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It was interesting and awful to see how each political faction in the US tried to spin the Orlando attack to blame whatever group they hate.
Amusingly, liberals were on a roll with their gay victim media fest when the news came out that maybe Mateen had a homosexual problem himself. A little Mastercard moment, you have to admit. For a moment, the shouts of “We told you! We told you! Conservatives are all evil and homosexuals are all darlings” hushed down a bit and were replaced by “It doesn’t matter if he was a homosexual, snap, it matters that homos were killed, we must always ignore when homosexuals perpetrate violence and just scream about them being victims”.
Trump seized the attack to inflame the fears and racism of his supporters, “I told you we need a Muslim ban, I told you, I told you, we need to protect our borders, the wall, the wall, and the Mexicans, Afghans, Paraguayans, Kurds, whatever, ban, ban, ban” – completely overlooking the fact that the alleged shooter is American and was born in the US.
Trumpinites were yelling off their heads about the evil Muslims and ISIS and terrorists attacking innocent Americans on American soil – you know, the fatherland, I mean heartland – when all of a sudden the news came out that at least three of the homosexual victims were illegals. Oops – a little wrench right into the Mexicans and the wall and the terrorists.
Right-wingers were screaming hysterically “Ahhh! Terrorists! Terrorists! Be afraid, afraid, be very afraid! We need more bombings, more wars, more arms sales, more killings, more destruction of other countries so our corrupt political puppets can be instituted in a corrupt democratic system or we can put in place a nice old fashioned dictator that we control”. Well, they didn’t actually say the second part and just screamed “Terrorists! Terrorists!” hysterically – the rest will follow so naturally, why waste one’s breath telling the truth to the sheeple?
There was a lot more shouting and spun angles. Every political faction in the US though ignored what I found the most important thing Mateen declared to the media (if true): he did this shooting to avenge and to call attention to US’ mass killings of women and children in Afghanistan – apparently where his family came from.
So this isn’t just some evil person who is killing others because of no reason – he is very much protesting US warfare and the killing of thousands of innocent people and the protracted destruction of an entire country (just one of many).
But you wouldn’t know this from many of the comments to several news articles on the shooting. One that stood out to me was a guy asking: what makes an individual pick up a rifle and just go out and kill people? What sort of an deranged person would do that?
He was genuinely puzzled and asking the question.
One could also ask: what makes a group of Americans get on a plane and just go and kill and kill people? Thousands and thousand of men, women, and children. What makes the US, the UK, and France, among others, go terrorize millions of people abroad, to destroy their families, their homes, their countries, their lives, their psychological structure, their hopes and dreams?
Well, we know – evil greed and the desire to make a buck, in other words, savage capitalism, the US’, the UK’s, and France’s specialty. At this time, it’s the desire to rob other people of oil, gas, minerals, and other sought-after materials, control markets abroad, use international financial systems in the most corrupt ways, turn everyone into mindless consumers, in short, old neo-colonialism now covered with a high-tech face.
I had seen this movie before. I remember being speechless when I heard Pres. Hollande proclaim on national television after the November attacks that “France is now at war.”
Really? And what was France in before – when it took its military aircraft and all its other vicious weapons and joined the US and the UK in multiple killing sprees of thousands and thousands of innocent people – the poorest of the poor – in Africa and in the Middle East? Is now mass murder a form of peace for France, the UK, and the US?
The arrogance, the sheer Nazi arrogance that is needed to think that when Americans and Brits and the French kill other people, this is a non-event, and it’s not terrorism either – even though millions of innocent people are forever terrorized and traumatized by this – that is, those who survive the barbarity of war.
How many days have gone by when the US, the UK, and France killed 50 people in some
region of the world? We don’t even know, it’s so frequent in all these wars. But these are
nameless people because they are poor people. They are of color in many ways, not just regarding their skin. The most important is not having the current Nazi citizenship du jour – therefore their lives are completely dispensable and their killing is not to be even accounted for. Americans have no feelings when they murder people abroad. Neither do the French. Murder, especially mass murder, is a seen as a right.
LGBT pigs also didn’t waste a second to trot out the “Oh look, the terrorist is from one of those evil conservative countries where they throw off gays from buildings.” Yes, and the LGBT pigs are from countries where they use high-tech to commit mass murder, including of children. Glass houses and all that.
Who is the greater evil?
