EXTREME POVERTY IS OFTEN THE SETTING FOR THE VERY WORST BEHAVIOR MANKIND IS CAPABLE OF.
Because developing countries sometimes do not have the ability to govern or police themselves they are open to every type of abuse. Human rights are ignored and humanitarian efforts are blocked. People suffer endlessly at the hands of whoever has managed to temporarily grab power. It is the perfect combination of horrific factors coming together to produce a death rate of over ten million people each year.
Of course, war is the ultimate act of inhumanity. Belligerent factions rush into combat without thought or deliberation regarding the consequences. It can lead to the destruction of entire nations – everything from infrastructures to economies collapse under its weight. But even worse than the physical damage is the human toll it takes. Young men are killed and maimed, innocent civilians are slaughtered or left as refugees and countless children are orphaned. The result is an explosion of poverty that rapidly sweeps across the affected area.
Armed conflict in third world countries can involve many different clans and tribes, all fighting at the same time. Often these militias exist only to serve the lust for power of a single greedy individual. They are not fighting for some great cause; they are not fighting for liberation or in defense of their country. Human beings are killed simply to fulfill the perverse desire of one egotistical man’s need for control.
From time to time war becomes the backdrop for a complete act of insanity: genocide. When entire populations are massacred simply because of their ethnicity it is the worst criminal act you can commit. To murder innocent human beings because of who they are is madness. Genocide is behavior that cannot be tolerated on this planet, so when it appears it must be stopped immediately. The wealthy countries of the world must use their power and influence to stop the killing of women and children at any cost – we cannot turn away. We cannot choose to be neutral or impartial. History shows us that we have to act decisively and quickly to protect innocent lives.
Man’s inhumanity to man sadly includes the depravity that he shows towards women. Rape is a violent humiliating act that leaves its victim scarred for life. It is often used as a weapon against the enemy and to humiliate the conquered. It is the embodiment of the evil mankind is capable of. Although it is a sexual act, it is used as a demonstration of power and intimidation. It occurs when the rapist views their victim as less than human. It strips away all dignity and respect. It is a level of brutality that is difficult to comprehend, but it occurs on a massive scale and must not be ignored.
Sometimes the attempt to offer humanitarian aid to areas of armed conflict is high jacked. Warring factions steal the food and supplies meant for the helpless victims trapped in the fighting. Populations are purposely starved to break down their will to resist. Medical supplies are used only on wounded soldiers, and civilians are left to suffer. The decision to purposely let innocent women and children die in order to advance a selfish grab for power is reprehensible. Sometimes aid workers themselves are targeted and killed in the hope that relief organizations will pull out of an area altogether. The criminals in charge of the militias are well aware that NGOs are often the only witnesses to the atrocities they are committing. If humanitarian workers are forced to leave, the combatants are then free to murder, rape and terrorize at will.
Although it may not be apparent at first, those of us in the wealthy nations bear at least some responsibility for all the actions listed above. It is our apathy, our neglect and our unwillingness to help fellow human beings escape from extreme poverty that allows conditions to persist which leads to the brutality. If we eliminate the poverty we eliminate many of the situations that allow these atrocities to occur. But until that day comes we have to at least be willing to step in and stop the overt killing that results from man’s cruelty, and we certainly cannot tolerate genocide anywhere at anytime.
Unfortunately, some people are more than willing to kill others to get what they want. That is a fact that we must acknowledge. This has always been true, and it will remain so. However, that does not mean that we can’t bring pressure to bear that will at least slow down the rate of death and at times stop it completely. Every effort should be made to control acts of violence and to prevent armed conflict. That includes resisting the easy money that comes from supplying all sides of a war with weapons. We as citizens must demand that our government not make matters worse by propping up murderers in power with aid and weaponry. We must not make a profit off the deaths of others.
The lust for power, money and territory drives men to commit unspeakable acts of violence. It compels them to kill, maim, starve and mutilate anyone who gets in their way. It is this atmosphere of fear, danger and corruption that allows extreme poverty to thrive. Therefore, we must do all we can to combat the sick twisted desires of the few who are willing to destroy the lives of millions in order to feed their narcissistic desire for control.
IF WE ARE TO WIN THE FIGHT AGAINST EXTREME POVERTY HUMAN CRUELTY CANNOT BE TOLERATED.