Sunday, September 12, 2010
Crimes against humanity
Deep subject here today. I think that I am probably one of the least qualified people to write on this subject. I'm not a student of history or psychology, or anything even remotely academic, but, I have thoughts, sometimes deep thoughts, and this is the place for thoughts.
This weekend, having been the anniversary of 9/11, I had some conflicting emotions. While I felt sad for the day, I'm quite sure they were not the feelings I might have anticipated I would have had nine years later back on September 11, 2001. I felt sort of empty -- sad for the families who still mourn their loved ones, but it wasn't a deep feeling. I felt sad that most Americans, in my opinion, have lost the depth of feeling that we had on that day nine years ago, and the days after. The feeling that we needed to cling to the things that are important -- each other. We sought out our families and our friends. We realized what was important -- not stuff, nothing you can buy.
On Saturday, we had the television on, tuned to Fox News where we were catching some of the "highlights" of the day. Maybe highlights is the wrong word. Events. We were catching coverage of the events of the day. After one particularly moving testimony from an elderly woman at the former site of the World Trade Centers, my husband said, "I really wish the media would not broadcast these events. I think it just fuels the fire of the ba*tards who were responsible." Hmmm. I don't agree or disagree with that thought, but it's something to think about.
Later in the day, I read this quote from Elie Wiesel in Night on why he wrote his book on his personal Holocaust experience: "In retrospect I must confess that I do not know, or no longer know, what I wanted to achieve with my words. I only know that without this testimony, my life as a writer -- or my life, period -- would not have become what it is: that of a witness who believes he has a moral obligation to try to prevent the enemy from enjoying one last victory by allowing his crimes to be erased from human memory."
I thought about that quote for quite a while. From historical record we know that Adolf Hitler, in his attempt to wipe the existence of Jews from Germany, committed heinous crimes against humanity in places far away from German countrymen. In essence, he attempted to hide his crime. He didn't, at least at the beginning, kill Jews in front of large crowds, nor did he, at least at first, broadcast his pride for what he was doing. So I can understand Wiesel's point that we can only know what a hideous thing he did with testimony from those who lived through it.
Contrary to Hitler, Osama bin Laden committed his crimes for all to see. He claimed the crimes, with what could be called pride; he claimed responsibility for the hideous crimes that were committed against Americans. In that case, providing witness to these crimes does not fulfill the same moral obligation that Wiesel did. If the criminal is not humiliated by the knowledge of his crimes, it does no good to continually witness to them. Not that broadcasting personal testimony of experiences on 9/11 is intended to humiliate Osama bin Laden, but it is possible that it does the opposite -- fuel the fire that resulted in 9/11 in the first place.
After thinking for a while, I noticed some similarities among the crimes Hitler committed and those bin Laden committed, and the crimes that are committed every day on the unborn in this world. The millions that were killed in the Holocaust, the thousands killed on 9/11, and tens of millions of unborn babies killed in this country since abortion was legalized are all lives that were snuffed out in attempt to wipe them from history. They were all innocents snatched away in a heartbeat from the lives they knew, from their loved ones, leaving a hole where once was a human being.
While I lament the loss of so many lives on 9/11, I can't help but think how much more heinous is abortion. All victims of crime are innocent, just as were the Jews in Europe and the people in the Trade Centers, the Pentagon and on Flight 93 on 9/11. Unborn babies, however, are not only are innocent, but they are secure in what should be the safest place on earth, tucked inside the wombs of their mothers. As Mother Teresa said, "I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself." How unthinkable is it that the victims of the Holocaust and the victims of 9/11 would be killed by their own mothers?
So my point behind all of these sad thoughts is back in Wiesel's quote. While providing testimony about 9/11 may or may not "prevent the enemy from enjoying one last victory by allowing his crimes to be erased from human memory," providing witness to the abominable, hideous crimes against the unborn can prevent those responsible from deceiving the public, from hiding in their "sacred space" and committing the most monstrous crimes against humanity. The enemy must be outed for his evil ways and held accountable, lest he erase his crimes from human memory.