I know that it's crass to be saying such things as you'll soon be reading at the same time as I am advertising in the side bar. If I could 'suppress' the ads, I would. Please try to ignore them. Thank you. Now, read!In 1997 Australia's non-indigenous people decided it was time to say "Sorry!" to the Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders, to begin to redress [oh, so tardily] the manifold and ramified wrongs they had visited on the the indigenous people of those lands from the first time outsiders began, nation by nation, to co-opt those lands for their own political and economic purposes. For murder and massacre, forced relocation, deracination, and more human rights violations than the United Nations and the Hague could shake a legal stick at.
So, I'm taking a page from Australia's recent history today.
I'm declaring Global "Sorry" Day.
If not now, when?
I call on the people of this planet—yeah, you know who you are—to stop. the. killing. NOW. and everybody say "Sorry." 'Cause, but for a few, everyone is responsible for the violence that's disgusting right-thinking people everywhere, and which fills the nightly news, sewing the seeds for further atrocities in the name of reciprocity.
I've come up with a short list of the apologies that might be passed along to the people who're perpetrating atrocities in the present—especially those in the area shown in Figure 1. I hope that starting with "Sorry" might convince the recipients that those apologizing are sincerely committed to redressing AGE-old—and by that I mean really old—wrongs, to reinstating basic human rights, to treating everyone with the dignity that they, as human beings, deserve, and generally to playing nice together for, effectively, the first time in history.
|Figure 1. The lands known today as the Near and Middle East. You'll notice that most are either mentioned in the Abrahamic holy books, or other historico-cosmological narratives originating in the region.|
By the way, in the following, the group that should proffer the apology is in parentheses at the end of each apology.
"Sorry" to the local inhabitants of what later came to be called the Near/Middle East (see Figure 2), for annexing the lands and slaughtering the people of Mesopotamia—the Tigris and Euphrates Valleys (Akkadians and the Amorites).
|Figure 2. Akkadian Empire ca. 2,340 BCE. The city-state of Kish was at its centre in the beginning.|
|Figure 3. The Land of Canaan, eventually conquered by Israel's son Joshua, after "God" gave the lands to Abraham.|
|Figure 4. The Neo-Assyrian Empire. 'Nuff said, I think.|
The Assyrian Empire(s), the Babylonian Empire, the Achaemenid Empire, Ancient Israel, the Kingdom of Armenia, the Seleucid Empire, the Parthian Empire, the Hittite Empire, the Egyptian Empire(s), the Carthaginian Empire, the Ancient Greek Empire, the Roman Empire, the Sassanid Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Umayyad Caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate, the Safavid Empire, the Afsharid Empire, the Mongol, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the British Empire, the Russian Empire, the Mughul Empire, the German Empire, the Dutch Empire, the Portuguese Empire, the Spanish Empire, the Japanese Empire, the Imperial United States of America.
Did I leave anyone out?
Do I need to detail for you just why ISIS is lopping off people's heads, and why they are not doing so in a historical vacuum?
And, lest you think that I'm singling out the world's three great Abrahamic religions for abuse, or in any way blaming them for the mess they've gotten each other in, give your head a shake.
Deities and religions are just the ideology that masks the root cause of all of this—Power.
Pure and simple. The weak use it to justify their actions as easily as the strong do. It's all the same—all of a piece. It's power. "God" is just an excuse. So, when the strong and abusive one day become the weak and oppressed, the same "God" fuels their anger and thirst for payback. Power. Nothing more; nothing less.
Good "God" world! Get off your collective duffs and say "Sorry" for everything, to everyone, now and for ever. Even if you didn't personally take part, if you're living in one of the lands that were once inhabited by an original, indigenous population, you're profiting from the acts of others in the past, whether related to you or not. [Oh, and, for those of you in what's now Europe, unless you can trace your ancestry back to the hunter-gatherers that populated those lands after the Ice Age, you can forget being all smug and saying "I'm not like that. My people have been here forever." As far as I know, the only people left in this world who can truly make such a claim live in what's now Australia, parts of Africa, the Arctic and sub-Arctic people of the world, and the First Nations and other indigenous peoples of the Americas.
While we're at it, will somebody please apologize to the indigenous people of the Americas?
It's about bloody . . . er . . . time.