At least 50,000 people have been killed in the US supported war against Yemen by the medieval kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with tens of thousands on the brink of a famine that is human caused. In fact, the US along with Canada and the UK continue to provide military assistance and arms to the kingdom. Yet no crisis has been declared by the US or its allies.
Over 10,000 people have been killed by US ally Duterte in the Philippines due to his supposed “war on drugs.” The vast majority were impoverished and non-violent ‘offenders.’ Yet no crisis has been declared by the US and its allies. In fact Trump has applauded Duterte’s crimes.
The UN has warned that the medical and water treatment systems of Gaza are on the brink of catastrophic collapse in just a few years thanks to apartheid Israel’s murderous siege in 2014 which destroyed infrastructure and its brutal blockade which has been in place for over a decade. Well over a million people, mostly children, are facing death. Scores of unarmed Palestinians, including children, nurses, doctors and members of the press, have been shot at and killed at the security fence when they protest their collective punishment and imprisonment. Yet no crisis has been declared by the US and its allies. In fact, Trump has ended US aid to the Palestinians.
The US backed military junta regime of Sisi in Egypt has executed hundreds of political dissidents following what are widely seen as show trials in kangaroo courts. Thousands more are in prison awaiting their fate. Yet no crisis has been declared by the US and its allies.
But in Venezuela, a socialist country that has suffered under US sanctions for years and where elections have been shown to be fair and equal, 42 people have been killed in clashes with government forces at violent “opposition” demonstrations. And there, a “humanitarian crisis” has been declared with the full weight of the US military behind it.
The message we are getting from the ruling elite is quite clear. We are supposed to believe that the US cares about the people of Venezuela. We are supposed to downplay the fact that Trump appointed a presidential pardoned liar and apologist for genocide in El Salvador and Guatemala in the 1980s, Elliot Abrams, as envoy to Venezuela. We are supposed to ignore John Bolton’s comments on Fox News about how the Trump administration is in conversation with fossil fuel companies and that the US will benefit greatly from regime change. We are supposed to look the other way when the opposition raises US and Israeli flags in Caracas or when they use racist epithets and attack people of color. We are supposed to believe this is not about it being a socialist government, or that it has pivoted its nexus away from the US dollar, or that it sits on one of the world’s greatest oil, mineral and precious metal reserves. We are supposed to believe the corporate media’s manufactured crisis and ignore their selective outrage while they ignore every other humanitarian crisis mentioned above. We are supposed to forget how Libya and Iraq were “liberated” or the ruins their nations are today because of it. And to forget Honduras, and Chile, and Indonesia, and Congo and countless other places where US “humanitarian intervention” had led to atrocity, slaughter and devastation. We are supposed to forget about imperialism or its dreadful implications.
The most important job for people of conscience to do then is to remember it all. Remember every single lie, every single crime, every single mass grave. And to never let them forget.
Kenn Orphan 2019
*Cartoon is by Brazilian freelance political cartoonist, Carlos Latuff.
“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”
― Arundhati Roy, The Cost of Living