Those of you who follow me on twitter may have seen I’ve been following the Arab revolutions with interest and concern. You may also be wondering why I care so much. I just think we should all care about this and send whatever form of support to these brave people fighting to shake themselves out of oppressive tyrannies that have abused their families for decades. I’ve been wanting to post this for weeks, and then came up the TED talk of the head of Al Jazeera that summarizes it so clearly: Event thinking about these people will help them.
A few weeks ago, I was amazed and upset by how little support I was seeing from everyday people to this conflict. We all pretend to care so much about freedom and civil liberties but then when we see people actually risking their lives for it, we don’t even care enough to comment on the news? Now the battle in Libya is practically lost, as the international forces have been to slow in determining how to aid the rebels, and the ruthless dictator is bombing them with all his force, literally crushing cities and all the families that remain inside. The revolutionary forces now blame us, the West, for not doing anything in their help; they say we do not really believe in freedom. These revolutions are not politically or religiously driven, they are young and smart people, who thanks to the global connectivity, have seen that a better life is possible, and that they do not deserve to live what their grandparents and parents have gone through, working all their life with nothing in return.
Well why do I care so much? First, I was raised to believe in people’s dignity, that every man and woman in this world deserves to be free and have a basic sense of security and dignity. Second, I grew up as a child under a dictatorship. As a boy in Chile of the 80s there were a lot of bad things going on in my country and in fact, while I lived in a fairly posh suburb of the city there was a horrible camp of the special police right in my block, around the corner of my house. At seven years, me and my friends saw and heard things that a child that age does not deserve to be exposed to. So I can’t help relate to these people who have been suffering that terror and oppression for years now attempting to toss the criminal out of their government and start anew.
But it’s too late, the international organizations have not taken action and by the time they make their minds the city of Benghazi will probably be flat (I still hope not!), and thereafter the crimes will not be as overt. The people who survive that last battle will be disappeared one by one and will probably face unspeakable cruelty like what happened in the secret prison around my corner, which remained secret for over thirty years until one guard could not resist the guilt and spoke up: the reason why nobody knew of that prison was because nobody left the place alive. It was a secret camp where people were sent to be tortured until death.