Miss Cambodia: All the contestants were lovely, graceful, charming and smiling. So what caused the audience present in the auditorium and those watching on television to let out a shocked collective gasp?
All of the contestants lacked a leg. The contest was not just the usual beauty contest. It was a protest. For all their blathering, including Heather Mills blahhhh, no proper prosthetics for legs or arms are freely available in Cambodia.
The idea for a beauty pageant featuring mutilated young women as a result of land mines, came from Norwegian theatrical director Morten Travik. On a trip to Angola he had been surprised to see the number of beauty pageants being held, probably as a way of fighting back their wounds and mutilations. The songs permeated the air and their dances captured his eyes. An indescribably bloody civil war took place in Angola for over 30 years fomented by the United States and the Soviet Union. The U. S. had the dubious honor of going it alone after 1989. The booty was oil, diamonds galore and gold every where.
In case you didn't know, land mines are produced and dropped into poor countries who dare to challenge the BIG multinationals, military industrial complexes and so-called democratic leaders whose demands for exploitation of the country's natural resources are refused.
How dare they say no?
The land and sea mine producing countries are: United States, England, Italy, France,Germany, Russia and Czech Republic.
You'd think an Anglo-American foundation would be concerned enough, never mind compassionate, to send over even a couple of token prosthetics. Forget the Anglo- American foundations. They're a joke! Foundations are all about Big Bucks and Big Spin. What makes you think they care about Cambodian men, women, boys and girls? Indeed, what makes you think they care a quid about Humanity, except if self-serving to their vested interests?
Little but beautiful and cultured Cambodia was bombed to hell and back numerous times. America declared "an undeclared war on Cambodia" because the VietCong used the Ho Chi Minth trail to seek refuge and respite from the relentless bombing and orangeing ( agent orange) of Vietnam. Yes, Cambodia got both ends of the heaviest gun barrels you ever saw. After the Americans, the Khmer Rouge began their systematic and thorough killing fields. The genocide was so far reaching that China put pressure on Vietnam to invade Cambodia and halt the killing fields else there would be nothing left of Cambodia, not even its ruins in Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom.
"We'll show those gooks in Cambodia and Laos who rules the world," barked some vain glorious member of Presidents Johnson and Nixon's cabinet in Washington. Show them they did. I have been to Cambodia and Laos. I promise I shall name this awful man in my future articles. You cannot walk one street block without running into armless, legless, and faceless human beings. Now if one of the stars or politicians' children lost a leg in a dwd (drunk while driving accident) you can all safely bet your heads that the best prosthetics will be IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE.
65,000 mutilated victims are in Cambodia alone, 25,000 of these are without an arm or a leg. As I write this, Afghanistan and surely Iraq may have surely surpassed them - I can't be sure. I am filled with horror just making these comparisons.
Several diplomats, yes, you guessed it, those from the land mine producing countries, particularly the U. S. AND THE E.U. protested loudly and vulgarly regarding the beauty pageant. Pressure was put on the Minister of Health in Cambodia. Several newspapers dubbed it a freak show.
Song Kosal, Miss Phnom Penth, age 24, mutilated by a mine since she was 5 years old ( she lost an entire leg) gave a press conference and accused the perpetrators of being the "true freaks in their souls.
"Does it upset your delicate stomachs to see the results of your deadly military toys?", she asked to a round of applause.
Freaks or no, (I detest that word) the beauty contest was held. There were 25 finalists, each representing a region /province of Cambodia. Alongside their talents and accomplishments, the presenters read the circumstances which led to their mutilation.
I think the authentic freaks are those that DARE to call someone so horrendously wounded, mutilated, carved up, and violated through the use of their deadly weapons - freaks.
Where are all the so-called celebrities? Georgie poochie Clooney, why are you not in Cambodia instead of showing off at Darfur?
It would be unkind to comment on Angelina Jolie who happens to have a Cambodian son - Pax.
I don't swallow the usual ES (elephant shit) that their leaders are too corrupt and all the money ends up in their various pockets. Ba, Ba, Blah. "If prosthetics are sent. they mysteriously disappear", the mysterious cabal of "they" counter.
When I was Advisor for the government of Mozambique, I asked Lamia and Nabila Khashoggi, then living in Tampa, Florida, for hundreds of cribs. The cribs arrived and they are still in use in the various children's hospitals and clinics. I know this for a fact, because my friends in government and in the diplomatic community regularly and reigiously confirm this.
If any of THE LORDS OF POVERTY - foundations, various aid agencies, NGOs, the United Nations, Oxfam, Save the Children, etc. happen to read this - please cut out the Krappe and the claptrap. BASTA!!!
The quality of mercy is never strained.
Where are those vaunted and much promised prosthetic legs and arms???????