Cecil the Lion and Moral Outrage

Cecil_lion

Last week, 675,000 people unleashed a torrent of moral outrage on Twitter when a dentist from Minneapolis illegally killed Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe. Within 24 hours, the story had gone global. Many were appalled at the way Cecil was lured off a game preserve and brutally killed.

A humanitarian catastrophe unfolds in Europe unlike anything since the end of the Second World War, but Cecil the Lion dominates the news as an overnight international sensation …

675,000 tweets. It was an amazing response.

Everyone has a stake in conserving our environment and protecting rare species. Both Jewish and Christian traditions command stewardship of the earth as an essential element of our humanity. The survival of the planet depends on us taking that mandate seriously.

But, in the last 15 months, more than two million people have been driven from their homes by the conflict in eastern Ukraine. More than five million need humanitarian assistance. As many as 700,000 children suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Winter is coming to Ukraine. Twitter has been almost silent.

A humanitarian catastrophe unfolds in Europe unlike anything since the end of the Second World War, but Cecil the Lion dominates the news as an overnight international sensation, and the moral outrage of millions falls on the head of the world’s most infamous dentist, Dr. Walter James Palmer.

In the meantime, scant outrage is directed at Vladimir Putin and his gang of kleptocrats who spent the last 15 years looting Russia and who now grab everything that isn’t nailed down in eastern Ukraine.

Some political leaders point to the modest sanctions leveled against Mr. Putin and his inner circle. But the EU will almost certainly relax those sanctions in the next year. The pressure from business leaders in Germany and France will force their leaders to cave.

That’s why Save Ukraine Now and the US-Ukraine Foundation are organizing a forum on Capitol Hill, September 24th and 25th. Sponsored jointly by the Senate Ukraine Caucus and the House Ukraine Caucus in cooperation with the Ukrainian Embassy, “The Neglected Crisis in Ukraine: The Risk of Western Failure in Political, Economic and Humanitarian Assistance,” will gather U.S. and Ukrainian leaders from government, religious and non-profit sectors to evaluate the impact of the current crisis in Ukraine and the needed responses. General (ret.) Wesley Clark, Chairman of the Board for Save Ukraine Now, will address the gathering on the first day as the keynote speaker.

We should all care about Cecil the Lion, but the human victims of wanton aggression are crying out for our assistance, and we can prevent their deaths.

For more information about the Washington Forum, please click here.

— Submitted by Dr. Gary Kellner

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