CNN’s War On Modern Day Slavery, A Noble Failure Or Self Promotion?

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An article comparing the futility of CNN’s so called “war on modern day slavery” to that of the Bush administration’s “war on drugs”. It being a case where one was destined to be a dismal failure while the other will only achieve the goal of promoting CNN and giving the appearance that they actually care about something; apart from their own ratings.

For the last month or so CNN has been on a campaign to try to eradicate what it considers to be “modern day slavery” in what they have to come to call a war. This being very similar to what the Bush administration started back in the late 80s when it declared a war on drugs. It being George Bush, who was convinced that he could win a war against drug dealers and above all drugs; in order that they might either be kept out of the United States or at least have their amounts reduced. Of course the United States with its vast resources was able to go after drug dealers and even have several of them arrested as well as stop tons of drugs from entering the United States. This so called war on drugs even capturing among its many trophies the then President of Panama, Manuel Noriega; who was brought back to the United States after an American invasion removed him from power.

The United States being convinced that the arrest of Manuel Noriega along with many other drug lords or what ever they are called; would lead to a reduction in the amount of drugs entering the United States which it did not. It being a case that not only did drugs not stop entering the United States but their amount was not even diminished in the very least. The United States quickly learning that for every kilo of cocaine they managed to confiscate, 50 or so got by them and for drug dealer they arrested and managed to convict; another one or perhaps even more took his or her place. It naturally, being a loosing battle in which the United States was trying to cure the symptoms and not the illness which was not that there was too much cocaine entering the United States but that the demand in the United States was too high. There being an overwhelming number of people who were not only willing but able to spend hundreds of dollars a week or even a day to support their cocaine habits.

All of which making the drug trade most lucrative and worth risking a long prison sentence and that was if one was caught which was not even the case of most. The USA’s war on drugs eventually went down as being a complete failure as will CNN’s war on modern day slavery. It being a case that CNN is committing the same error as the United States did in not going after the source of the problem they were trying to solve.

In the case of “modern day slavery” which basically involves human trafficking, child pornography, forced child labor and sweat shops; the problem goes way beyond that of law and in to one which humanity is as far as can be from solving. This in spite of all its modern day technology and this being the desperate poverty that causes the above mentioned problems. It being the desperate poverty in some countries such as Sudan, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan along with many other countries which forces many to have to resort to desperate measures to try to stay alive. Of course and added to the desperate poverty which not only causes hunger but malnutrition to the point of putting some of the verge of starvation; there is also civil wars and genocide which practically forces some to have to flee their homes to travel to other countries.

All of which creating a situation so dire for some that they will do anything to get out of their own country and travel to any country; where they might find food and the money they need to survive as well as a chance to escape the dangers back home. Naturally, the developed countries will not accept these people nor do these people have the means to get to those countries even if they did permit them to enter with legal visas. It is this precise set of circumstances which I have mentioned which leads to human trafficking. As these people will then willingly sell themselves to human traffickers just so they might at least have food to not only feed themselves but their children. It being these human traffickers, who in fact to a certain extent are helping these people escape the hardships of their own countries.

This naturally, at the cost of loosing their own freedom yet to these people, almost any hardship is preferable to the one which they faced in their own country. Most people in the developed world could not imagine what something of the sort is like to have so few options in life that working as a sex slave or in a factory 7 days a week, almost without pay; is preferable to going back to their own countries yet for many all over the world this is their everyday reality. Some of these so called slaves considering such lives as luxurious compared to the ones they left behind in their countries of origin.

From another point of view the war on modern day slavery will be even more difficult because to a certain extent, it is even harder to determine what exactly qualifies as “modern day slavery”. As it was just the other day that I saw on CNN that a boy, ten years old or so and his brothers were being made to work in a factory in Afghanistan in order to pay off a loan their father had taken. It not being clear if the boys were working to pay off just the loan or perhaps added interest on the loan yet it was a case that the boys’ father had taken this loan and was using his children’s labor to pay back the money he had borrowed which was used for medical expenses. As for the factory, they to a certain extent had taken a risk in lending somebody money without any collateral yet such was apparently the case though I ask how does this qualify as “modern day slavery”? After all, nobody forced this man to take out a loan from this factory, who all things considered; did lend money which saved somebody’s life and only wanted to get it back in a legal way which did not require anybody to be sold in to prostitution or anything of the sort. Naturally, one could always mention the age of the children in question yet this is more a product of a nation’s desperate poverty than a matter which can simply be solved by pointing the finger of blame at a factory for lending out money and wanting it repaid.

It also not being the case of an indentured servant, who spent his whole life trying to pay off not only a debt but interest on a debt which accumulated at a rate which was much higher than the amount of money he or she earned. This basically meaning that the debt would never be paid off and that even his or her children would have to work to pay off the loan. Of course, in all this we can also mention how in America some people are so desperate to go to college that they will take out loans which will take them several years to pay back. These loans being made at very high interest rates which means that a person just out of college will spend his or her first years after completing his or her studies; basically working just to pay off his or her education.

In all this, I do not wish it to be understood that I am in favor of modern day slavery anymore than I am in favor of old day slavery yet if one thinks about it carefully; one will in my opinion come to the conclusion that this is just the byproduct of the desperate poverty which is to be found in some countries. It being this poverty along with the civil wars, famine and violence which are the real culprits for the above mentioned ills of society. All of which meaning that some form of modern day slavery such as the selling of children, women and men, sex slaves, sweat shops, etc will always exist as long as there are conditions such as the ones listed above. It being these conditions which are the ones which must be addressed first but then again; they are the ones which are the most difficult of all to eliminate.

In all this CNN might be able to close down a sweat shop here or there or have a group of human traffickers arrested here or there but at the end of the day; this will not make a bit of difference as long as the cause of the problem is not taken care off. This however being where CNN is powerless to stop modern day slavery which makes me think that they are either very naïve to think they can or perhaps just looking for a noble failure which will allow them to be seen as those who at least tried. As was the case when the United States declared the war on drugs which it undoubtedly lost as will CNN loose theirs on modern day slavery.

In conclusion, I would say that though I am against modern day slavery, the facts are that while conditions of extreme poverty along with civil wars prevail in some countries; there will always be people who are willing to do anything to leave those countries. Thus creating a market for those who are to a certain are helping these people even if it is by offering them a life which most of us would never want but to those who are truly desperate; it is even a step up and way to find something better.

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