Understanding why some events are kept alive in our collective consciousness and others interred
By PRANAY SHARMA (Published October 17, 2011 in Outlook India)
As people across the world sniffled at the poignant ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, beamed live from Ground Zero in New York, few would have remembered the significance this date holds for the people of Chile. It was on September 11, 1973, that the democratically elected government of Salvadore Allende was dislodged through a coup, organised, ironically, at the behest of the CIA, an incident more or less effaced from the ‘globalised memory’. Few, too, would have muttered a silent prayer for the thousands who have perished in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, countries turned into veritable killing fields because of the war on terror that the Americans unleashed as retribution for the terror attacks.
Truly, power is about determining what people remember and what they forget. It’s a striking asymmetry.
Read the rest of this entry
A few days ago, Rick Perry implied that it is OK to overlook the recently released video of US soldiers pissing over dead Afghan bodies because they are just “19-year-old kids”. He additionally “accused the Obama administration of ‘over-the-top rhetoric’ and ‘disdain for the military’ in its condemnation of (this) video”. Yesterday a crowd of Americans in South Carolina chanted “U.S.A! U.S.A!” in a homicidal manner as they stood in front of their idol, Newt Gingrich; a person who suggested that the way for Black people to get out of poverty is to make their children work as janitors. In December last year Gingrich said that the Palestinians are an invented people, who have no right to Israel’s promised land. This man has a PhD. in History. George H.W. Bush (and more recently Mitt Romney) has time and again repeated that he “will never apologize for America!”
In Crito, Socrates refuses to escape from Athenian prison, even though he knows that he is going to be sentenced to death. He argues that he has a moral obligation to honor his legal obligation, since he owes all he has to the city. So do we support everything our country does, provided it deems itself a Republic?
What when the state turns against humanity in the name of security? In the fiscal year 2011, the US was providing Israel with $8.2 million/DAY in military aid to murder Palestinians in broad daylight. The Republic of India stations approximately 700,000 troops in the tiny valley of Kashmir, the most militarized region in the world, and commits human rights abuses daily.
How much nationalism is too much?
In this article, I will be focusing on the victimization of specific groups of people in various parts of the world, under the pretence of race in modern history. I will be looking at white supremacy and its impact on the United States, particularly on the Civil Rights Movement, and link it to the racial purification plans of the Nazi Party. I will also examine the atrocities the state of Israel carries out on Palestinians, behaving not very unlike the Nazis who tortured them.
Read the rest of this entry