Then we had a large number of pols and pundits solemnly declaring, “Sheeple, the ignominy, this was an attack on America – what America stands for!” I would have paid money for someone to add, “Yes, an attack on sodomy – the cornerstone of America, what our forefathers fought and died for.” Alas, all I heard was, “The gays, the gays, stop the hatred, victims, victims, crying, crying, the evil terrorists, it’s all so awful.”
This site reports that “about 92,000 people have been killed in the Afghanistan war since 2001. More than 26,000 of those killed have been civilians. Nearly 100,000 people have been injured since 2001.”
Almost a hundred thousand Afghan dead. Contrast that to 50 homos in Orlando.
And what are Americans wailing and grieving about?
Then, in total American mode of let’s hear all the measures we shall take after another horrible crisis, the corrupt US media invited all these “experts” to tell the public how terrorism can be prevented – which everybody knows in a country of 320 million is impossible. Never mind that. “Experts” were in overdrive telling us that we need more surveillance, more police, more spending, more intel, more this, more that. Not one suggested that maybe, just maybe if Americans didn’t go murder other people then other people might not want to murder Americans. Not that difficult.
And this is why, the most brilliant political phrase that I came across recently was Henry Adams’ “politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds”.
Et voilà, and here we have another grotesque episode of it, in overkill fashion.
A lucid comment – in French – left regarding a presentation in France, by a lawyer called Damien Viguier, on the subject of the French government’s responsibility in the chaos in the Middle East. (Damien Viguier : « Chaos au Proche-Orient : les responsabilités du gouvernement français »). The clip from the presentation posted, although quite short, is quite good as well.
Conférence donnée samedi 19 mars 2016 au colloque de CIVITAS : « De la guerre au Proche-Orient à l’immigration et au terrorisme en Europe » (more clips from the conference here)
As Mr. Viguier underscores, the problem we have in the world today is that we have terrorist governments. I would add that the so-called terrorist groups like ISIS are like mosquitoes compared to the horror and the scale of crimes that terrorist governments are carrying out. Three of the most barbaric terrorist governments are the US, the UK, and France.
From a legal perspective, another of his points is very interesting – he says we must judge Laurent Fabius for murder, the murder of countless innocent people in the Middle East. (Fabius was France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs until recently). And we must avoid trying to frame the crimes of France in these wars as “war crimes”. He advocates trying them within the standard legal and internal apparatus of each country, in this case, France.
To which, a commenter added this little manual:
Petit manuel de déstabilisation d’un régime hostile
1°) Être une puissance impériale
2°) Financer tout mouvement d’opposition, aussi minuscule soit-il, revendiquant une démocratie à l’occidentale.
3°) Repérer les futurs possibles leaders et organiser des stages de formation à l’agitation à leur intention
4°) Donner un retentissement international à toute manifestation de l’opposition grâce aux médiats aux ordres.
5°) Mettre en exergue la répression brutale que ne manquera pas de commettre le régime en place.
6°) Placer quelques snipers sur les parcours des manifestants, et tirer à la fois sur la foule et les forces de l’ordre en place.
7°) Dénoncer la barbarie de la répression.
8°) Armer clandestinement des groupuscules étrangers extrémistes animés par une idéologie suicidaire, les appeler rebelles et combattants de la liberté.
9°) Présenter ces groupuscules comme un mouvement populaire.
10°) Organiser aux frontières du pays des bases d’entrainement à la guérilla qui seront présentées comme des camps de réfugiés.
11°) Organiser le blocus de toute voix dissidente par une censure de fait.
12°) Organiser des coordinations d’opposants dans une capitale étrangère, et n’accepter que les informations provenant de cette source.
13°) Bombarder, si le contexte international le permet, l’armée régulière, tout en affirmant qu’il s’agit de protéger la population de la répression du dictateur qui menaçait de massacrer son peuple.
Logiquement, le pouvoir en place tombe à plus ou moins court terme, le chaos s’installe pour de longues années, vous avez atteint votre objectif : vous n’avez plus de pouvoir fort face à vous, vous pouvez piller sans vergogne les richesses du pays, il vous suffira d’entretenir les conflits internes (ethniques, religieux…) en organisant un attentat suicide de temps en temps. Toute couverture médiatique est maintenant superflue.
Toute ressemblance avec une quelconque situation actuelle est évidemment fortuite.
