Posts Tagged ‘Blood Diamonds’

Compelling Images

Friday, August 6th, 2010

I was very impressed by ABC’s late night news program “Nightline” in presenting the day’s testimony at The Hague in the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. Former 1980’s super-model Naomi Campbell testified about the night that Taylor’s staff gave her blood diamonds. ABC News ran her testimony without interruption for the usual talking head commentary giving the viewers the opportunity to form their own opinions. Campbell’s apparent indifference to those who had suffered in Africa was obvious and any attempt to summarize what she had said would detract from the shock value of her actual words. She actually said, “I didn’t really want to be here. I just want to get this over with and get on with my life, this is a big inconvenience for me.” She just exuded her sense of entitlement, dismissing the practice of men giving her gifts all of the time and her thinking nothing of that. The juxtaposition of her physical beauty and her ugly character could not have been more striking. ABC News then showed the video of the next witness to testify against Taylor. After Campbell left the courtroom, dressed in stunning designer clothing, the next witness placed the stubs that remained of his limbs on the table before him and described how he and his family had been mutilated by Taylor’s regime. I have to commend ABC News for letting the viewers see the video footage and keeping the commentary to a minimum. My respect for Mia Farrow, who had reported her conversation with Campbell concerning the diamonds, just jumped. Disaster recovery is a long slow process, but people take longer to heal from acts of man than we do from acts of God. The former are much more traumatic and what could be more painful to the amputee who testified about his suffering than the indifference to his plight exhibited by one of the most privileged women in the world.