The world is in turmoil. From revolution in the Middle East to civil war in Libya, to armed violence in the Ivory Coast, violence is the order of the day.
Since the events in Tunisia, there has been no shortage of breaking news for the world’s major networks. The amazing events in Tunisia had a domino effect throughout the Middle East, leading to the fall of the Mubarak presidency in Egypt and triggering major upheavals in almost every Arab state bar Qatar.
These conflicts are unfortunately deflecting attention from other problems such as displaced migrants, global warming, refugees and natural disasters such as the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan a few weeks ago, resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of lives, a situation that is likely to get worse because of the problems with a nuclear reactor in the province of Fukushima.
Between Japan and the Ivory Coast attention is also being given to the unfolding events in Libya. The Libyan government is continuously deploying its diplomatic energies to find a solution and it is only with the recent revelation that a large shipment of arms left the rebel base in Libya for Chad, consigned to al Qaeda, that the Europeans have seen the wisdom now of at least finding a negotiated end to the crisis.
The western alliance formed to support the rebels is now faced with a long-term conflict. The rebels are ill-equipped and outnumbered to win the war, even with the support of NATO air strikes. And since the Americans have committed that they will not send troops on the ground nor is such a move likely to be authorized by the United Nations Security Council what we will have in Libya is a stalemate and a divided country.
The Europeans are now recognizing that they have allowed the Obama administration to place them in a difficult situation whereby they may have a long-term conflict on their hands which will not do any good for the break up of old tyrannical and outdated political monarchies in the Middle East.
There was always a peaceful option out of the crisis, just as there was in Egypt. In both instances, the neo-cons in the Obama administration opted not for negotiations but for unrest when it called for both Mubarak and Gaddafi to go, even though both governments had indicated that they were willing to hold talks with the rebels. President Chavez of Venezuela had also offered to broker a peace deal, but this too was rejected.
A mess has now been left for the world to clean up. The future of the regimes in the Middle East that have come to power is still uncertain. Even the Americans are not certain how things will turn out and if these new governments will over the long term remain allies of the West. There is deep resentment of America in the Middle East and there are extremist forces waiting to pounce on popular discontent.
While all of this is happening, the world is holding its breath and hoping that the situation at the nuclear plant in Japan does not get worse, for if it does then there is yet another major crisis.
The future of nuclear energy is unclear as a result of this accident in Japan and for Guyana it was welcome news that the Venezuelan government announced that in light of what is happening in Japan, it is placing on hold its nuclear program.
Two years ago, Venezuela had inked deals with the Russians to build nuclear plants to provide energy in Venezuela. There were no protests at the time from Guyana which must now be extremely relieved that this program has been put on ice, because any major nuclear accident in Venezuela has the potential of affecting Guyana.
When you take a look at what is happening in the world today, then Guyana seems like a paradise where despite its problems, we are free of major natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanoes, and free from civil war and turmoil, and certainly without any nuclear ambitions.
Yet we like to beat ourselves up, not realising that despite the difficulties that we face, we still enjoy the best of many worlds. Instead of therefore fighting against each other, we should all try to work together to avoid us becoming the next major news item internationally, because there is no real benefit from being in the global limelight when it comes to conflict and tragedy.
While the world overcomes its conflicts and disasters, Guyana should heal its differences.
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