, and America should all be accused just as much as the Burmese government for these atrocities. China's leaders should burn in hell for their part in helping these crimes flourish... and not just in Myanmar; but in Sudan where China buys oil from war criminals, in Syria where they prop up Assad's murderous rule, and in Tibet where their heavy hands crush the will of a nation.
Over Thanksgiving Americans sat down to feasts as we celebrated what we were thankful for. Over that same time span nearly a million Rohingya have picked through sacks of rice to make sure everyone had enough food to fit in the palms of their hands. Thousands of Rohingya went without water or food again as Myanmar maintains a forced famine on the Rohingya still trapped in ghettos and Burmese concentration camps. Had this same thing happened here in the States there would be public outrage beyond measure. This morning at churches across the country preachers, pastors, and fathers of the faith would be giving a call to arms for all the good little Christians to come to the aid of their fellow men. On Shabbat the Rabbis would have been pleading with their congregations to give all they had to help those in need. But none of that happened.
Yesterday Alder's Ledge gave a short review of a movie "The Machine Gun Preacher". A line from that movie has stood out for such an occasion as this.
"G-d doesn't want more sheep, he wants wolves. Something with more teeth..."
Now many of you might disagree with the religious meaning of that quote. And for that I wish I could say I am sorry. But as for me, the author of this blog, that quote rings more clearly than anything else ever could when faced with genocide and ethnic cleansing. After all, sheep didn't storm the beaches when my ancestors were being slaughtered by the fascist. Wolves came to Dachau to set the captives free. Wolves came to Buchenwald to liberate those who could not fight for themselves.
The Western world should stop being the sheep that the genocidal regimes around the world thrive off. We should show that we are willing to stop this sin wherever and whenever it arises. And when need be, we should be willing to take up arms and fight to stop it. We should be willing to die in our battle against it.
With Myanmar this would mean taking every action to inhibit the government there from committing it. Obama should not have lifted sanctions on Burma. Obama should not have extended America's hand to a government currently engaged in genocide. And we should not be ready to reap the benefits of trade with a government that is willingly engaged in ethnic cleansing.
Instead Obama should have started speaking out against Myanmar the day these attacks began. If Obama is the humanitarian he claims to be, we as a nation should be taking every diplomatic stance we have to leverage our weight against Myanmar's willingness to kill their own people. And if need be, Obama should have taken the steps to force the US and UN into action to stop the genocide given that diplomacy had not worked.
The United Nations should have been on the ground with guns hot as quickly as possible. Rohingya should have seen the world coming to their aid the minute the pogroms began. Peace Keepers should have been given the command to stop the ethnic cleansing at all cost.
But all this is fantasy. We live in a world where the good intentions of our leaders is meant to suffice as an excuse for the deaths of millions as genocide spreads across the map. We live in a world where genocide in Libya is met with limited action so as to serve a political aim. We live in a world where genocide by Assad's hands is ignored as long as it stays within Syria's borders. We do not live in a world where the armies of the world come storming the beaches as evil rains all hell down upon them. We do not live in a world where brave men open the gates of hell and liberate those history had forgotten. We do not live in the world my ancestors were blessed to have been brought out of.