La première victime d’une guerre, c’est la vérité.
Read more at http://www.medias-presse.info/damien-viguier-chaos-au-proche-orient-les-responsabilites-du-gouvernement-francais/51479#KDryuwvycpr9UMkw.99
Below is a brilliant sentence. One sentence that perfectly summarizes the US today (a comment made at The American Conservative site):
Tis rather a case of a divided house living by the sum of its fears.
Fear – the great uniting force of Americans. Every horrendous policy, every mass murder, every type of exploitation, assassination, usurpation, surveillance, and torture is and will continue to be justified by mechanisms of fear at its deepest level and with material wealth as its most persuasive element. After fear, in second place comes greed.
The American system is crumbling right before the eyes of all. But most Americans, drenched in their ideological propaganda that their system is good, cannot fathom where the problem lies. Not only do they believe their system is good, but they believe it is the best and it works and therefore, by ideological diktat, it cannot malfunction. As a result, they cannot recognize that the problem lies with the very type of savage capitalism/imperialism they have. And now, additionally, this atrocious imperialist capitalism encompasses a deep layer of complete lack of morality and ethics to regulate the personal/sexuality sphere.
Add to this the two very corrupt parties that dominate the political scene – which offer no real alternative to change the system where it needs to be changed. Thus Americans having been going from populist to populist politician as their choice of president, dreaming and clamoring for hope and change, while blindly marching forward and steeping downward to greater and greater systemic malaises.
As I realized not too long ago, Hitler died, but his ideology won in the West. It brought prosperity to some – and given that the prosperity was significant in the US and Europe in the last century – it worked to camouflage a large part of the systemic rot that can never function in this type of system, along with all the people who get crushed by it along the way. Smarter Americans have realized that simply changing presidents won’t change much in the country, no matter if it’s a Democrat or a Republican administration that takes over. Yet, even these people will do very little to bring about change.
Democracy cannot function without ethics. Once you have a rotten democracy in place, such as what has happened in many Western countries, you cannot change that without enormous work from a lot of people. Americans, like most people, are stuck in their ways, their dysfunctional ideology, their attitudes, their blindness, their corruption. With each passing day, certain very valuable attitudes that they possessed, cherished, and encouraged are simply lost as part of the country’s culture. There are no more Mr. Smiths going to Washington today. Nor would they be admired if they existed. Americans traded in I Love Lucy, Jimmy Stewart, An Affair to Remember, and The Partridge Family for Grindr, Tinder, porn, and Caitlyn Jenner. It is sad – and it further underscores just how much the past is often another country.
Instead of fighting the Nazis, Americans now go murder masses of the poorest of the poor in the Middle East and Africa. Or they supply the arms and oversight for other client monsters to do the job. Or they bomb entire countries to pieces with not a thought for the suffering and destruction they inflict on defenseless populations who cannot escape.
And most of the American population supports this. They have as much concern for other people as the Germans did while gazing at the boarded trains taking those unfortunate Jews to their extermination. The threat from Stalin during “Cold War I” gave Americans the justification to commit any barbarity under the guise of fighting the particularly monstrous version of totalitarian communism that Stalin’s USSR represented. Once that fight largely disappeared, American barbarity increasingly came to the fore, naked. So new excuses needed to be created to canvass popular support. Little irrelevant groups conveniently labeled “terrorists” were presented, through a flick of a wand, to the American people as the threat that replaced the USSR communist bogeyman and who were seeking to destroy their glorious system, their way of life, their freedom – even their very lives. And here is where this circus takes on a surreal turn. While Americans will continue to scapegoat their problems on “terrorists” and “illegal immigrants” – no matter how much they murder and bomb other peoples, and no matter how much of a militarized, police state they become, with encircling walls set up along every inch of every border, they cannot stop the gradual implosion of their system, because it is there where the rot lies.
And another nice comment below left on TAC by Cosimano, that nicely finishes my own commentary above:
American ethics have always been subjective. Other than a sort of general agreement that it was not good to steal or murder everything else has always been open for discussion.
Religion was a nice veneer but it never really mattered all that much. People made up their minds and then found the appropriate Bible verse to support them. Not the other way around.
