Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Clean words for rape and murder

"'Ethnic cleansing' and even 'genocide' are antiseptic and abstract terms," writes Nicholas Kristof in the Sunday Review of the New York Times, Dec. 17, 2017.

These words cover up the details, such as "They grabbed my baby and threw her into the fire" or "They locked a woman and her 15-year-old daughter in a hut, raped them, and set the hut on fire." 

Thank you to Kristof for interviewing seven survivors of a village, Tula Toli, in Myanmar and reporting in his column "Did Genocide Destroy This Village?" on Dec. 17.

What can we do?

1) Push the House and Senate to pass legislation imposing sanctions on Myanmar officials.  Kristof says the proposed legislation is stuck and won't be approved anytime soon.

2) Support one of the organizations helping the refugees:
BRAC International
Doctors Without Borders
Save the Children
Hope Foundation for Women and Children of Bangladesh

"The world can't just stand idly by and be witness to the atrocities," said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

"But I fear that is exactly what is happening," writes Kristof. International sanctions are needed to pressure Myanmar's generals.  

The recent visit of Pope Francis hasn't helped, so far.

Aung San Suu Kyi is ignoring and excusing the atrocities.

Would the US response be different if we had a strong and compassionate president?

Kristof lauds the resilience and courage of survivors such as Hasina Begum, age 21:

“They killed my family members, and they killed my world,” she told me. “When I tell my story, I feel terrible, and afterward I go cry to myself. But we need justice, and maybe this will help.”

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