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Week in Review 146 – Forgotten Crises

Stephen Lewis comments on a series of urgent crises around the world.


Well, I have to say: thank goodness for the American judiciary. And now that they have put a temporary throttle on Donald Trump, perhaps we can move to more important matters, or equivalent matters around the world?

Like Yemen, where the genocidal conflict now means that seven million people are facing famine.

Like Zimbabwe, where two successive years of terrible drought are now complicated by torrential rains and the consequence is that four million people face starvation.

Like Somalia, where they’ve just had a presidential election, and the new president will have to preside over a country riven by civil conflict for years and years, and now six million people are facing starvation. That’s no minor matter in Somalia. The last serious famine, six years ago, as a result of the world’s extraordinary indifference and moral turpitude, meant that a quarter of a million people died.

Like Afghanistan, where last year, more than three thousand children died as a result of improvised explosive devises (IEDs, they’re called, or landmines). You know, when I was the representative for Canada at the United Nations I was dealing with landmines in Afghanistan, planted by the Soviet Union in the shape of pencils and butterflies, specifically to induce children to grab them, and subsequently to be maimed, mutilated and killed. You talk about wrong…, evil.

Like Syria, where we now learn that more than thirteen thousand people were hanged over the last five years, in one of the notorious, brutal, savage prisons in the world… And here we’re emerging from Syria, where no one, it would appear, is going to be held accountable war crimes or crimes against humanity.

And like Myanmar, the former Burma, where the ethnic Muslim group, the Rohingya, are subject to genocidal extermination by Buddhists… led by Buddhist monks. I always thought that Buddhism was the most peaceful, tranquil, calm, reflective, romantic religion in the world, and now you learn that there isn’t a single religion which is devoid of the extremes of depravity.

Well, if we can get past the moron in the White House, we might have some time to deal with these truly urgent human matters.

That was last week, I’m Stephen Lewis.