A fine idea reported by the Independent to break down the barriers of hate and promote integration and solidarity among people:
Refugees Welcome: ‘Airbnb for asylum seekers’ started by German couple spreads around the world – and the UK could be next
‘We shouldn’t discuss if they are coming – they are coming and they are coming from a horrible situation,” the founder said
… More than 150 refugees had been housed in Germany and Austria by September and the numbers were growing quickly.
To join the scheme, people must register their interest online and give details of their housing situation before they are put in touch with a refugee organisation with a shortlist of registered asylum seekers needing homes in their area.
People are introduced to their perspective new housemate by volunteers, often meeting over a coffee or meal, and if they decide to take them in they are offered help financing the rent.
Fine article by William Spear, President of the Fortunate Blessings Foundation: My Trip to Help Refugees in Europe
Posted: 10/28/2015 5:40 pm EDT Updated: 10/28/2015 5:59 pm EDT
I especially liked this last part:
“The ride into London presented me with the most extreme cognitive dissonance I’ve ever experienced. Every third car a six-figure purchase, the owners hurrying into restaurants and clubs where champagne and caviar overflow. Shop windows sparkle while the homeless panhandle between fur coats, diamonds and cashmere. Drunken rugby fans mix with art collectors considering million-dollar abstracts for their living rooms. Crowds of shoppers along Regent Street seem oblivious to life outside the comfort zone of an illusory future, sobered no doubt for a few moments by the morning news. Consumerism may be the most destructive degenerative sickness of our culture, and fashion, as Mark Twain remarked, the whore of time. Together, they take our attention away from poverty, wealth disparity and world hunger.
* * *
Refugees in Opacovac cannot adjust the temperature in those tents to help them sleep, and I cannot deny my life of privilege. Now, returning to the US, we all live amidst this unbelievable paradox of haves and have-nots. It will take all I’ve got to reach deep into my soul for the resilience, hope and optimism I had with me when I left home.
Truth be told, this trip ripped my heart out. For those of us at Second Response, there is not much more we can do but keep on keeping on.
May I, and all beings, be free from suffering.”
It is the same cognitive dissonance I see all around me.
Another good article by The Guardian:
Winter is coming: the new crisis for refugees in Europe
From Lesbos to Lapland, refugees are bracing for a winter chill that many will never have experienced before. Some will have to endure it outside
Record numbers of migrants and refugees crossed the Mediterranean to Europe in October – just in time for the advent of winter, which is already threatening to expose thousands to harsh conditions.
The latest UN figures, which showed 218,000 made the perilous Mediterranean crossing last month, confirm fears that the end of summer has not stemmed the flow of refugees as has been the pattern in previous years, partly because of the sheer desperation of those fleeing an escalating war in Syria and other conflicts.
The huge numbers of people arriving at the same time as winter is raising fears of a new humanitarian crisis within Europe’s borders. Cold weather is coming to Europe at greater speed than its leadership’s ability to make critical decisions. A summit of EU and Balkan states last week agreed some measures for extra policing and shelter for 100,000 people.
But an estimated 700,000 refugees and migrants, have arrived in Europe this year along unofficial and dangerous land and sea routes, from Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iraq, north Africa and beyond. Tens of thousands, including the very young and the very old, find themselves trapped in the open as the skies darken and the first night frosts take hold. Hypothermia, pneumonia and opportunistic diseases are the main threats now, along with the growing desperation of refugees trying to save the lives of their families.
Fights have broken out over blankets, and on occasion between different national groups. Now sex traffickers are following the columns of refugees, picking off young unaccompanied stragglers.
The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, is distributing outdoor survival packages, including sleeping bags, blankets, raincoats, socks, clothes and shoes, but the number of people it can reach is limited by its funding, which has so far been severely inadequate. Volunteer agencies have tried to fill the gaping hole in humanitarian provisions in Europe.
Peter Bouckaert, the director of emergencies for Human Rights Watch, said that all the way along the route into Europe through the Balkans “there is virtually no humanitarian response from European institutions, and those in need rely on the good will of volunteers for shelter, food, clothes, and medical assistance.”
Meanwhile, most Europeans who are comfortably living in their nice, warm homes have turned their backs on all these people.
Most don’t demand any action at all from their politicians, whether local or international – and whether they feel distressed or not with the situation. Many don’t want to help the refugees, and a growing minority is even posting online comments to articles on the refugee crisis celebrating the fact that winter could kill them all if they are left outside.
