Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I wouldn't normally rant!

Yeah, sure!

Today's rant is a little bit more than just that though.. Its actually embedded itself deep into my psyche really.

In the last two days I've had three or four pleas for me to pray for Norman Kember. He's the 74 year old British peace campaigner who has been kidnapped in Iraq. Fine, and please hear that I totally value this guys and his contribution.

BUT

I have never had an email or text asking me to pray for the family of the ight people shot dead this morning in Baghdad. Or the incidents below which ALL happened before lunchtime yesterday

"BALAD - Six Iranians, including two women, and an Iraqi woman were kidnapped after gunmen opened fire on their bus on Monday, seriously wounding the Iraqi driver, police said. The group were on their way to a Shi'ite holy shrine in Balad, 70 km (45 miles) north of Baghdad. Police said the three women were released later on Monday.

TIKRIT - Thafer Migwil Hazza, a relative of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and a former Iraqi army officer, was kidnapped from his house by gunmen on Monday in Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD - Bashar Shnawa Gaber, a senior member of the Shi'ite Dawa party, was shot dead in Baghdad on Monday, his party said.

BAGHDAD - Saad Albana, a senior official in the Housing and Reconstruction Ministry, was kidnapped from his home in Baghdad on Tuesday, police said. "

When I looked on the web I can't find the names of people who have been killed in car bombs, suicide bombings, kidnappings and rogue Coalition actions. They are anonymous. And they currently number somewhere between 27,000 and 30,000 people since March 2003.

Who said that Norman Kember was more important than these peace activists who have given their lives, just by living their lives. Why is a European life more important? Why do even the Arabic sites report it like a European life is more important?

When I find the names (and believe me I will try), I want to create a wall of remembrance in the Boiler Room. If no-one else gives a toss then surely we should.

2 comments:

Br Tom said...

This is tricky. There used to be a fleet street slogan about allocating newspace apparently which went: '100 wogs eqauls 10 frogs equals one brit.' Clearly this is repulsive.

Part of this is the hangover I'm sure from colonialism. White lives are dearer than black ones and that must be protested against.

But I honestly don't beleive that it is of itself unnatural, unhealthy or morally suspect to care more for members of one's own nation than of another. New Orleans getting battered and swamped by a hurricane was dreadful, but I would have been more upset if it had been Newcastle.

I've stopped trying to feel guiltty about this. I'm not a no-placer. I've grown up and learnt to be me in Britain. I have a sort of debt here which I don't have anywhere else. I care about here more than anywhere else.

More than that, I think that by learning to appreciate and care about one place one begins to care about others.

I don't beleive in a blanket universal human lovign sripped of all particularity and I don't think Jesus does in the Gospels either.

Hope you're OK Jude. Don't shout at me!!!!

Paul Windo said...

I think you have a point - both of you. But surely this is as much to do with ignorance about what's going on out there than it is about how much we 'feel' this injustice. Injustice is injustice. My struggle comes far more when I glimpse the amount of crap that is going on out there that I get overwhelmed and can't focus my righteous anger properly...

Maybe that says more about me than it does about the situation