I think what we have to acknowledge is that no matter who wins the Democratic primary, four-hundred refugees drowned escaping the historical superstructures of imperialism, neoliberal intervention, and destruction through proxy wars created by the U.S. to exploit devastation. We have to acknowledge that these wars are mass manufactured by the U.S. and the old club of colonial allies who now operate the global exchange rates in order to justify military spending sponsored by drone attacks, alongside a famine-inducing harvest of speculation and hyperinflation of food markets. Four-hundred human beings from Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, children and women perished.
Four-hundred refugees drowned while your favourite Hollywood humanitarians were hosting a political table party in the neoliberal selection section for Hillary Clinton to the tune of thirty to three hundred thousand dollars a plate. Nonetheless, Clooney knows it’s wrong. He acknowledged in an interview that it was wrong. But he did it anyway. It’s like throwing tear gas at children fleeing ethnic cleansing, economic devastation, and war. You just follow orders. It’s wrong, but, you do it anyway.
When Clooney makes his next documentary about himself advocating for Darfur divestment, perhaps he can illuminate the connection of multinationals with the money they hide that they got out of the most exploited nations, colloquially known in international relations lingo as ‘developing nations’. He could tell us that they helped fuel the chaos and degradation and deprivation, the mass rape, the murder and individual displacement of humans and violations of human rights knowing that it was wrong, but..they did it anyway. He could mention that the child soldier who was brainwashed to rape women couldn’t have done it without Hillary’s pushing CPSA waivers which President Obama was quick to endorse, and not just in the Sudan, but in Yemen, Nigeria, and the Congo.
Oh, look, it’s like ‘Hamilton’ on Broadway, whitewashing ‘his-story’ by honouring a man who didn’t necessarily own slaves, but when the slave question conflicted with his ambitions of American prosperity, or ‘property rights’, he was quick to endorse the rights of the plantation owners. He knew it was wrong, but.. At least, we can all rap about it now and ignore the nuisances and nuances of the nexus between history and contemporary affairs.
Last week, the Women of the World Summit held a conference and facilitated a pseudo polemical debate on ‘What is the future of women in Islam?’ I am not sure the answer to that question, or why one religion fleeing the constant militant revival sponsored by the neocolonial chorus of bullets brokered the number one arms dealer to the world—arms that also somehow, in some way, sometimes, make their way home—was called out in particular. The answer to the question though—”What is the Future of Women in Islam”—most likely rests somewhere at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, and in the uprisings of women caught between the targeting of their bodies by policies pursued by the guests of honour at the summit which included: Laura Bush, whose husband and his cabinet helped create ISIS while it pushed abstinence policies on Africa for aid to cover the exploitation of poverty manufactured by the U.S. in Africa galvanising mass anti-LGBTQ sentiments; Hillary Clinton, who needs no introduction; and neoliberal policy architect for the NGO exploitation system of the 21st century who also supported the war in Iraq, Thomas L. Friedman.
What would Thomas Friedman’s postulations be without someone there to push into position an orchestration of theory into practice, for the financial benefit of multinationals, the devastation of entire nations, societies, and cultures. Thankfully for him, Christine Lagarde the managing director of the IMF was also an honoured guest at the summit. Still, we need someone to deflect the public’s attention with a celebrity who people identify with activism in action or, rather, inaction. Who better than Meryl Streep—”we’re all African”— who was there to cheer on Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s robustly, intellectually lacklustre performance at the event championing U.S. and European foreign policy through a narrow-scope Islamophobic sentimentality to win the hearts and minds of the fearful.
Yes, the same sentiments that ushered waves of liberation, exploitation that guided four-hundred refugees to the bottom of the ocean, was championed at a summit for women. How else would we discuss the largest human rights crisis in the world—violence against women—without the conversation on the patriarchal system being a screen for the patriarchal system. Yet, when Ayaan’s positions were brought into contention by Barkha Dutt, she had to shut Dutt down rather than bring into contention her pale reasoning. You also had Megyn Kelly who helped justify the Bush regime’s invasion creating the deplorable outcomes in Iraq and helping to guide the modern day ‘Holocaust’ of Muslim’s that, as in all conflicts, disproportionately, intentionally affects women.
Wait. Would Syria be the modern Holocaust or would Darfur, Rwanda, Somalia, Congo, Iraq, Sudan, Central African Republic, the Rohingya peoples? I loose track of my genocides, but one commonality is that wherever the neoliberal policies or neoconservative policies go, from Laos to the Rwandan genocide, ethnic cleansings, internal instability, and a refugee crisis follows. Concurrently, the IMF, the U.S. coddled by the silence of its mass media, and U.S. NGOs show up with celebrities to raise huge amounts of money sanitising the political reality, which I am certain someone must know of and understand. But they choose to make it apolitical, anyway.
I wonder what thirty to three hundred thousand dollars a plate would do for the future of a few Muslim women escaping U.S. and international policies in their own countries. I wonder what it would do for women waving their fists in the air standing up against patriarchy, misogyny and corruption supported by the U.S. in their own countries. I wonder how thirty to three hundred thousand dollars might afford a better option than a rubber raft across oceans of the lacklustre ability to speak up, stand up and hold up human rights as far as a few Muslim women on rubber rafts on perilous journeys. I wonder how far thirty to three hundred thousand would go towards surviving that journey, providing food for a refugee camp, or supporting the brave Muslim women on the ground around the world fighting back against history in Benghazi, in Iraq, in Somalia, in Ethiopia, in Bangladesh, in Mexico and in Honduras. I know George; it’s easier to be the hero in ‘Syriana’, the film, than ‘Syriana’, the conflict of a generation. It’s easier to walk through a mirage of altruism devoid of the conditions than standing up for something when it actually, really counts.
I wonder, though, what the future of women in non-Muslim countries is like? In Seattle, Washington, Ingrid Lyne Renton was cut up and thrown in a recycle bin just a week ago. Is that not cause for revolution? Delta Meghwal was allegedly raped and murdered at her college; does this alone not call for a revolution? It’s happening all over the world. Australia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and yes, even in Justin Trudeau’s Canada. It is happening to aboriginal women, Black women, Dalit women, trans women, Muslim, Hindu, atheist and Roman Catholic women. Isn’t it time Clooney, to change the paradigm, to pitch in on the ground, where the grass shakes as brave women flee the policies of a culture that knows it’s wrong but does what it does anyway? Just hope the public, who knows it’s wrong and stands up, doesn’t exercise a new cultural consciousness at the box office the next time you release a film.