How about a mother urging her young, emaciated, malnourished and scrawny son to put his mouth up to a cow’s dirty vagina so as to drink her urine since it will be the only liquid that he will get that day? Then he does it to stay alive.
How can we, half a world away, help? How can we possibly help millions of people, who do not have adequate food, shelter, clothes and liquid intake on a daily basis?
How about a mother in Haiti feeding her children mud cookies to stave off hunger? She got tired of them suffering — crying, screaming and moaning from belly pangs. So she gave them this garbage since she could afford nothing else.
How about dropping off two of your children under a tree in blazing hot Somalia where there has been a food and water shortage? They just have no strength left to go forward to walk to the refugee camp. So they simply collapse, and you have their younger sibling strapped to your body. So you have to keep on going forward for the baby’s sake.
How about the mother in some African nation involved in a resource conflict, who never had adequate nutrition so all four of her children were born severely brain damaged? She kept hoping that each next time would be different. Dream on.
She and her husband had no access to birth control methods. He was eventually killed in the war when their village was raided and she had to hit the road with her foursome following her like mindless ducklings. (She and they did get picked up by a vehicle driven by a human rights worker, who dropped them off at a refugee camp — one of the overloaded hell-holes of the world, but better than nothing.)
Her four children, for their nutritional lacks in utero, had developed amongst other impairments, a lack in speech capacity. However, they knew, thank goodness, to follow their mother, and could make grunts, gurgles, yelps and such.
(Imagine being in her condition. Unimaginable! This is the stuff that comprises nightmares except that there’s no waking up since the wake-period is the hell — not the dream instead.)
I was five years old when witnessing my first insurmountable trauma.
It was Hiroshima Maidens with missing body parts flown to NY, USA for reconstructive surgery. (Nothing taken away from the bomb dropped on innocent civilians could ever be successfully replaced except in a modified superficial cosmetic form.) Meanwhile, many were not slated to live for long due to radiation damage, which is very painful to endure.
As a young child, I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the thought that anyone could do this degree of damage to innocent others or to anyone, for that matter. Likewise, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the thought that if this could happen to these guiltless women, it could also happen to any number of other faultless people, who I personally knew. Indeed any one of them could have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, as these women had been.
On August 6, 1945, a mushroom cloud billows into the sky about one hour after an atomic bomb was dropped by American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, detonating above Hiroshima, Japan. Nearly 80,000 people are believed to have been killed immediately, with possibly another 60,000 survivors dying of injuries and radiation exposure by 1950.#8
A Japanese woman and her child, casualties in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, lie on a blanket on the floor of a damaged bank building converted into a hospital and located near the center of the devastated town, on October 6, 1945.#16
Regardless of whether the bombing was deemed by governmental leaders as necessary or not, what sort of insane, sociopathic monsters do this degree of carnage and torture to other human beings? Oh, it’s the same sort that currently do it in many other countries, but without using nuclear means. For example: Greenspan admits Iraq was about oil, as deaths put at 1.2m | World …
Bombing of Baghdad images, operation shock and awe:
… and this sort of warring is still going onward in country after country.
An irony, of course, is that much of the funding to carry out this particular Iraq war was financed through loans to the US federal government, most notably from China. Then when the bidding took place for the Iraq oil fields after the brunt of the war was done, China bid the lowest and reaped the vast majority of oil benefits.
So bizarre! China loans money to the US at a high interest rate to carry out a war that largely benefits China. What an apropos quirk of fate in a very twisted, bleak and sardonic way!
Iraq War will Cost More Than World War II (October 25, 2011) … Colombia University [ Nobel Prize winning – E.] economist Joseph Stiglitz the final tab for the war could reach $4-6 trillion.
… Daily I work so hard to not hate. It does me and others no good to hate, but sometimes it is a great effort!
At the same time, I’m fortunate that I have found others through the years, who share my perspectives. Without them — how very hard it is to go forward with the difficult understandings that we have to witness, stand against and endure.
I don’t have much optimism. (I’ve seen too much throughout my life that greatly disturbs me.)
Further and based on trajectories about where our planet is heading, outcomes are obvious and factually, evidentially based so as to look abysmal. Resource wars, I surmise, are just going to ramp up — especially as the human population does, and resource shortages become increasingly a problem.
Nothing is new here in terms of the tragedies since they have always existed. After all, misery has been around for a long time except that the scale now is larger than ever — at least from a human standpoint.
How about seeing (reading) an accurate account of Civil War Union soldiers clustering around a new arrival in an open-air prison compound and waiting for him to have a bowel movement so that they can eat his nutrient rich feces rather than their own again and again each day since all that they get to eat is one bowl of watery soup a day? How about their fighting over it as each tries to get the biggest clump?
How about the Siege of Leningrad wherein butchers culled neighborhoods for freshly dead corpses of people, who’d starved to death. I read that human meat tastes somewhat like salty pork. (Would you feed it to your family if the only way to stay alive?)
A few years ago, a friend of mine in Connecticut, USA told me about the last forest in her town taken down to create a housing development. It was at the top of a hill on which she lived.
As it was being cut down, she watched the animals flee down the hill from home owner’s backyard to next one’s backyard. They passed through and across her property.
She was home at the time. So she saw.
There were birds flapping away, wild turkeys, foxes, rabbits and so on. They looked terrified as they ran downward away from the forest’s demise while tree after tree crashed to the ground under noisy loggers’ saws.
What was at the bottom of the hill? There was a town with concrete and pavement with no green spaces. Even if there were green spaces — how could further life be subsumed in them given the already indigenous life that would have been located there? … and beyond the town: highways — lots of them … and more deforested towns.
Are any of those animals alive now? How likely is that occurrence?
All considered, many of us are relatively fortunate. It’s very obvious when we contrast our lives to the lives of others.
Yet what can we do to help those who have been severely compromised to bring peace to us all? What can we do for the people, the other animals, the forests, the wetlands, meadows and so on? How can we help preserve rather than tear down the world and others around us?
Emily Spence lives in MA, USA and has had essays posed on Countercurrents.org for ten years.