I am heartsick.
Did not sleep last night.
Not sure how I’ll sleep tonight, though exhausted.
Have no idea what happened in classes or at work today. Just a blur. This whole day is blur. The only thing I remember is last night…
Last night, I attended a lecture. I attend many lectures weekly at my own and other nearby universities. This particular lecture left me in tatters & tears. I’m ashamed to say there’s a part of me that wishes I had not gone. Because then, I wouldn’t know the things I know now, would not have seen the images I saw, and wouldn’t have heard the sounds that haunted me all night.
It was an awful awakening. I felt like a crash test dummy. Over and over…WHAM! WHAM! WHAM!!
It was so awful even the men were surreptitiously wiping away tears.
The women cried openly.
I tried not to. I tried to be like the pragmatic presenters – 2 doctors who’ve just returned from a trip to Hell – stoically sharing photos, video, and sound recordings of their ongoing experiences in that fiery pit on the other side of the world.
Those images…those sounds -things we’ve never seen or heard here in America because our news dare not show it.
I wanted to be like those 2 doctors – controlled emotion in the face of horror. I wanted to watch and listen objectively. I wanted to asses things from a neutral viewpoint, a viewpoint that says, ‘There’s more than one side to any story.’
What I saw and heard last night twisted my heart, my view of things. Worse, it robbed me of the contentedness I walked in there with. This lecture stole that from me. And now I’m adrift, riding waves of emotion that I don’t want to feel.
I don’t want to feel this. I don’t want to. I just don’t.
The truth is, I knew. I had a idea. Because reports in virtually every foreign news outlet in the world say the exact opposite of what our American news reports say regarding this hellish issue. We stand alone in our politically biased views on this issue.
So, I knew what we’re being told isn’t the whole story. Most of it is so far from the truth that you wonder how our news anchors can look the camera in the eye as they report the lies we swallow.
Even so, last night I learned that knowing a piece of hellish truth is nothing at all like knowing the whole hellish truth. Seeing it. Hearing it. And worse, knowing you are complicit in it.
I am complicit in the slow genocide of a nation.
A slow torture of men, women, and God help me, children. Babies…toddlers…adolescents. Shot for target practice. Shot to alleviate boredom. Shot for betting, the prize being chocolates; the smaller the child killed, the more chocolates won.
The largest prize – cheers, admiration, and a secretly mass-produced t-shirt with an image of your target on it – goes to soldiers who shoot pregnant women in their bellies. Because in shooting children, the soldiers have righteously saved their own nation from a future generation of “terrorists.”
These 2 doctors from last night’s lecture travel covertly in and out of Hell, treating, trying to save, but mostly wrapping what’s left of the bodies of children for burial.
We saw those little bodies. What was left of them.
Genocide is being systematically carried out by an ally of my government. My government, while occasionally shaking a tolerant finger at our ally, provides the money, the weapons, and wink-and-a-nod support for this slow, secret, genocide.
These 2 doctors, along with dozens of other foreign doctors who slip into the tortured country to provide aid, have been witnesses to this genocide for nearly a decade.
I know things now about this slow slaughter of a people. I saw them last night, heard them, felt their slow dying. I cried silently. Nearly vomited. Left the room a couple of times with others who couldn’t watch, couldn’t listen anymore.
I know things now.
If I stay silent, I am therefore complicit.
If I chose only to cluck my tongue and shake my head sadly, I am complicit. If I chose to turn away from such unpleasantness, I am complicit. If I shy away from controversial discussions about this slaughter, I am complicit.
If I do any of these things which allow me to turn away and remain silent, I am complicit. I am helping my government, with my tax dollars and my silence, to carry out a slow, secret, systematic genocide on a people.
I know now.
What do I do with that?
What do I do?