Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Happy Anniversary

A year ago today, this infamous sign was posted in an Underground station in London -- one of, if not the most, international and diverse cities in the whole world. It was just days after someone who looked "a bit foreign", i.e. Jean Charles de Menezes, was brutally murdered by the British police for that very reason. As we know, the police got away with this injustice -- but what do you expect? Thanks to British support, innocents are being murdered daily in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, to name a few. If they're getting away with large-scale murder, one little foreign-looking Brazilian doesn't count for much.

The worst thing about this Wart on Terror and its precursor the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, is that it has bred so much anger and hate in the world. Even if these injustices stopped now, it would take generations for people to mellow and forget their antipathy. The situation is so grim that we've come to the point where we must differentiate between aggressors -- one-time attackers -- and bullies -- persistent aggressive forces who callously murder and destroy, never satisfied with their blood-soaked victories, ever dismissive of the human rights of their enemies.

Because of the politics of money and power, the institutions that were created after WWII to prevent such horrors again -- the UN and its conventions on war and human rights, the International Court of Justice and other so-called international bodies where today's bullies strike a firm hand against justice and where accountability is a theory and not a practice -- all of these institutions, have proven largely ineffective. There can never be hope to prevent, stop or curtail such hate and war until an international body is created that has equal partners from all nations of the world -- because even then issues of money and power will be influential but at least there will be more representative nations whose opinions will actually matter and whose votes will actually count.

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