Are we going to replay 1941 again and are Europeans going to employ a final winter solution to these refugees?
I saw a comment saying that France, England, and Germany spend about 5 billion each on toys per year. Yet, except for Germany, France and England are adamant about saying they don’t have resources to help no one, especially not to give refugees the minimum necessary for keeping them alive through the winter.
As the commenter said, this speaks volumes about the warped values in our Western world.
And we are all supposed to march along and agree to every kind of barbarity Western leaders create in the world…
Great idea for an article, even if it’s very superficial and brief, from The Guardian:
Canaan • 740 BC
When Assyrian rulers conquered the land of ancient Israel, 10 of the legendary 12 tribes were expelled from these lands. How many there were, and where they ended up remains a subject of highly contentious historical and religious debate.
Edict of Fontainebleau
France • 1685
When Louis XIV of France issued an edict that meant the Huguenots risked state persecution if they practised their Protestant faith freely, he created one of the first recognised displacements of a people across nation states. Their exact number isn’t known, but historians estimate that around 200,000 fled their homes over the next 20 years, around a quarter of them coming to England and the rest settling in the Netherlands, Germany, especially Prussia, Switzerland, Scandinavia, and Russia.
Ottoman Empire • 1783
In the space of 150 years, 5 to 7 million Muslims arrived from other countries in what is today Turkey. From the 750,000 Bulgarians who left during the Russo-Turkish war (about a quarter of whom died on the way) to the 15,000 Turkish-Cypriots who left the island after it was leased to Great Britain – Turkey experienced a radical transformation as Muslims from Caucasus, Crimea, Crete, Greece, Romania and Yugoslavia arrived. Their descendants remain there, accounting for one in three people in Turkey today.
Russia • 1881
The assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881 unleashed a wave of brutal anti-Jewish sentiment in Russia. A weak economy and an irresponsible press that encouraged the notion of the Jew as the enemy resulted in rioting and widespread attacks on Jewish homes that were to last three years. Almost two decades later, latent prejudice was revealed again when Jews once again found themselves the subject of attack, this time a much bloodier one that left thousands dead. Their treatment prompted a mass exodus of some 2 million Jews towards the UK, US and elsewhere in Europe.
World War I
Europe • 1914
World War I marked a rupture in Europe’s recent experience of refugees. During the German invasion of Belgium, massacres of thousands of civilians and the destruction of buildings led to an exodus of more than a million people. Almost a quarter of them came to England, where the British government had offered “victims of war the hospitality of the British nation”. Most Belgian refugees returned to Belgium at the end of World War I despite having having been able to assimilate smoothly in the UK.
Belgium was not the only refugee crisis to emerge from World War I. After Austria-Hungary declared war on, and subsequently invaded Serbia, tens of thousands of Serbians were forced to leave their homes.
Some of the largest atrocities committed during and after World War I were directed at the Armenians. The population of 2 million was decimated by what was later recognised as the first genocide of the 20th century. Systematic persecution under the Ottoman empire meant that half of that population were dead by 1918 and hundreds of thousands were homeless and stateless refugees. Today, the Armenian diaspora is around 5 million in number, while there are just 3.3 million in what is today the republic of Armenia.
World War II
Europe • 1945
The historic movements of people during the first world war would pale in comparison some 27 years later when World War II broke out. By the time it ended, there would be more than 40 million refugees in Europe alone. The scale of the disaster was such that international law and international organisations tasked to deal with refugees were urgently created and quickly evolved to become the foundation that is still relied upon today.
Even before the war’s end, thousands of Germans began to flee Eastern Europe. Most of those that remained were forcibly removed. In Czechoslovakia, more than 2 million were dumped over the country’s border. In Poland, Germans were rounded up before being removed by authorities. In Romania, around 400,000 Germans left their homes while Yugoslavia was virtually emptied of its 500,000-strong German community.
Palestine • 1948
Nowhere are numbers on refugees more contentious than the 1948 Palestinian exodus. An attack by a Zionist military group on an Arab village realised the Palestinians’ worst fears and combined with Zionist expulsion orders, military advances, virtually non-existent Palestinian leadership and unwillingness to live under Jewish control on their homeland. The result was a mass exodus of around 80% of Arabs on the land that was to become Israel. Later absentees property law in Israel would prevent the return of those Arabs. Nakba, meaning “catastrophe” is commemorated on 15 May each year. The UN set up a special agency, UNRWA, to deal with the enormous numbers of refugees requiring assistance that now number around 5 million.
