OPINION

Ghastly eugenics

Because of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (a claim that has yet to be verified), a war was declared that is still claiming lives despite being officially over, a country was flattened, and the entire globe has surrendered to the fear of terrorism and to insecurity. AIDS, on the other hand, a weapon of mass destruction that threatens many Third World states, prompted no alliance-building or holy wars. None of the world’s superpowers was willing to enter this moral and universal war, for the gains from it are neither tangible nor countable. «I feel angry, I feel distressed, I feel helpless… to live in a world where we have the means… to be able to help all these patients; what is lacking is the political will,» UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, castigating the indifference of America and Europe’s governments. Everything is a matter of priorities. In any other case, the numbers would be enough to move or shock us. However, the fact that 40 million people are carrying the virus while a person is infected every seven seconds is regarded as belonging to the realm of statistics, not of politics. In the past, Zambia or any other Third World nation would have interested the white, self-styled civilizers, but no longer as they have already milked them dry. Is the AIDS virus, then, used to prevent Malthus’s grim predictions of overpopulation from materializing? This is not what Annan implies. However, the victims are largely to be found among those who have been elbowed aside by history – be it entire peoples, like the Africans, or the marginalized of advanced societies. Worse, this type of eugenics is facilitated by the stance of many a church which condemns the use of condoms as a sin. Is it not a sin when people die like insects to go to some heaven?