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Where Are The Voices?

Once places of worship and places of learning were pulpits and podiums from which men and women of honour and integrity taught and guided the rest of us. Where are those voices today when we need them most?
Where are the voices of moral righteousness that the world has always depended upon to rein in the evil forces of conquering warlords? The teachers and professors--why are they silent? The virtuous--the clergy and elders of church and mosque and synagogue--who covered their mouths with duct tape and broke their pens and keyboards?

In an earlier time those voices rang out louder than anthems for the dead. They brought the public who look for their guidance and counsel into the streets. The places of worship and the places of learning provided pulpits and podiums from which men and women of honour and integrity taught and guided the rest of us.

Where are those voices today when we need them most? Where have they been in the years since the self-appointed warlords took the reins of government and turned us all into accessories to the last half-century's most heinous crimes against humanity?

The constant crimes against the Palestinians alone have been raging for more than fifty years. For five decades, much of the rest of the world has tacitly accepted the occupying warlords' self-justification for murder, dispossession, theft, destruction, assassinations and torture of Palestinians.

Why the tacit acceptance of these crimes when the justification is that an Israeli life is worth two hundred Talmudic times the life of a Palestinian? Where have the voices of the righteous been while these atrocities have been committed in the guise of defence?

Forty-four innocent children have been massacred in Gaza after two or three Israeli military were killed by Hamas. All of this hatred was visited upon the innocent while Lebanon burned and the world's presses rang out with condemnation of Hezbollah.

Here are just a few of the reported casualties of tribal murder in Gaza:
Bara Nasser Habib, age 3 (hit by shrapnel to the head and body, Gaza City, 26 July)

Shahed Saleh Al-Sheikh Eid, 3 days old (bled to death after airstrike, Al-Shouka, 4 August)

Rajaa Salam Abu Shaban, 3 (died of fractured skull in air raid, Gaza City, 9 August)

Khaled Nidal Wahba, 15 months (died of wounds from an airstrike, 10 July)

Rawan Farid Hajjaj, 6 (killed with his mother and sister in an airstrike, Gaza City, 8 July)
These are only a few of a multitude of babies slaughtered by indiscriminate tribal hatred of Israelis for Palestinians. Are these children less human or less deserving of life than their Semitic counterparts?

Ordinary apathetic Americans don't know and don't care what happens to these "ferners." As with the massacred in Darfur, foreign children are not children, but numbers. They're mere data that the news reports play with to convince the masses that the media is concerned about what happens in the world. They're not!

The media doesn't show pictures of these slaughtered babies because revelations of that kind of truth might, according to the devils in the administration, fuel terrorism.

When someone like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez stands at the podium in the UN and calls G W Bush a devil, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd labels Chavez "a world-class nutbar." She can, and does, call Bush names herself, but the Venezuelan president isn't allowed to speak such truths.

What made Chavez "a world-class nutbar," Maureen? Was it his statement that "The immoral veto of the United States allowed the Israelis, with impunity, to destroy Lebanon. Right in front of all of us as we stood there watching, a resolution in the council was prevented"? She didn't say. She simply labeled Chavez a nutbar.

Perhaps Dowd faulted Chavez because he recommended Noam Chomsky's book Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance. Chomsky's is one voice in the wilderness trying to rein in the evil forces of conquering warlords. Where are the rest?

Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have made, and are still making, a great effort to speak out against the Israeli lobbyists who have so much influence on the US Congress and the media through their organized Israeli-first campaigns. But where are the rest?

The Internet allows a few, mostly unheard, voices to broadcast truths to small, select audiences of little consequence. But where are the hundreds--nay thousands--of voices of the intellectuals of America who should know better and who should speak out?

Professors, ministers, attorneys, medical professionals, judges: I'm ashamed of you! Have you lost all sense of civic responsibility? Or do you simply sleep or play while the business profiteers and the lords of war murder and maim and massacre innocents in your names?
Dr. Balles is a retired American university professor and freelance writer who has lived in the Middle East for over 35 years. For more information, see and © 2006 Paul J. Balles.

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This story was published on September 28, 2006.