As of today there is conflict in virtually every region of the present-known world. This is disturbing for an astute observer of world politics. One would however not begin to wail. The reason is not far-fetched. It has nothing to do with being sadistic or possessed by any particular evil. To begin with, how many of these conflicts shall be bewailed? This is a very pertinent question to answer. Long before one sad occurrence is fully bewailed, hits another sadder and more terrible one. So many are these human-induced conflicts of catastrophic qualification, that one is absolutely at a loss as to how to correctly bewail them. Even if this could be helpful to conflict resolution or soothing those hurt in the conflicts, then pops the next question; no more on the appropriateness of bewailing, rather on how loud would one cry to have rightly *cried-out* a conflict.
Actually, a Yoruba proverb comes in very handy in this instance to help out of this obvious vicious circle. When a particular occurrence occurs, that which is so bad that crying is simply inappropriate, the only alternative is to laugh. Now, it should not be misinterpreted as though the laughing individual is glowing at the misfortune of the conflict-ridden countries/regions of the world and their people. On the contrary. The proverb underlines the complexity and radicalness of the situation. Radical, stubborn and apparently would-not-just-find-an-end occurrences in and around the world could and must be helpfully approached if possible in strange but unique ways. We live in strange times.
Talking about strange times, there is no clearer indicator of the strangeness of present times than this: everybody wants to be and believes (s)he is right. If it stopped at that, it certainly would have been strange all the same, but probably less-strange. The trouble is, those who believe they are right (namely everybody) believe every other person (or at least those) who do not share their opinion/are of a different opinion is wrong. This stance justifies therefore the approach of every dissent with zero tolerance. The problem is, since everyone believes (s)he is right and every other person is most certainly wrong, it becomes practically impossible to find who is right and wrong! Pray Goodness save us from attending disaster(s) of an irrational stance taken too far.
The world as we know it has come a long way. She survived two big wars in recent history, not to talk of other countless conflicts and wars, which are only remembered in museums, books and archives around the world. The world has always survived and would survive again if there must be yet another catastrophic conflict or war. It is only humans who live therein that need entertain fear if they might survive (in) the world. It is not all bleak though.
From ongoing crisis/conflicts/wars around the world, current world politicians show commendable determination and commitment to avoid irrational decisions of the past. Considering the fact that the Great War, later rechristened First World War, was directly triggered by the assassination of Crown-Prince Ferdinand would lend credence to how positively better the world has fared in tolerance and deep-thinking before striking/taking world-changing decisions. This is further evident in the latest plane-crash, shot down by the Ukrainian opposition, ably assisted by the Russians, or at least by a Russian-made machines. More on that later.
Many take less time to ruminate on this singular truth: The world cannot and shall never speak as one on all issues. I would give up my shirt if this claim about our world is wrong anytime soon. Positive disagreement at various fronts and on various issues should in fact be encouraged. Plurality of opinions and world-views can only better the world. It must not be forgotten that one can dissent without becoming forceful or violent. It would be strange to have been less disagreeable in a world populated with over 5 billion people!
This does not mean that the world should be left without rules or that everyone should be allowed to do as it pleases. That would throw the world into anarchy. This had certainly been envisaged in the establishment of the United Nations (UN), the world body responsible for world peace and regulation of inter-country dealings with each other to guarantee that for example no one country is too powerful to deem it fit to invade the other. This goal is yet to be fully realised as there are apparently double standards in its application. In fact, some would even talk of standards more than double! The unbiased achievement of the objectives of the UN is the paramount duty of all.
On to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Speaking as though no one is listening, many would immediately loose interest the moment this seemingly eternal conflict is mentioned. The battle for the soul of the Holy-Land is clearly far from being over! As far as I can remember, the conflict has always existed, I doubt it if it would be over in this lifetime. Having said that, the ongoing war must be condemned; it is shameful and should have never happened. It is a fact, it takes two or more parties to quarrel. It is irrelevant for now which party started/triggered the fight. In fact, a mission to point fingers in this current Israeli/Palestinian conflict is as good as chasing the wind in an attempt to resolving the war. More children and women would suffer, men would die and the conflict would still not end! Both parties involved are best advised to end this war and return to dialogue at once. The world has seen enough bloodshed. We know the demand of the sides and the I-am-not-the-aggressor-tactics of both camps! Both sides see themselves on the receiving end! We are by now so used to them that we need no more be told that Hamas is a terrorist group and that Hamas consider Israel a country that is best removed from the face of the earth! Put simply, the world wants to keep as much of her citizens alive as possible. She wants to see no more children and women, and men too, used as human shields from enemy fire! She does not want both parties crying wolf on international media while still biting as hard as anybody can imagine!
Truth is, the Israeli/Palestinian agelong conflict is a political conflict. It requires a political solution. Glaring is the obvious truth as well that the political will is lacking to resolve this endermic monstrous conflict. Possibly accepting that Israel as a country has the right to exist and that she is here to stay would help move the search for a solution forward. Meanwhile, it must be stated in clear terms that the Palestinians deserve a country to call home, a place where they can live in peace. This is very basic to moving the dialogue positively forward. Accepting this truth has never been a problem actually, the difficulty is only in the practical implementation when both parties seem bent to have it their way or no-way at all! May the God of the Middle-East whom the larger world population serve, deliver us from this vicious circle in that part of the world.
