Monday, December 17, 2012

From Newton, Conn. to Afghanistan

I have deep sympathy for the victims of the school killings in Newton, Connecticut. However, I must reserve greater sympathy for those Afghan families that are butchered in silence by American drones. They are not mourned by the world, nor even noticed by the media. If they are anything at all, they are mere statistics.

Yet their lives are equally worth living; the same blood flows in their veins and the same flesh adorns their skeletons.

We should remember to mourn - as the world mourns for the families of Newton - for murdered Afghan men, women and children. It's just that, in this case, a strenuous effort of the imagination will be required to conjure up the grief we shall never see.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Individualism, And The Dog (Satire)

The liberality of the American public in bestowing pecuniary favours on the animals in a Kabul zoo betrays the preference for animals over humans in western civilisation. This satire takes a look at the western obsession with animals. 


"Now for the political reason, and this is closely tied to the historical. Animals, we have noted, are all of a piece, and so are birds: a myna is a myna is a myna. Association with the dog began just before the imperial expansions – before the ‘discovery’ and destruction of the ‘Red’ Indians, for instance. By identifying with a lesser creature – the dog – the European was able to assuage his guilt at the torment of an equal – the human being in North America or Africa. By being kind to the former, he could be savage with the latter. Notice the case of the Afghans: people are individuals, and that’s a fact that Americans did not wish to take into account. Animals are uniform: they are the same in every hemisphere. Marjan could equally have been an American lion. Not so the Afghan – heaven forbid! She is Muslim, veiled, says her prayers five times a day, wears her hair long, and has never seen the inside of a Wal-Mart store."