Thursday, January 27, 2005

60 years on

Note: I'm home with a horrid cold this morning, so I'll be brief.

I'm not a huge fan of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney. Yet on this, the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, I am moved by his words, spoken to those gathered at the site. I hope you are moved as well:
"The story of the camps shows that evil is real and must be called by its name and must be confronted.

"We are reminded that anti-Semitism may begin with words but rarely stops with words and the message of intolerance and hatred must be opposed before it turns into acts of horror."
Never again isn't just a trite statement to be trotted out on one of the many dates on which we mark another anniversary of a terrible event in human history. It needs to define who we are, and how we conduct ourselves moving forward. As a species, we still haven't learned that lesson, and for that reason I fear for our future.

What does Never Again mean to you? How will you internalize it?


Steve said...

I'm sorry Carmi, I can't support you on this one. Cheney is party to the dehumanization of the Iraqi people at this time, and it takes unmitigated gall for him to go to a Nazi concentration camp while torture takes place at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and other "detention facilities" around the world.

Cheney's words remind me of what Banquo told MacBeth after the witches prophesized that he would become king:

"And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray us
In deepest consequence"

You call it moving; I call it hypocricy and whitewashing tombs.

Carmi said...

I won't disagree with you, Steve. Dick and Co. have raised speaking out of both sides of their mouth to high art.

I focused on his words on this specific day, not the broader issue of the current Iraq/War on Terrorism quagmire. On those fronts, I have plenty to say, but will leave that for another day. I don't wish to pollute the proceedings with a U.S.-focused political discussion.

My take on Dick, in particular, is he is so far removed from day-to-day decision making that if he's guilty of anything, it's total absence of leadership.

Tara said...

Staying away from politics and worldly issues...
My "never again" moment is more personal. I will never again put anyone else's thoughts, judgements, opinions over my own, especially when regarding myself, decisions I make, etc. That's a huge one for me which will in the end make me much, much happier.

Steve said...

Carmi, I forgot to wish you a speedy recovery.

I'm sorry if you feel my comment was out of place, and that I was polluting the occasion with a discussion of U.S. politics. I'll refrain from dragging my baggage onto your website in the future and vent my frustrations with my country elsewhere. From my perspective, however, "lest we forget" necessitates a discussion of what's happening in the world currently.

Carmi said...

Thanks for your kind wishes, Steve. I don't think your comment was at all out of place. I welcome any and all kinds on this blog. It would represent a violation of my core values of freedom of speech and press. I know it wasn't meant in a malicious way, and I hope you'll continue to post thought-provoking comments in future. Don't stop on my account, k?

Given the fact that people are dying for the right to have their say in the establishment of a free society - not only in Iraq, but in nations around the world - it's entirely appropriate that you brought this angle into the discussion here.

Diva said...

Well, the comments are almost as thought-provoking as the post itself.

We say never again, yet the world continues to tolerate genocide. We only mildly reacted to Rwanda as it happened, we now only glimpse at Sudan as a bi-line in the newspaper. There are countless others.

Have we learned nothing?

To me, never again is still something that we must all work to attain. We have not yet reached "never again" status.

Joan said...

I know it's already been said, but when I originally read your post, the first thing I thought was, "Man! Dick's got a great speech writer because I know HE doesn't feel that way."

Unfortunately, we have not reached a time of "Never again." There are people that are being annihilated in huge numbers today in many places, especially in Africa.

Personally, I don't think there will be a time of "Never again" until we follow the example of a very wise man who simply said, "Love one another."

"Never again" will also never happen until the day that everyone is recognized as a human being before they are recognized by their race, creed, religion, or sexual orientation.

Will that day ever come? Man, I sure hope so, however some days looking at the news makes it seems so impossible.

Veda said...

Carmi, sorry I'm late here.

"Never Again" in my small space of the world involves keeping any and all slang descriptions of others at a huge minimum. I cannot spare my children or those in my life 100% (which is incredibly sad) but I can show that it's wrong. I'm maybe a bit extreme in that I don't allow for "name calling" either, at all. It's difficult, because my these are commonplace in my extended family. But I try... All my best to you and yours, Carmi. Even if late, I know you'll get this.