Idi Amin’s Order
Uganda • 1972
President Amin’s announcement was covered in the British press, though its consequences were underestimated Photograph: Guardian archive 7 Aug 1972
In August 1972, General Idi Amin, then military ruler of Uganda, accused Asians resident in the country of being “bloodsuckers” and gave them 90 days to leave the country. Since Amin seized power in a military coup in 1971, he had increasingly spread propaganda about the country’s minorities, focusing on the Indian and Pakistani communities. Many of them had lived in the country for more than 100 years.
Of the approximately 90,000 Asians who were expelled, around 50,000 came to the UK. A small proportion went to India and some of the Indian Muslim community left for Canada. This wealthy group, which had a large stake in Uganda’s economy, had all of their assets confiscated, bank accounts closed, jewellery stolen. The 5,000-6,000 companies belonging to Uganda’s Asians were reallocated among government bodies and individuals.
There remain around 12,000 Indians in Uganda today.
Afghanistan • 1979
Afghanistan could be said to have had a refugee “crisis” as far back as 1979 when the Soviet Union occupied the country, sending as many as 5 million fleeing. The largest group ended up in Pakistan (they and their descendants number more than 1.5 million today). Repatriation rates have increased over the past decade.
Since 1990 the number of refugees each year has not fallen below 2 million as the chart below showing refugees originating from Afghanistan demonstrates – a sizeable fraction of the country’s 34 million people.
Those who return do so to face a changed country. From knowing where mines are to understanding what their legal rights are, many former refugees may feel alien in what was once their homes.
Balkans • 1992
The Guardian describes a “10-mile convoy of 200 buses and some 1,000 other vehicles” attempting to escape Sarajevo. Image: Guardian, 19 May 1992
The Bosnian war of 1992-1995 left 200,000 dead and forced 2.7 million more to flee – making it the largest displacement of people in Europe since the second world war. Half of Bosnia’s entire population were displaced. Tens of thousands were taken in by western nations, chief among them the US and Germany. Hundreds of thousands of Serbs were also displaced by the Yugoslav wars – an estimated 700,000 sought refuge in Serbia.
Throughout the Balkans more than 2.5 million people have returned home. But more than two decades on, the UN is still attempting to provide 620,000 refugees and internally displaced people in the region with the assistance they need.
Great Lakes Refugee Crisis
Rwanda • 1994
Genocide is defined as “the act of committing certain crimes, including the killing of members of the group or causing serious physical or mental harm to “members of the group with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, racial or religious group, as such”
In the aftermath of the genocidal mass slaughter in 1994 of more than 500,000 Tutsis by Hutus in Rwanda, there was a mass exodus of more than 2 million people from the country to neighbouring countries. Many settled in massive camps containing tens of thousands of people where mortality rates were exceptionally high. The camps became increasingly militarised and contributed to the escalation of further conflict in the region.
War in Darfur
Sudan • 2003
When war broke out in the Darfur region of Sudan, it brought with it the deaths of 200,000 and the mass displacement of more than 2.5 million people from their homes. Innovations in helped to show why they left – more than 3,300 villages had been destroyed by 2009.
Today, more than 2.6 million IDPs remain in Darfur while more than 250,000 are living in refugee camps in Chad alone.
Iraq • 2003
Refugees have been a humanitarian issue for Iraq since its war with Iran in the 1980s, but the 2003 invasion resulted in a huge increase in their number. The UN estimates that today 4.7 million Iraqis have left their homes (around 1 in 6 Iraqis), more than 2 million of whom left the country altogether. Most settled in neighbouring Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, living without the protection of refugee laws in those countries and, in the case of Syria, facing renewed violence. As a result, some have started to return to Iraq and have been joined by Syrians attempting to escape the same conflict.
One of the least reported major refugee crises in the world, Colombia has witnessed millions leaving their homes – but they do not count as refugees because they have not crossed an international boundary. Colombia’s low-level conflict started in the 60s and over the decades, the UN estimates that almost 4 million have left their homes, almost 10% of the population. Only 400,000 of these have been able to leave the country, and the migration crisis has not attracted the attention of the international community that many argue it warrants.