On the ongoing war in Ukraine, I once submitted that there can be immediate peace, once the bigger parties involved achieve an understanding that they shall keep their noses out of their neighbor’s backyard. This submission still holds. Peace in Ukraine is relative, really. An Ukraine with a strong course to the West is to Russia not peaceful. That way, Russia’s backyard is on fire. In light of this understanding, a destabilized Ukraine is not necessarily un-peaceful to Russia. In fact, that is the height of peace in that part of the world as far of Russia is concerned. Look at it this way: Imagine China militarily present and wooing the (poorer) North and Central American states; those countries right in US-America’s backyard! Trust the USA would not sleep with their backyard on fire! USA and the West are best advised to thread this murky path with caution.
A portrayal of Mr. Putin as the singular evil wrong with our current world is an attempt at chasing nothing. It is never the right political tactics. Of course, I understand those who seem to believe, and that strongly so, that once Mr. Putin is out of the picture, then Russia would belong to the West again, as if she had ever been. The earlier we finally realize Russia has a different world view/agenda and thus approaching the matter with the highest form of diplomatic negotiations imaginable, the better for our world. By the way, in recent times the international media is awash with the use of that dreaded word, namely MAD, i.e. Mutually Assured Destruction. Ukraine crisis must not be allowed to degenerate to MAD level. It must be nibbed in the bud. The excesses of both conflicting sides and those of their paymasters must be curbed.
Apropos nibbing a crisis in the bud, Boko Haram, the dangerous anti-human sect in Nigeria has finally gone full-haywire! By now, those who see Boko Haram as a religious sect must have realised this is not the case. This beyond-barbaric evil-group bombed over 90 Nigerians this week alone. The possibility of another strike in the coming weeks is surer than the latest bombings. Boko Haram kills indiscriminately. Boko Haram does not kill conventionally, it has moved beyond bombing alone! It slaughters people in open-day light! It slighters throats open! it clubs Nigerians to death! Most troubled is the Northern part of the country. However, all other parts suffer the inconvenience.
The latest Kaduna bombing did not kill only Nigerians of Northern origin! Kaduna is known for its metropolitan status. Those killed in that bombings are Nigerians! Lest I forget to mention, Retired General Muhammadi Buhari was almost assassinated in the bombing that led to the death of over 90 Nigerians. Underlining the assassination-attempt on the Former Head-of-State is not to say that his life is worth more than those who died, but pointing out the political implication of a Buhari-death for Nigeria, both locally and internationally. In fact with this, it is clear that anybody could be Boko Haram’s target. The dangerous sect has no particular target. That makes it more dangerous. It targets all and sundry. May we never walk on a day when the devil-in-person decided to visit an open market.
It cannot be over-said that Boko Haram is not a Nigerian problem, it is a problem for the world. The earlier the world attend to this menace practically, the better. For those who prophesied that Nigeria will disintegrate in 2015, their vision might not be far from becoming reality. I would not doubt the ability of this in-human sect to hijack an American-airline or -bound plane. That way, the road is finally leveled for the final butchering and pounding of the Nigerian state. I hope it never come that far.
Speculations are rife that Boko Haram is made-up of more components than the ordinary eyes can see. Apparently, the terror sect has (inter-)national links through which finance is channeled to fund its activities. Even a blind person knows that sophisticated bombs are not manufactured in Nigeria! Even the guns in used are definitely not made in Nigeria! To top it, the money spent by this menacing monster is not even fully-Nigerian. Directly, Northern Nigeria is on fire, but indirectly we are all in this boat, so should it sink, we sink together as a country! A word is enough for the wise.
Talking about the mourning countries, top on the list being Holland with over 100 casualties in the plane-crash. The falling of yet another Malaysian Airline Flight is another tragedy too bitter to swallow. Of course, it would have been just as bitter for any carrier to deal with, but a double tragedy within a space of 4 months is an occurrence anybody would never want. It is sad enough that the victims of the first crash are yet to be found and might probably never be found! Then came the next Job’s news from Ukraine. Word would fail anyone to comfort the world for these tragedies.
Comforting the victims families and loud call for sanctions against Russia and the Ukrainian separatists seem to be the logical reaction. Here comes a proverbial question: How does one comfort enough a (wo-)man whose mother was killed and eventually eaten-up completely by a lion?! This is another Yoruba proverb which brings home the inadequacy of any form of comfort that might be offered in these difficult and trying times for the world. One can only hope that time would heal the wounds. In a time like this, our emotion must not be allowed to control our (re-)actions. So far so good, politicians and diplomats alike have shown restraint in compounding already complex problems. While the war in Ukraine continues, the Russians and other involved seem to be cooperative thus far in the inquiry and investigation into what actually went wrong with the downed civilian plane. This is a step in the right direction; another step in comforting the bereaved. We await the outcome.
On a final note, rounding-up on a positive note can be very comforting for readers and the world at large. As I posited already, it is not all bad news. The present time is not the worst-troubled since human existence. In fact, the present world inhabitants have it far better than their predecessors. Our constant quest for peace confirms this truth. Even amidst raging conflicts and wars on all fronts, the calls for peace could not have been more deafening than now. Calls and rallies for an end to the Gaza War are being held in many places around the world. Even Russia want peace in Ukraine, even if under its own terms and conditions. The Americans and their allies in the West want peace too. Israel and even Hamas talk of peace, so far their conditions are met, partly or fully. Recently, the leader of the movement for the actualization of an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was caught on video with an expensive wristwatch from the Western world to adorn his outfit! Various internet and news platform had a good laugh. Looking at it from another viewpoint, that part of his attire is an indication that he might not be an impossible task to win over to the side of peace after all.
While accepting that the current state of the world is real disturbing, I believe that the constant hope/possibility for (quicker) resolutions on many fronts where these conflicts are being carried-out is one unique achievement of present times. That way, it confirms the present civilization/world is convinced that there cannot be a better alternative to a peaceful co-existence with and among each other. That is the better angels of our nature!