Posted by parhad (22.214.171.124) on October 10, 2001 at 06:35:00:
In Reply to: AAS Quarterly Report : July–September, 2001 posted by David Chibo on October 10, 2001 at 04:01:33:
Thank you for doing the work, and sharing it with us. You define "action".
I'm going to argue a point with you I've argued with Narsai many a time...and it always ends in stalemate, as I'm sure it will here. While I can't deny the importance of such work it makes me angry at the same time. I have no intention of taking my anger out against those we are trying to help, however. I'm not asking for a perfect world.
Thi imperfect world has aimed its considerable destructive resources against our people in Iraq for some time now. I feel at times like Willard, the American captain sent to destroy Kurtz in the film "Apocalypse Now", when the machine gunner on the gunboat taking him upriver accidentally opens fire on a boatload of innocent villagers. Realizing their mistake the gunboat crew try to bandage the survivors and are shocked in their turn when Willard calmly walks up to one bleeding young woman and shoots her dead. He remarks something to the effect that the Americans feel they can tape eveything together no matter what they do...I suppose he means that some mistakes can't be fixed.
I get angry when I think of how consistently we behave as if we have no claims on this Planet...no claims to decent treatment, no chance or expectation to be treated as if our lives and Heritage count or mean anything. While bombs and gunships from ALL SIDES decimate our thinning ranks, we beg and plead for band-aids and hand-outs...either too afraid to yell WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING THIS IS FOR!!!....or way too grateful for the band-aids left behind, donated to us by the same people who bomb us out of the other corner of their mouths.
Like I said, I don't want to punish us any further by NOT helping out because I'm a "purist". Narsai tells me..."then what's the alternative"? Meaning that even if I did have a grand design, what about the hungry and friendless Assyrians right now...should we refuse help because this isn't the "best" way?
Of course I don't want that. I just want some sign that we're learning our own painful lesson the hard way. So many times in the past we've licked our wounds in private, acted as if we deserved not only bombs, but scorn and abuse and a veil of silence...that we can endure and endure as almost a mark of distinction, then finally wake up to "do" something...like apply first aid to the gaping hole in a heart left by a 50 calibre machine gun bullet.
I don't want to think of us as only making these humanitarian efforts, against all odds, with the meagre resources of our own communities, finding a perverse satisfaction in going up against "Pharoah in all his glory and power" etc. We make too much of our liabilities, our inabilities, our humbleness...after each indignity we heave a deep sigh, collect our shattered dreams, pass the hat around a community either too scared or weak or indifferent...almost inviting the next attack...which is sure to come again and again to a people who all but advertise on their backs..."Kick Me...HARD".
I want to help get that Assyrian kid a pair of shoes, a book, maybe even a toy. But I wont give "Thanks" for these simple almost stupid gifts. I want to stay angry, I want to remember not that the world owes US...but that WE owe US.
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