Paul Rusesabagina spoke at UVSC on Friday afternoon, my friend Krista and I went to hear him speak. It was amazing. Rusesabagina is the manager depticted in "Hotel Rwanda." I love hearing foreign speakers when they put on forumns because I love the "un-American" perspectives they have on things. One of the things that struck me the most, was his perspective on the United Nations pulling out of Rwanda in 1994 (?) Rwanda felt abandoned and ignored by the international community. We left them to be slaughtered by their own people. I know we discuss the ethics of being in Iraq and "X" number of other countries, doing nation building, and peace keeping, but when you hear a person say, Why are you leaving? why did you leave us? Why are you ignoring us? You are abandoning us to genocide, it really makes you think differently. Granted as SJ pointed out to me, we didn't have any economic interests in Africa, so why would we stay? (This was not her opinion p.s.), but it makes me sick really. I know we cannot be everywhere, helping everyone all of the time, but can we ethically, as the largest, most powerful country in the world ignore the cry for help?
He talked about how the 60th anniversay of the Holocaust has recently past, and how the most "abused" words in the commemorative news program were "never again." Rusesabagina said, we tout, "never again," but it is happening again today in Africa, in several of the African Nations. Granted, it is not one lone evil dictator, putting citizens in gas chambers, but it is literally millions of people being slaughtered.
Interestingly, I was at the gym the night before and FOX 13 was interviewing members of the Utah (?) military troups that just got back from Iraq. Several of them interviewed said, We were over there for a good reason, doing the right thing, we were proud to be in Iraq, our country is doing good in being there. You may tell me this is "propoganda" on the part of the news station, but it struck me as I was listening to Rusesabagina the next day, that so much of the media is focused on how we shouldn't be in Iraq, we shouldn't be going into these countries, we shouldn't be risking American soilder'f lives in these forgein countires, and I am not promoting the death of our soilders, but these people want to be there, and can see that we are doing good, and people like Rusesabagina, and I am sure people in Iraq as well, (I know these are not identical situations) want us there, and need us there.
I'm only happy when it rains.
5 weeks ago