Tuesday, March 6

Character Analysis

I was watching World View this morning and Deutsche Welle came on. They talked about this conference being held in Europe to ban cluster bombs. If you're not familiar with what they are, I'm certain you can be resourceful and find out. Here's a good place to start.

Cluster bombs/munitions have been found to have a "dud rate" (did not explode when it was supposed to) of 5%. That means that places that have had cluster bombs dropped on them, like Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo (just to name a few), face the possibility of innocent civilians encountering submunitions and becoming severely injured, if not losing their lives, years after the end of a conflict. Similar to landmines, cluster munitions have optimized "footprints" and are used by the world's military powers, including the United States.

Here is the link to DW's online article: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2359611,00.html

"The pro-ban countries expected to be represented include
Norway, Sweden, Germany, Mozambique and Angola. On the other side,
Britain, Canada, France, China, India and Russia
belong to those opposed. The United States, which is also opposed,
will not be in attendance."

Forty-six nations came to the table to discuss banning the use of these munitions. Is it really paradoxical that "the world powers" weren't on board? I realize it's no secret that military might unequivocally represents a nation's influence in the world, economically, politically, etc. But it's just shocking to see that this is what it comes down to--the nations that have taken on the responsibility of being world powers choose to ignore ethical violations that other nations so easily recognize. And so our "world powers" are characterized.

Another issue that was brought up while I was watching DW on World View was that the ban under discussion was not necessarily to ban production of cluster bombs--i.e. by private armament companies. What?! So what's the point of people agreeing to not use these weapons while still permitting them to be produced? I don't get it.

Politics surrounding the armaments industries around the world are complicated. So much is invested into this industry without the public's notice...How is the largest area of business in the world kept a secret? And the facts aren't even hidden--we, the American public, can openly research so much, enough, at least. But the truth is that the most of us choose to not bother becoming aware of what our elected officials do after we give them their offices.

And most of us, as critical of the state of the world as we might be, are still watching "Breaking News" coverages on who the father of Anna Nichole Smith's deceased child is, what Britney Spears did today, and what John Edwards is doing about his Anne Coulter problem. And we talk about it, how silly these things are, and we blog about it all. But we never let our media producers know.

As if things weren't already disturbing, guess what role Muslims continue to play in all this. Check this article out from Khaleej Times:

Muslim leaders continue to make choices that represent Muslims around the world--whether we like it or not. How are we so vocal in shouting "Free Free Palestine!" and silent in absolute ignorance when Muslims fail to make the insightful investments that are necessary? Who is funding the education of Afghani women at this time? Who is making sure that refugee camps--not just in Africa but even in the Gulf states--are habitable and supplied with sufficient food, water, and medical supplies? Who is funding research to rehabilitate the millions of inmates literally wasting away behind prison bars? And who is attending to our "at risk" youth?

The same nations with whom these Muslim leaders make "strategic arms agreements" are the ones that openly ignore human rights violations. You would think that if, indeed, these Muslim leaders were so concerned for the protection of their people, they would first address those who are breaking international ethics codes that were meant to protect their people as well. It's so frustrating to be one of the millions of Muslims in the United States, constantly explaining to other Americans that "Islam is derived from the Arabic root of 'Salaam,' which means, 'Peace,' " while we continue to lend a blind eye to the people who most effectively undermine our sincere endeavors.

I'm not saying we should therefore send troops "to liberate" the entire Gulf; The fact of the matter is that Muslims all over the world, including those in the more influencial nations, should have dealt with injustices, like those attributed to Saddam Hussein, in an Islamic way before "outsiders" took the liberty to do it their way. What's happening in Iraq can't be completely blamed on "Western Powers;" They have a role there now because we were too lazy and self-deluded to help our brothers and sisters. Moreover, today, we have more Muslims "hating on The West" for what's happening in Iraq instead of discussing what role we, Muslims, need to be playing in the solutions we so easily seem to come up with at dinner parties.

Every problem will be addressed, tomorrow if not today. If we don't address them, someone else will. And all of us will have to answer for what is done on the Day of Judgment.

It is a sad, sad world guys.

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