April 6th, 2004

alice lost in labyrinth

my thoughts about the Rwanda massacre

Last night I watched the six o'clock news on CBC. There was a story mentioning the 10 year anniversary of the massacre in Rwanda.

Keep in mind, this was a massacre that no other nation in the world intervened to put a stop to --- hundreds of thousands of people were brutally slaughtered.

As I watched the brief story, the camera followed a sixteen year old male, one of the few survivors, when he visted the church where his family & friends were killed - I couldn't help but be moved by it. A woman has carefully placed skulls on shelves and said that at one time the U.N. had wanted to 'clean up' the church but she insisted that the bodies remain where they were, that the destruction be left as is, so that people will remember that the massacre had taken place.

Something was said by the newscaster reporting, quoting someone from Rwanda, that this was only 50 years after the Holocaust, when the world had said that nothing like that would ever happen again, yet it did. And it does.

My interest in forensics, in history, in war and political matters, of course was a factor in wanting to write this entry. But my human emotion and my thinking abilities, and trying to figure out the current situation where the U.S. is an occupying force in Iraq and soldiers are dying and civilians are dying and hostile groups are fighting one another.... I think of Rwanda. Here was a situation where no one intervened. Why? No money in it? Not wanting to get involved? Ignore it and hope that people simply kill each other off? I don't know. I'm just a factory worker (when I work).

My thoughts about what is going on with the U.S. and the numbers of soldiers coming back in body bags (not to mention the unreported wounded) ... it's disturbing to me. I believe that the the President lied to the people as to reasons for invading Iraq. I think there are factual statements coming to the surface about this. I'm seeing a growing number of websites of military families who want their loved ones home, and out of Iraq. It's not just the "hippies" protesting now. I think that it's probably too late and that the situation in Iraq is not going to improve simply by pulling out all forces. I can't even say that they shouldn't have been there in the first place because if you look at some of the atrocities that happened under Saddam's rule, well, hello? Perhaps the U.S. shouldn't have supported him or Osama with weapons and other means of power. A lot of this is easy information to find. It's contradictory and I can imagine it's quite difficult for any military personel to try to 'do their job' while at the same time holding conflicting opinions in their brain - sort of '1984' Orwell-ish, if you ask me.

I'm not writing my thoughts coherently on this. I know what I am trying to say. By showing the case of Rwanda where no one did anything, (and I'm sure there are other things going on in the world, overshadowed by our daily lives, that would shock us in their brutality, hell, even in our own countries), but, well, I'm... I'm at a loss for words.

I'm not able to write a concluding sentence that states a firm opinion about this. I just think of those bones... that woman taking care of the bones of her family, her friends, her people.... in that crumbled church...

Where was sanctuary for those people? Where was a protective force?

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