By Gintaras Visockas
More and more oftenI can sincerely say thatI do not understand the Western civilization anymore.
Why? I will tell a story, which happened when I was in Azerbaijan. Once, I was taking Baku underground metro. The carriage that I took was full. Not a single available seat. Most of the passengers were young and very young. Then happened what I did not expect. The Azeri, who were sitting in front of me, jumped like something bit them. Maybe ten guys and girls. They smiled and started pointing with their fingers: sit where it is comfortable for you. I was pleasantly surprised: am I that old? I was only fifty. They were about twenty-thirty years old.
The same happened when I was returning with the same metro. As soon as I stepped into the carriage, Azeri students stood up insisting that I sit down.
I have not experienced a single such surprise on Lithuanian buses, that I have been using since childhood. More and more often I see horrifying scenes: the bus is full to the brim, there are many seniors with canes and schoolchildren, students, staring at their phones. The difference is as follows: the seniors patiently stand, and schoolchildren comfortably sit and do not even raise their eyes to see what is happening around them. Lithuanian youth sit even on the chairs marked with the special sign for seniors. Once, not being able to stand this injustice, I told some girls to let a senior sit down immediately. They left theirseats but were very unhappy. Andthe pensioner, whom I decided to help, sighed sadly: ‘Be careful, they can sue you for violating children rights’.
Another thing: one Lithuanian university announced that from now on it recommends avoiding use of addressing references which indicate female and male genders. It is better to use gender neutral pronouns. But why? What is so reprehensible if a woman is addressed like a lady and a man – like a gentleman? What is the goal in creating such rules? Will the next phase be recommendation to install common bathrooms in universities? Joking aside, I just want to ask Rector, what should I do if I meet a woman in the doorway of Vilnius University? Let her go first or push myself first? What if the female lecturer, whom I give the right to go first, sues me for insult, saying that my politeness insults her, because she is not the weaker sex?
The third story. A few days ago, a rally was held by the Government Palace in Vilnius, where demonstrators tried to prove that ‘seeking asylum is not a crime’. Several dozens of participants claimed that allegedly ‘Lithuania’s turn back policy is not just’, allegedly ‘all people are equal’ and ‘we will have to walk a long way to change the approach to migrants’.
Who said that seeking asylum is reprehensible? Illegally crossing a state border is a crime. A crime is also committed when one attempts to by force storm into a foreign territory. Another crime is trying to dismantle a barbed wire fence.
Are we incapable of separating what is good and bad, what is nice and what is disgusting? I try to imagine what would those people, who held a rally by Vincas Kudirka monument (important historical figure, his monument is by Government Palace), if, God forbid, their homes were stormed by several dozens of people demanding roof, foodand sympathy. Would homeowners willingly give away their bedrooms and start cooking filling dinner?
Statements like ‘We have to change the approach’ are especially harsh and eye catching. How do they know that their view is the most correct one? What right do they have to lecture ‘those thinking differently’? Do those, who push their values onto us, sincerely believe what they say, or do they have secret goals and plans?
However, wherever you look, you see only strange things. Lesbians and gays are trying to make their marriages equal to the union of man and woman, cannabis fans push their right to enjoy the herb, others demand softer punishment for those carrying small doses of drugs…
Even my beloved and respected America is acting strangely. What do I mean? In spring this year the court of Los Angeles allowed to deport Hamping Sasunian, member of a terrorist organization ASALA, to Armenia. ASALA fighter became infamous in 1982, when on 28 January with an accomplice Krikor Saliba killed Turkey’s Consul General Kemal Arikan, who worked in Los Angeles.
Terrorist Sasunian was sentenced to life imprisonment for this crime (his accomplice escaped but was killed in the same year during military clashes in Lebanon). However, large and influential Armenian diaspora in California started sending requests for pardon to Los Angeles courts. So far Californian governors used to appeal all attempts to free the terrorist who killed a diplomat.
In 2021 the governor of California unexpectedly stated that he would not appeal the court ruling to provide an opportunity for the terrorist to return to Armenia. Why has US law enforcement and US politicians become graceful to the killer in 2021? It is easy to explain: while relations between Washington and Ankara were friendly, while Turkey and the US agreed, Sasunian was imprisoned in one of the prisons in California. When relations between Turks and Americans worsened, America started a shuffle – subtly took revenge against Turks by releasing a terrorist. This explanation is logical.
However, such double faced policy of the US law enforcement is leading to a dead end. If Americans start applying punishment according to a principle ‘our friend or our enemy’, it means, it is not justice anymore. Then the countries, who are hostile to America, are also allowed to do so. For example, from now on official Ankara can criticize America who allegedly illegally persecute Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, who revealed American secrets. If America allowed ASALA terrorist to return to Armenia and enjoy freedom there, it means that Ankara and Istanbul have at least a moral right to shout ‘Hands off of Snowden and Assange’.
But where will such actions lead us? Are we going towards chaoswhen we will get deadly confused, because we are correcting, improving, expanding ‘human rights’?