Monday, September 1, 2008

Another Case of Liberal Compassion

In Indonesia:

These locals have long viewed the dragons as a reincarnation of fellow kinsfolk, to be treated with reverence. But now, villagers say, the once-friendly dragons have turned into vicious man-eaters. And they blame policies drafted by American-funded environmentalists for this frightening turn of events.
"When I was growing up, I felt the dragons were my family," says 55-year-old Hajji Faisal. "But today the dragons are angry with us, and see us as enemies." The reason, he and many other villagers believe, is that environmentalists, in the name of preserving nature, have destroyed Komodo's age-old symbiosis between dragon and man.
"For us, giving food to the dragons is an obligation, our sacred duty," says Hajji Adam, headman of the park's biggest village, Kampung Komodo.
Indonesia invited the Nature Conservancy, a Virginia-based environment protection group, to help manage the park in 1995. An Indonesian subsidiary of the group, called Putri Naga Komodo, gained a tourism concession for the park in 2005 and is investing in the conservation effort some $10 million of its own money and matching financing from international donors.
With this funding and advice, park authorities put an end to villagers' traditional deer hunting, enforcing a prohibition that had been widely disregarded. They declared canines an alien species, and outlawed the villagers' dogs, which used to keep dragons away from homes. Park authorities banned the goat sacrifices, previously staged on Komodo for the benefit of picture-snapping tourists.

Not surprisingly, this led to some rather tragic consequences, the dragons going for the next easiest food source...

A year ago, a 9-year-old named Mansur was one such victim. The boy went to answer the call of nature behind a bush near his home in Kampung Komodo. In broad daylight, as terrified relatives looked on, a dragon lunged from his hideout, took a bite of the boy's stomach and chest, and started crushing his skull.
A few months later, Jamain's neighbor Mustaming Kiswanto, a 38-year-old who makes a living selling dragon woodcarvings to tourists, and whose son had been bitten by a dragon, was attacked by another giant lizard after falling asleep. In June, five European divers, stranded in an isolated part of the park, said they successfully fended off an aggressive dragon by throwing their weight belts at it.
To the villagers in Komodo, the recent incidents provide clear evidence of an ominous change in reptile behavior. "I don't blame the dragons for my boy's death. I blame those who forbade us from following custom and feeding them," says Jamain. "If it weren't for them, my boy would still be alive."

A centuries old truce, for lack of a better word, has kept the lizards mostly docile. And when they got out of line, the villagers dogs would help protect them. Without the incentive of free easy food, and the disincentive of fighting off protective dogs, the dragon has turned to vulnerable humans as an easy food source. Small children, sleeping people, anything that looks like easy prey is fair game. After all, the Komono Dragons haven't had to get their own food for centuries. It's not likely they'd go back to trying to hunt. Well, at least we know the liberals are sorry for their actions...

The boy "shouldn't have crouched like a prey species in a place where dragons live," says Marcus Matthews-Sawyer, tourism, marketing and communications director at Putri Naga Komodo. "You've got to be very careful about extrapolating and drawing any conclusions."


Despite such disbelief in the Komodo villagers' theories, executives at the Nature Conservancy's headquarters in the U.S. pledge to reach out and tackle local fears. "Any concern expressed by the villagers will be taken seriously and we will address it if we can," says Chief Communications Officer James R. Petterson. "The Komodo effort is a work in progress."

No measures have been taken as of yet, and it's doubtful any will. Because the conservancy doesn't care about the people, just this fantasy Utopia for the animals. For liberals, it's never about the consequences of the action, just the action itself and how it makes them feel. What's a dead child here and there when you're busy saving the Earth. As the soviets used to say, you have to break a couple of eggs to make an omelet.

It's funny that, even though Republicans are the "Racist ones", it's always liberal ideas that rack up the piles of little colored bodies.

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