Yesterday was my sweet nephew Andrew’s eighth birthday. He celebrated with ice cream and donuts for breakfast and had his name announced over the loudspeaker at school. I wish I could celebrate my birthdays with such abandon.
While watching a History Channel documentary about Joseph Stalin, I learned that in 1937, he had 900,000 “enemies” arrested and one-third of them executed on the spot. I wonder: If he had been doing this today, would we have intervened? Should we intervene in Syria? It’s basically the same thing going on today…
Speaking of intervention, when do you decide to intervene on someone else’s behalf? When a certain number of people die? If so, what number is big enough or sexy enough to get attention? When a certain group is targeted? Which groups are worthy of our help? I remember reading about the Bosnian civil war in college and I felt then that it was another World War II, just contained to one country. I remember vividly being at the mall at Chik-Fil-A and talking to my mother about it; I said that Milosevic was another Hitler, and looking back on Sebrenica, it seems like I was right. When do we decide that human lives are worth saving?
I had no idea we were due for a solar flar until someone mentioned it yesterday at work. Upon further review, it’s actually a coronal mass ejection, which (acccording to the Science Channel) is actually worse than a strong solar flare. Yet again, as with so many things in my life, I would have been happier not knowing that!
I suppose what got me wound up about Syria is the video I watched on CNN.com about a military hospital that’s apparently being used as a torture chamber. How can you witness a video of innocent young men who are all battered and bruised from beatings, whose ankles are shackeled to their beds with rusty chains, whose penises have been tied to their legs so they can’t urinate, and not feel anger and sadness? What if they were our brothers, sons and uncles? Wouldn’t we want help for them if we couldn’t help them ourselves, regardless of where it came from? When the world weeps should we wipe away its tears or let it suffer?