By Franklin D. López
Former United Press lnternational and The Associated Press writer
www.franklindelanolopez.com, @trueblue51 Facebook Pinterest lnstagram
“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people!”-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Money bought their passport to “freedom!” ln contrast lceland, has sentenced 26 bankers to a combined 74 years in prison. The latest to face charges are five top executives from two of the country’s largest banks, Kaupþing and Landsbanki, which the Icelandic government took control of in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse.These charges stand in sharp contrast to the situation in the U.S., where fewer than two minor banks executives faced criminal prosecution. The vast majority of the United States population remained in deafenning silence!
But the worst kind of silence is when humans are persecuted, tortured, cleansed, murdered by wars, political and economic public policies. The United Nations and other international community organizations have become inoperable, unresponsive and many times passive silent watchers of crimes against humanity in the 21st Century. Some of the most important ones are the following:
- Myanmar has long persecuted the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority, denying it basic rights to citizenship, to marry, to worship and to an education. After violence unleashed in 2012 by Buddhist extremists drove tens of thousands of Rohingya out of their homes, many risked their lives to escape in smugglers’ boats. Thousands have been killed or die in the ethinic cleansing process. Nobel Peace Prize winner and the facto ruler of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has remained in complete silence. She should be stripped of the Nobel Peace Prize!
- Fed by the super power’s industrial military complexes, more than 350,000 Syrians have lost their lives in four-and-a-half years of armed conflict, which began with anti-government protests before escalating into a full-scale civil war. More than 11 million others have been forced from their homes as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and those opposed to his rule battle each other – as well as jihadist militants from so-called Islamic State. The International “community” gave space to the super powers to play war games and profit from arms sales.
- The Yemen civil war is an ongoing conflict that began in 2015 between two factions claiming to constitute the Yemeni government, along with their supporters and allies. Houthi forces controlling the capital Sana’a and allied with forces loyal to the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh have clashed with forces loyal to the government of Abdrabuh Mansur Halib based in Aden. Saudi Arabia has bombed Yemen killing and injuring tens of thousands.
- The Global lssue organization reports that there have been over 9 million refugees and internally displaced people from conflicts in Africa. Millions of people have been slaughtered from a number of conflicts and civil wars. If this scale of destruction and fighting was in Europe, then people would be calling it World War III. These conflicts have been largely ignored in silence by the super powers and the lnternational community.
- China’s government policies against separatism and terrorism in its mainly Muslim west has now become an all-out war on conservative Islam in southern Xinjiang province. The war against against Uighurs, the country’s muslim minority, has been partially ignored by the west and by the international press.
- Puerto Rico, a United States territory since 1898, has been subjected to a colonial regime with forced discriminatory, segregation, political and economic policies dictated from Washington. These policies have forced, since the 1950 to 2016, a massive population exodus to the United States of more than 3 million of the territory’s population. ln 1952, jointly with the territorial government, Washington adopted the policy that Puerto Rico was self-governed with the adoption of law 600 that granted a local constitution. l have filed multiple complaints, as an affected American citizen, against the United States before the lnternational Criminal Court; the United Nation Human Rights Commission and the Organization of American States. Forcing a jurisdiction with political and economic policies to migrate is a crime against humanity. So far, no response and total silence! As the Jesuit “America” editorial recently said the colonial regime in Puerto Rico ” is a reminder that this two-tiered system of American citizenship is neither democratic nor tenable.”
- The web site www.Warsintheworld.com list at least 67 countries with violent conflicts, civil wars, ethnic cleansing. Among them, the Central African Republic (often there are armed clashes between muslims and christians), Democrati Republic of Congo (war against rebel groups), Egypt (war against islamic militants of Islamic State branch), Libya (civil war), Mali (clashes between army and rebel groups), Mozambique (clashes with RENAMO rebels), Nigeria (war against islamist militants), Somalia (war against al-Shabaab islamist militants), Sudan (war against rebel groups in Darfur), South Sudan (clashes with rebel groups), Colombia, the Philippines, the Ukraine among others.
- The world population is soaring, and humans’ demand for energy, food and water is skyrocketing along with it. That’s why, Stephen Hawkings the physicist predicted that we have less than 600 years until humans turn Earth into a “ball of fire.” Unless we begin to re-read history and learned from the mistakes of the past and begin to think in terms of saving the human race, manking will auto destruct as Hawkings predicts. We still have time to do it but it is going to be a long, long road trip to save the human race and defeat the insatiable and egotistical appetite of humans.
As Eli Wiesel eloquently once said, “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” We are running out of time and action is of the essence and silence is not an option! After all it is the human race as a whole that is at stake!