Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Tuesday, January 18, 2005  

Hotel Rwanda Syndrome

The new movie, Hotel Rwanda, has been the cause of a great deal of hand wringing by people on the left and right. The Left ends up blaming America for the massacre (but not Clinton really), and the right tends to blame the UN and Europeans. (The French armed and helped those who commited atrocities.)

Having been raised in the 50's with constant awareness of the Holocaust and my Jewish heritage, I was trained to believe it was our duty and that of everyone to prevent anything like it to occur again.

But then we left Viet Nam, and Cambodia was subjected to the Kymer Rouge. In the midst of this fresh Holocaust the world did nothing. I gnashed my teeth in anguish as fresh reports of slaughter filtered out to the world.

America was helpless since the World had decided we we were wrong to have been in Viet Nam, how ould we suddenly jump into the area again? And what were our strategic interests now, anyway?

No one did anything until the Viet Namese invaded their neighbor and put an end to it.

That was lesson to me about the World's concern for horrific slaughter of innocents.

When Rwanda occurred, it was clear that Clinton and his people (I feel your pain) couldn't care less; and I didn't see anyone else rushing to help.

When Kosovo occurred, I was stirred into wanting us to stop it, and thought our initial intervention worthwhile, all the while wondering why Europe couldn't do the job themselves. It was their concern and backyard, after all.

But later, as it became more apparent that the ethnic Albanians were not nice guys, sought every chance to kill innocent Serbs and peacekeepers, and that the conflict between them and Serbs would never end - I questioned the whole point of our efforts.

The crime rate and number of murders occurring in Kosovo has been horrendous although there has been improvement in the last few years.

Strangely enough, it is mostly conservatives who are calling for the US to intervene in the Sudan; not the Left (who care so greatly about the People).

My horror at the slaughter of innocent peoples has now become a sad resignation because 1) we never seem to act until it is too late for multitudes who are now dead, 2) it is rarely in our strategic interests, 3) intervention does not improve the cultures which spawn these convulsions, nor do the victims ever seem to grow into more compassionate folks themselves who become peacemakers when similar events occur in other places.

Case in point, Israel. Granted it is small, but no one claims higher moral ground than Jews and Israel as to their supposed compassion and sympathy with suffering peoples, but their very effective army has never deployed to stop violence anywhere outside their territory.

American Jews could easily pony up the funds for such interventions, or form some sort of paramilitary NGO for such operations, but it never happens. They just cry out loud and insist that someone else do the risky dirty work.

I am always amazed at the vaulting ambition of liberals (I picked out Jews from that group because they are overwhelmingly liberal, and I know the culture of that group. Someone else could point to Irish liberals who are equally absurd) who are more than ready to commit lives and treasure not their own to world improvement schemes.

Liberals do not fill the ranks of our armed services, nor volunteer great amounts of their treasure on charity, but they do seem to collect vast sums for "caring" by creating ever larger bureaucracies.

I no longer believe it is the duty of distant bystanders to save other people from themselves or from their neighbors with whom they have long standing grievances and animosity.

It is precisely because we base decisions on our interests that we have liberated more peoples, done more good than any other people in the history of the world.

Our disinterest in being rescuers and saviors has meant that we have acted clearly and not with fuzzy headed, utopian, hare brained schemes.

It is horrible that so many people enjoy death dealing in this world, that such spasms and eruptions of violence are endemic to humanity, but I no longer believe that we can fix that, and we should not try.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 11:48 AM |