Here are two men disputing. One knocks the other man down, kills him, and then concludes that he who is alive must have been right, and he who is dead must have been wrong… a mode of demonstration still accepted in international disputes.
– Will Durant, writer and historian (1885-1981)
Note the dates for Mr. Durant. He was born in the 19th century, not the latter part of the 20th.
His is a different way of saying the old adage used by European powers over the centuries: might is right.
Everyone was afraid of Hitler from the 1933 Olympics on, though not one country did anything to stop him. Britain tried, but its efforts were restricted to a peace treaty with Hitler–essentially saying that neither would invade the other first–resulting in “peace in our time” lasting all of one year. Other countries simply looked the other way, leaving the hapless League of Nations to dissolve into dribble.
Before Hitler, not one nation tried to stop the European countries from carving up space in the Americas, Africa, India or southeast Asia. The main reason might have been that all the countreis with any military power were competing against each other for colonial land. So long as the trouble was not in their own backyard, other countries remained silent as slaves were taken from their home countries and other citizens were enslaved within their own.
The fledgeling Russia after the revolution in which the communists took power became the Soviet Union as the Russian army swept across neighbouring lands gobbling up countries and promising them some autonomy within the union. Nobody watched as the rest of the world had turned away. “We don’t need another war now.”
Today the International Criminal Court, an effort by a majority of countries of the world to bring some control over international aggression is not supported by the USA which has declared that their military and their administration will not be held accountable by the court for any perceived offences in Afghanistan or Iraq. In other words, the country with the most firepower believes it can do what it likes without interference by any other country or world body.
We listen to the news of acts of genocide in the Darfur region of western Sudan and click our tongues at the number of people who are dying of starvation or slaughter at the hands of both the insurgents and the government troops. Meanwhile, China, which has invested some ten billion US dollars in Sudan over the past few years profits by selling weapons to the Sudanese military and turning away when news of what soldiers are doing with those weapons comes out.
Some people are speaking out. Some are calling the Olympics to be held in the Chinese capital next year the Genocide Olympics. Beijing is not happy. It has offered to speak to its customers in Khartoum. Who expects a country that makes great profit from selling weapons to a poor nation so that it can continue to wage war against its own people to stop using those weapons and talk with its enemy until agreement is reached? Would China wreck such a profit stream?
The country with the world’s largest military will not send its troops into Sudan either on a peacekeeping mission or even to protect its own citizens who are in the Horn of Africa for profit.
You and I can’t do much because we don’t have the ear of the president or prime minister of China. We do, however, have internet friends with whom we connect regularly. We can spread the word about next year’s international athletic competition being the Genocide Olympics.
The leaders of China want next year to be the launch of China into the international spotlight as the newest superpower of the world. They want the Olympics to be their finest hour in centuries. Having it known as the Genocide Olympics would tarnish that image mightily before the event began.
Maybe we have enough influence to persuade China to stop the genocide in Sudan instead of supporting it. Half a million Sudanese have died already, with millions more on deathwatch through starvation, disease and slaughter.
Maybe if we keep telling each other on the internet about the Genocide Olympics instead of calling it the Beijing Olympics, the resulting public relations fiasco will force the Chinese leaders to act.
It may be the only chance that millions of innocent people have to live. We have some power here, the power of our own fingers on the keyboard. Or we can turn away and wait for the big show in the summer of 2008.
So, what do you know about the Genocide Olympics? Let’s talk.
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, strivng to save lots of lives if we can.
Learn more about making better lives at http://billallin.com