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My Blog

August 2016

Humanity's Best Days Must Be Ahead

Given the current doom of conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and South Sudan; agitations in Ukraine, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia and Venezuela; and the likelihood of festering issues in Turkey, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas, humanity's best days must be ahead.

Humanity's best days must still be in the future because of the unprecedented raw present state of affairs that once subsided, fixed or solved, could only usher in humankind's best of times.

However, the transitional period to the best of times could continue to be marred by stark violence and hindrances to the rights of the people.

Child Vs. Child - the Employment of Child Soldiers in War

A damning reality of the condition of humanity could come to light any day now with child fighting child across the dividing line between Iraqi forces and militias against the Islamic State(IS) in the battle for Iraq's second largest city, Mosul.

As reported by the Associated Press(AP) earlier this morning, Iraqi militias are recruiting children from camps for civilians displaced by conflict to fight in an operation to retake Mosul from the IS.

With the IS already employing child fighters under the banner, "cubs of the caliphate", Human Rights Watch(HRW), according to the AP article, has cited testimony from witnesses and relatives confirming that at least two tribunals in the Kurdish region of Iraq, have recruited children from a camp south of Irbil and have driven the children closer to Mosul.

With No End in Sight - Tribulations to Continue

No end appears in sight to the trials facing Syria, Iraq, Turkey, South Sudan, Ukraine and other places. 

As a matter of fact, instead of most of these trials waning, some of them are exhibiting the characteristics of mutating events. And as a result, the life of some of these conflicts could be prolonged, thus inflicting greater harm upon already suffering populations.

Ukrainian complaints of amassing Russian troops at its borders are bothersome to the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine.

A Fractured Opposition: an Aspect that Prolongs the Syrian War

If there was unity in Syria among the many forces fighting the regime of Bashar al Assad, then the Syrian war would have been over by now, with Assad expelled from Damascus.

However, in lieu of such unity among the 1,000 plus opposition forces fighting Assad, the war continues to be executed at a costly human toll of well over a-quarter-million people slain, tens of thousands maimed and 4.8 million refugees displaced outside of Syria along with another 6.6 million internally.

Western nations rendering support to armed Syrian opposition groups have only done so at a stalemate's pace in light of the Syrian regime's big support from Russia, Iran and possible arm supplies from Belarus, North Korea and a few other nations.

A Rational Ruling in France - the Reversal of the Burkini Ban

Of all the places and the people in the world, that some French resort municipalities would dare ban the burkini from beaches, came as a surprising restraint on the rights of women by those who historically have cherished individual liberties and freedom of expressions. 

However, in a face-saving ruling that resurrects the expected freedom of the French, the country's top administrative court - the Council of State, has reverse the burkini ban on the beaches of the Riviera town of Villeneuve-Loubet.

Toward a Lasting Agreement on Syria - to Keeping the Hope of a Final Peace

The United States(US) and Russia are meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, today, in an attempt to forge a military and humanitarian cooperation agreement on Syria. A lasting agreement could pave the way to a final peace in Syria and a desired reclamation of the Syrian identity, which has been deeply scarred.

However, as US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, then later with United Nations(UN) Envoy for Syria, Staffan di Mistura, the success of any agreement on Syria would be measured by whether or not the parties, along with rebel groups and the Syrian regime, could orchestrate a much needed 48-hour ceasefire around Aleppo, Syria.

Humankind's Vulnerability to Nature - Earthquake Deaths in Italy

Rescue workers aided by sniffer dogs are today continuing the arduous effort to locate any survivors buried in the rubble following Wednesday's devastating earthquake in central Italy, which has thus far, killed 241 people and injured some 264. 

Italy and many other locations including Myanmar, are faced with the reality that in spite of modern technological advancements in building codes, humankind remains more adversely vulnerable to natural events especially in instances when technology is missing from building standards.

A French Blunder - the Burkini Ban

The French argument that secular reasons are behind the ban of burkinis worn by women on beaches, is preposterous. It is a weak reasoning advocated by Prime Minister Manuel Valls and certainly one that will not bring any cohesiveness to the co-existences of religions.

Forcing a woman to remove a burkini on a French beach is worse than insisting that robed judges be forcefully disrobed. The burkini ban law is bad. The law will not win any new friends for France. However, it could create more enemies while spreading radicalization even farther.

A Big Alliance or a Sounder Alliance - the Turkish Question within NATO

There is inherent strength in unity - the stronger and the closer the unity, the sounder and the more effective it becomes. In contrast, there is also strength in sheer vast numbers, yet, if overwhelming numbers are not sound and are not closely bonded, the numbers could be easily toppled like leaning dominoes.

Hence, Turkey's membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO), has offered numerical strength as a strategic partner over the years. However, recent actions by the Turkish government, appear to be tilt that nation eastward.

Back to School - the End of Summer 2016

My two pre-teen sons, along with another 50,000 students in the District of Columbia Public Schools(DCPS) system, returned to school today, thus signaling the end of summer 2016 and the beginning of school year 2016-17. 

While early jitters connected to logistics, new environments and new friends will fade soon, our children are fortunate to have restarted school and they are blessed to be able to continue along a familiar path that many have grown to know, to expect and to desire as a rite of human growth and development.