Bogotá authorities estimate that some 52 displaced families arrive in the capital city (population 7 million) every day from different regions of the country, part of the approximately 3 million displaced people around Colombia caused by almost half century of conflict.
Syrian civil war
Syria • 2011
What started as protests not unlike those that had been seen in other Arab countries has degenerated into a civil war stalemate. To find out more about how many Syrians have become refugees and read Syrians’ own stories of their displacement, follow the link to our special reports.
Though it’s the latest chapter in history’s biggest refugee movements, it is unlikely to be the last.
Here’s an excerpt describing the environment Miss Honduras (Maria Jose Alvarado) had to live in, who was senselessly murdered recently, along with her sister, Sofia:
While Alvarado pursued her dream, and her oldest sister married and moved away, Sofia was not so lucky, friends and officials said. She was a teacher until the school where she worked closed, and in love with a married man who left his wife to be with her, but was murdered in October 2013.
Then Sofia took up with Ruiz, who confessed to killing the sisters. Ruiz was known about town as a man to be feared from a family deeply involved in drug trafficking, officials say. Although he had no police record, he was seen as someone who could offer protection or eliminate enemies.
“If she had been any other girl, if she hadn’t been Miss Honduras, this would have been one more crime amid the impunity of Honduras,” said Jose Luis Mejia, director of the Technological University campus in Santa Barbara, where Alvarado studied. “They would have said what they always do: that this was the settling of accounts between drug traffickers, and they wouldn’t even have bothered to investigate.”
Most South American cocaine headed for the United States passes through Honduras, and Santa Barbara is on a main corridor from the brutal city of San Pedro Sula to the Guatemalan border. Officially, the killing of Miss Honduras and her 23-year-old sister isn’t related to drug trafficking. Police say Sofia’s suitor, Plutarco Ruiz, confessed to shooting the sisters in a jealous rage after she danced with another man at his birthday party. He killed Sofia first and then shot Maria Jose twice in the back as she tried to flee.
But to Alvarado’s friends and family, the killings are the result of a traditional machismo made worse by the wealth and muscle of drug traffickers.
“This region is imbued with narco culture represented by the image of a man who moves in a big car, drinks, takes drugs, walks around armed and is bad,” Mejia said. “The culture of violence and death.”
Narco culture surrounded slain Miss Honduras – Associated Press
By ALBERTO ARCE November 21, 2014 9:26 AM
If someone was born in such an environment and they want to get out and they come to the US and settle, to live a normal life, good for them. Integrate and move on.
The problem with poverty is that it often goes well beyond living with few material luxuries. For many poor, but not so drastically poor people regarding material elements such as food, health, and shelter, it’s the social disintegration of their environment that causes the most destruction in their lives.
Because poverty is highly destructive of structures providing personal security, and the latter is key to enabling survival and a minimally decent and healthy life experience. Of course, material resources such as food can be reduced to the point where they intensely harm one’s health (all spheres) or to the point of death, that is the level of material poverty that is grave.
However, poverty can also deteriorate the social relations between people, as it’s so clearly seen in this Honduran example. Of course, this kind of deterioration can be a problem in all economic classes, but money can provide someone with a greater chance to change, move, seek out other people, places, jobs, countries, etc.
We live in a modern feudal system, and there is nothing “modern” about it, in the sense that it’s just the same old feudal system with some cell phones sprinkled on it to disguise what it is. What we need is to enable and facilitate more geographic mobility and social integration for people who just want to live normal lives.
Republicans are desperately waging a war against immigrants and amnesty. There is nothing they say that isn’t at their nastiest and most virulent. These non-documented immigrants are often already settled and all they want is to work and have a normal (largely very modest) life. Integrate and move on. That’s my view. And Republicans and Tea Partiers need to be less of an anti-immigration party to win over more Latinos. The hatred that Republicans are showing towards these people makes me think every time of how much the Nazis wanted Jews out of their society. They scream with the same virulence.
On that note, the world should move towards a system that resembles the European Union more as it concerns mobility. Nowadays, it’s very easy for many people to move and go work in another country. A growing number of people can work anywhere because all they need is an Internet connection. What is exactly the problem if they go work in another country? Many apocalyptic scenarios are pandered about to frighten people with any idea of even a tiny bit of greater mobility, but they are just a way to scare people silly and make them submit to the really stupid mobility barriers we have in place today.