"International law is dead..." F_Meignant's Profile
Back home after more than 2 months spent in West Africa. I now remember Salmane, teacher at a primary school of Djenné (Mali): he had to personally borrow money from a bank in order to buy notebooks and pens for his 80 (!!) pupils… I remember Hawzata, head of Koiguima’s school, near Timbuktu (Mali): in January 2003, he had got no salary since September 2002 and was only fed by the inhabitants with his wife and daughter… I remember Yezouma, blacksmith at Urubono (Burkina-Faso), desperately looking for files and hacksaws… I remember Moctar from Dibilou (Burkina-Faso) and his inaccessible dream: buying a donkey, a plough and a cart for his son (I’ll send him the money)… I remember these three young women from the Fulani Warawara, met near Darcoy (Burkina-Faso) in the deep Sahel: they were proud to make us visit their huts made of millet straw, but they ran short of food three days before… I remember Bado, the old Tuareg from Boughel (near Agadez, Niger) who accompanied us during our camel trek in the Aïr mountains: he was obviously suffering angina, but only received an analgesic from the chemist… I remember Alga, from Timia (Niger), sadly watching his dry gardens: he had no money enough to buy the petrol for the engine pumping water out of his well… Only a few examples: a bit of dust in the desert… Reality in a virtual world.
Back home after more than 2 months and back home with anger. Went and see my parents: they are 80 years old, have been missing me, and were very anxious about this long trip… Found them sad and depressed: they heard a speech on the TV, which was addressed to the Iraqi people. Parents were in total dismay. Certainly, they would not cry upon Saddam Hussein’s regime. But… my father told me that in 1940, Hitler made a speech to the French people, something like: “Don’t be afraid by German troops, they are bringing you freedom and security… Don’t try to resist and nothing wrong will happen…”
They did not expect they would listen to those words again.
Strange similarities in the words, strange similarities in the propaganda…
Hitler, in Mein Kampf : « …En ce qui concerne la question humanitaire, Moltke, déjà, s'est expliqué là-dessus, étant d'avis que, dans la guerre, l'humanité consistait à la mener le plus rapidement possible, et qu'en conséquence, les procédés de lutte les plus brutaux étaient les plus humanitaires… »
And again : « …La grande masse d'un peuple ne se compose pas de diplomates, ni de professeurs de droit public, ni même simplement de gens susceptibles de prononcer un jugement raisonnable, mais d'êtres humains aussi hésitants que disposés au doute et à l'indécision. Aussitôt que notre propre propagande concède à la partie adverse une faible lueur de bon droit, la base se trouve déjà posée pour douter de notre propre bon droit. Alors la masse n'est plus en mesure de discerner où finit le tort de l'adversaire et où commence le nôtre. (…) et c'est la masse qu'il s'agit de convaincre. Mais celle-ci a toujours besoin, dans sa lourdeur, d'un certain temps pour se trouver prête à prendre connaissance d'une idée, et n'ouvrira sa mémoire qu'après la répétition mille fois renouvelée des notions les plus simples… »
Back home after more than 2 months and back home with shame. Yes, international law is dead… Whatever will be the end of the conflict, all what had been built since 1945 at the price of so many lives, so many fights, has been destroyed within a few hours… International law is dead in the early morning of the 20th March 2003 and it was just like the execution of a man under sentence of death… Such a dangerous precedent! Since that date, any country in the world could feel entitled to attack and invade any other country without worrying about UN intervention. A nasty example was given, and it was given by the most powerful nation in the world when it attacked a much weaker one: childish, shameful, outrageous, cowardly.
Of course, all this will probably be deleted and I’ll be sad and missing you all… But please, dear VT staff, before deleting, keep this in mind: sites like VT represent some (very rare) places where people from one part of the world can put their opinions forward with some chance of being read by people from another part of the world. It’s not proselytism: just an account of various opinions. The life of such sites sometimes temporarily oversteps their initial purposes… Want it or not, you can’t avoid an intrusion of politics into a travel site because travelling is linked to humanity and human rights unless we travel with shut eyes! Yes, nowadays, everything is politics: it’s one aspect of globalization.
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