Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Special Kind of Hell

If there is a hell, there must be a special one for the members of the Shabab Islamist insurgency, who are keeping people, keeping children, like the one above, from fleeing Southern Somalia or receiving aid outside the Shabab territory. That's terrorism, in that picture. Just the slow motion kind. From the Times:

"People from those areas who were interviewed in Mogadishu say Shabab fighters are blocking rivers to steal water from impoverished villagers and divert it to commercial farmers who pay them taxes. The Shabab are intercepting displaced people who are trying to reach Mogadishu and forcing them to stay in a Shabab-run camp about 25 miles outside the city. The camp now holds several thousand people and receives only a trickle of food...
A few years ago, the Shabab began banning immunizations, deeming them a Western plot to kill Somali children. Now countless unvaccinated children are dying from measles and cholera as tens of thousands of malnourished, immunity-suppressed people flee the drought areas and pack into filthy, crowded camps."

Shabab leaders counter the claims of locals who've escaped and NGO/aid organizations: the people in the internment camps are attracted to them! Because of “this sense of serenity and security.” Yeah, right. Sure they are. They're attracted to your guns and violence, too, I bet.

Somehow, seeing this article at lunch distracted me from the possibility of the US credit rating dipping to AA or from the truly miraculous recovery of Gabrielle Giffords. It totally distracted me from eating, too.

“This is worse than 1992,” said Dr. Lul Mohamed, Banadir’s head of pediatrics, referring to Somalia’s last famine. “Back then, at least we had some help.” ~ from the New York Times

Giving lie to the phrase 'the more things change, the more they stay the same...', as my stepmom and I were noting just yesterday, the world is getting to be an even uglier place.

How can half a million children be on the brink of starvation in one small country

I was looking at the total population as of 2010 on Wikipedia. The irony of the Somali national anthem is simply breathtaking. Could serve the whole world, with equal irony, of course.

I don't know when I'm ever going to get that image of that poor child above out of my head.

Maybe I shouldn't?

© Bright Nepenthe, 2011

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