Guilty. Guilty on all sides.

Posted: June 3rd, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »
ANKARA, TURKEY - DECEMBER 22:  In this handout...
Image by Getty Images via @daylifeThere is more than enough guilt to go around in the unfortunate and quite avoidable incident that played out Monday morning in the Mediterranean Sea.

There is more than enough guilt to go around in the unfortunate and quite avoidable incident that played out on Monday morning in the Mediterranean Sea.

Yes the Israeli government is guilty. Guilty of being politically out maneuvered. Guilty of being played in the world press. And guilty of being bated into using deadly force.

The organizers of the flotilla are also guilty. Guilty of precipitating an international incident by attempting to run a declared blockade in an internationally recognized war zone, guilty of endangering the lives of those on the ships and guilty of provoking the Israelis.

Turkey is guilty of supporting the flotilla and its intention to violate war zone and the blockade of an ally. The US, Russia, China and the UN are all guilty of allowing these events to unfold, without making any efforts to proactively diffuse the situation.

The Israeli government, as well as the rest of the world, was well aware of the flotilla before it launched. Whether the purpose of the venture was for humanitarian aide or purely to bust the blockade is debatable, but the point is that the flotilla and its destination were all publicly known in advance of the incident. The flotilla had the implicit backing of the Turkish government. Was a public appeal made to the Turks to intervene? The flotilla was intercepted in international waters. Was a public appeal made to the UN to intervene? Turkey and Israel are both key regional allies of the US. Was an appeal for the US to support some kind of intercession made? Both Russia and China have aspirations to become global powers, why were they both silent?

Had any appeals for intervention of discussion been made forcefully and publicly, perhaps the flotilla would have been diverted. Perhaps the humanitarian supplies would have arrived to those that need them. Perhaps no one would have been put in harms way. No one would have been injured. And most importantly, no one would have been killed.

This incident is just a small part of a larger situation that is inflamed with humanities darkest passions and emotions. And that is precisely the problem; the base emotions of those on all sides obscure meaningful dialog and constructive discourse. Empathy and passion are drowned out by hatred and bias. And rational thought is displaced by impulses to react mindlessly, and most regrettably, sometimes violently.

If humanitarianism and peaceful coexistence are the true goals, than these ideals should be clearly visible in all words and actions. Meaningful progress won’t happen until all sides admit their guilt.

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2010 is calling. How will you answer?

Posted: December 31st, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

The good news: in the last 20 years the total number of armed conflicts across the globe has been reduced by almost 60%, the number of ongoing conflicts has dropped by 50% and the world’s displaced population has decreased by 16%.

The bad news: Globally, there are almost 80 wars currently being waged and of these, 29 are ongoing, sustained conflicts. The total number of refugees and internally displaced people as a result of war is currently about 42 million -which is equivalent to the combined population of the 44 largest cities in the United States.

Viewed from afar, statistics show conditions are certainly improving. Viewed from the ground, in a refugee camp, somewhere  in the Democratic Republic of Congo, each day is a living hell.

Hoping 2010 will be better, will do nothing to actually make it better. So take it upon yourself to insure that in some small way it is better. If you have a little extra, please pass it on to those who have nothing. If you have a voice, please use it for those who can not or will not be heard. 2010 is an opportunity to do something good. To act selflessly. To become something bigger than yourself 365 times. Make the most of it. Happy New Year and go in peace.