Saturday, April 5, 2008

Returning the abused to the care of the abusers

Some years ago, I watched a fact-based miniseries that told the story of a Catholic school in Nova Scotia, which in the early 70s was involved in a paedophilia scandal.

Some of the children tried to resist the advances of the "brothers", and some of the older teens tried to openly defy them, at the cost of terrible physical abuse.

Eventually, word got out by way of an outside worker who saw one of the injured teens, and heard some of what was going on, and despite much effort on the part of the "brothers" and the local Catholic authorities to silence and intimidate the children, and to put pressure on local authorities to drop the case, many brave children (and at least one of the Brothers who was innocent) risked punishment and defied the intimidation, and gave depositions and testimony.

What finally happened was that pressure from the church resulted in the police working on the case being intimidated into emasculating their report, the guilty parties went free (though they left the area), and the school was placed back into the control of other "brothers" who were, seemingly, little different in their views and actions than the previous bunch.

In other words, the abused stood up for themselves and defied the abusers, at considerable risk to themselves, and sought help from other powerful groups and institutions in their world.

And the end result was that they were betrayed by by a lot of smug, craven apparatchiks and suck-ups, many of whom had connections to the abusing organization. The victims were patted on the head, told everything would be just fine, asked to smile bravely, and sent back to the very same group who'd been abusing them to begin with (and the results were not good).

I thought of that story again today, while reading this news story, about NATO's treatment of Georgia and Ukraine.

Nato bars ex-Soviet states in win for Russia

Nato, led by Germany and France, wilted in the face of a sustained campaign of pressure and intimidation by the Kremlin, which has argued that the two former Soviet states must stay within Moscow's sphere of influence.ties with Europe.

If tensions persist, Nato's capitulation will be seen as short-sighted and futile.

The alliance has already been accused of breaching its own constitution, which calls for membership to be conferred on any European democracy that wants it.
The "Great Powers" throwing smaller democracies to the wolves? I'm sure we've never seen anything like THAT before on the world stage.

When, in modern times, did we start openly deciding the fate of countries based not on those countries' aspirations, but on whose "sphere of influence" they are in, and what that "somebody" might think about it?

If that's the current model, then let's make Cuba a US territory again. Or is George W Bush not actually a big enough dictator after all, for other countries to want to grovel at his feet?

Shame, NATO. Shame.

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