Posts tagged Sudan

Let’s make Joseph (Stalin) Infamous!!!

I’m still bothered by the hype created by the Kony 2012 people. So Joseph Kony has been marauding and pillaging for 26 years and tragically altered the lives of 30,000 children and their families. What about what Joseph Stalin did for 30 years in the USSR, what about the millions who were starved to death in the 1930s in Ukraine?  Why is it so much easier to turn Americans heads to something that is going on in the jungles of Africa?  With all the historical literature, police records and archival evidence at our disposal about the atrocities of the gulag in Russia and specifically the karlag system in Kazakhstan, why the silence?

These very same people who are lobbying, want our U.S. military to go and save the African children who are kidnapped. Aren’t they the same people who were against President George Bush who wanted to get Hussein out of Iraq and tried for war crimes and capture bin Laden for 9/11? Didn’t we deploy our military to those countries?  Apparently this is different. We are supposedly only going to send 100 “advisors” to be on the ground.  That’s how Vietnam started.  Okay, so now as of December 2011, Joseph Kony has been served notice he is the top most wanted man according to the I.C.C.

What’s this latest thing with George Clooney being arrested today in front of the Sudan embassy in Washington D.C? He is NOT one of my favorite actors (“Perfect Storm” was the last bomb I watched of him though he was funny in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”)  Does Clooney know something about Joseph Kony moving back from Uganda into the very place where he was armed by the Muslim leadership in the north to shoot and kill the Christian population in southern Sudan?  I guess the American media and publicity will shed light on what is going on right now so the killing and kidnapping can stop. YES, I am all for Joseph Kony being stopped.

However, more energy should be exerted in our school systems to know the atrocities that Joseph Stalin committed and make him infamous.  He was far, far worse than Hitler but the academic community is silent on that score, why?  Instead of making Joseph Kony famous, let’s make Joseph Stalin infamous.  The youthful enthusiasm going into this during election year has me greatly puzzled.  April 20th will be the big night out for people to demonstrate their feelings about Kony.  What if Kony is captured and killed before then?  That would be a little bit of a bummer for the organizers, right?

To me, this is too well orchestrated…too sinister on many levels. I hope I am wrong about the Invisible Children founders.  Gavin Russell certainly is a cute little boy who could tell the bad guy (Joseph Kony) from the good guy Jacob who lost his brother to the L.R.A. Gavin’s father is doing what he can for justice.  However, I’m reminded of the verse from Micah:

“He has shown you, O man, what is good;

And what does the Lord require of you

But to do justly,

To love mercy,

And to walk humbly with your God?”

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“Invisible Children” and “Kazakhstan Presentation”

I’ve had sufficient time to reflect on the one hour film I saw last week, but it still haunts me.  I think everyone in the auditorium who also watched “Invisible Children” will have a difficult time ignoring the young boy’s story named Jacob and his sobbing. Jacob missed his brother who was killed by rebel soldiers in Uganda. They abduct children from age 5-8 because they are able to carry guns. Jacob’s English was very articulate and he conveyed his hopelessness in wanting to die, to go to heaven to see his brother again. His crying was not typical of the whimpers you would normally hear, it was more of an unearthly high pitched groan. It probably got the cameraman (one of three southern California guys out on an adventure to get a story) crying too.

What is interesting about these three guys (you can look it up on imdb.com yourself) is that they were looking for an adventure that would have an impact. They were kind of like Peace Corps types but in hyper mode with cameras to go where Peace Corps would never allow volunteers to go to, such as Sudan. Once they found the children in Uganda who were walking from the rural areas of the jungle into cities for protection under verandas of hospitals or bus parks, they knew they had to report this to the rest of the world.  One comment that I recall from the movie is that they said the difference between the children they encountered in Uganda and the children in the U.S. is that these kids don’t cry anymore.  Normal kids cry, but they were way beyond having any hope of getting help from the outside world.  Some had seen terrible atrocities in their village.  Jacob had seen his brother murdered by these marauding bands of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), fortunately he and his friend had escaped.

Another thing that I can’t get over is the sentence I heard several times “Fear is an understatement.”  The whole countryside is living in fear of these rebels who were armed by the powers in northern Sudan.  That is no life to live to be constantly on the move, where do the children find food to eat?  They are certainly not getting their education but only learning how to survive day to day.  “Fear is an understatement.” Is there a hyperbole for the word “fear” which our English language does not provide to truly understand what these children are suffering?

Now I want to go to an 8 minute clip probably done by a young Kazakh man living in Czech republic.  I don’t think what he puts together as “Kazakhstan Presentation” on Youtube.com would be sanctioned by the Kazakhstan’s government.  Yet it is indicative of what is going on with the human trafficking from the rural areas of Kazakhstan to the big cities of Almaty and Astana.  If I were a mother of a Kazakh girl and one who dresses provocatively, I would warn her of the great dangers that are out there.  Traffickers are quick to snatch up the “beautiful ladies” and bring them to brothels in the cities.  So, what this filmmaker is promoting essentially is sex tourism.  Watch it for yourself and see if there is something not right about it.  Well, it starts out with Sasha Cohen and Barot so you know that it is offensive already to a normal Kazakh person.

Is it just me or am I being too hyper sensitive to all this human trafficking?  The more I see and read, the more I KNOW we live in a fallen world. I am doing what I can to spread awareness and help the victims who get out of it whether they are child soldiers in Uganda or Kazakh girls trapped in prostitution or Uzbek men who are snared into working on building construction and not being paid for their work.

I’d like to get your thoughts on this from my readership.  I see that my blog spiked to almost 200 hits yesterday.  I think it is extremely interesting since I don’t write as much these days not like I did every day when I lived for 3 1/2 years in Kazakhstan, a land I miss.  Yeah, I know there are robots and trolls hitting this blog but I know there are real compassionate people who are trying to figure out what they can do to help Kazakhstan now that Peace Corps has left. I’m still very sad about that because I know that many of those volunteers gave hope to the Kazakhs in the rural areas of Kazakhstan.  I think there is something very sinister going on and I think if advertisements such as “Kazakhstan Presentation” are stopped, hopefully the demand would go down and the supply of young Kazakh girls would not be yanked out of their homes.

Check out “Kazakhstan Presentation” and buy the documentary on “Invisible Children” or google what is going on with the Lord’s Resistance Army.  We have a crisis going on here and I don’t think I’m an alarmist!!!

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“Bear” foot and more Buddy Bears

You would suppose that I’d be coming to the end of my photos of the Buddy Bears. They stand at friendly, disarming attention in Astana, Kazakhstan near the Baiterek Tower.  I had to show off the barefoot toes of the American Buddy Bear that is actually the Statue of Liberty. That’s in keeping with my featuring the Star Spangled Banner the last couple of blogs even though we are not even close to Fourth of July.  I’m just patriotic as I am sure everyone who goes to view these Buddy Bears are when they see their own nation’s representation. I guess my personal favorites are the most colorful Buddy Bears, either Sudan or Saudi Arabia.

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