Tag Archives: Anzac Day

Hundred Years of Anzac : the spirit lives but which way in the future?‏


anzacs

“…….To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”


Alfred Tennyson, Idylls of the King and a Selection of Poems

I would like to raise the opportunity today, in remembrance of “Anzac” and actually to all the Anzacs of the word,  to speak briefly to you about the senseless and growing threat of increasing  global violence… Knowing that those who follow this blog in different countries, may not have heard of “Anzac” as such… I would like to ask to try to take it as highlighted…
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Whilst “Anzac Day” in Australia and New Zealand bring to mind the Anzac landing at Gallipoli in 1915 on the 25th of April, a day where many were killed during both an epic and horror event against the evil of a major enemy,  – Anzac remembrance is in someway overrated in it’s prime focus on the past, .. rather than a more rightly and joined focus on the future where the evil of major wars should be prevented …
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For Australia this particular event, 100 years ago, was a profound loss and disaster.. Apart from this, many Australian soldiers and others died on the battlefield of Gallipoli whilst they have been under the illusion that they would go there for some adventure, very young in age, and often ill-prepared…Often misled, somehow, by the authorities who did recruit them with incorrect information, – propaganda as well…It’s a never-ending story which repeats itself time after time, propaganda and war, – war and propaganda. And the stories are rarely fully correct. Those poor soldiers in those days had really not the faintest idea where they were in for… This massacre was a shame for so many who lost their lives, for their families, – but also perhaps a disgrace for Government authorities who did recruit them the way they did, and the way those young soldiers were prepared. Being in the hands of government authorities  and the military, who may wrongly guide you into defeat disaster and death, – is in essence a cheat against human life and not often highlighted in the public domain, – where governments do fail in wise assessment on the risks they take.
If those who died could speak from their graves today, Anzac would not be about the past but about the future.
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War and conflict, where ever it was, where ever it will be, marks both the souls of those who are involved and the countries which are affected, – either by major destruction or escalating sectarian violence.
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This will be the picture of future war’s… Close to, or, total destruction perhaps, where even the sounds of propaganda get silenced, whether they were right or wrong.
In past war’s soldiers returned to their country of origin with hardly any after care for the trauma’s they sustained. Often with things they don’t want to talk about anymore. But torments still festering as a sickness in their souls, with so many PTSD and other human disorders in those people who sustained the particular horrors in monstrous combat.
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Those who died, died alone, – those who were able to survive came back and often had to live a very isolated and lonely life, in a different world, often misunderstood and undervalued…
Gallipoli – is only one of the many battlefields of the past century. One was worse than the other. Some battlefield’s were totally senseless and ill-selected by those who did decide to go to war, – not rarely for the wrong reasons at a cost of many innocent people.
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The Australian sentiment from ” Anzac” commemoration could be: This never ever again! …Like people who visit the Auschwitz extermination concentration camps – built and operated by the Third Reich during the 2nd World War. Those people, so many years later, may also feel that this should never happen again. However the slaughter of people goes on and on in different identities, and those being responsible not often held accountable.
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The victims however in the future are of all kind, – not only restricted to the poor, but also to the rich. Not only restricted to one religion, but potentially to all religions. Not only restricted to two countries but to many countries…It is not a concern of any one race, it is the concern for the all human race where human dignity suffers on the potential and  mindless onslaught across nations.. Where human dignity suffers, because humanity became inhumane by not avoiding the last choice of murder carnage and perhaps extermination.
When we think about those who died in the past, we need to be mindful of those who may die in the future, as just this should be  the lesson of history, – how to prevent this happening again.
We live in a time where quality and quality improvement is so important, but the last seems to be restricted to some areas of life and manufacturing, – but not to all life and the improvement of life.
People often do live in joint circumstances today where resentment can grow in unexpected ways….
Violence never created, rarely accomplished, – and so it will never do in the future where the voice of reason is not heard or ignored. And so where modern violence is ignited, it will create new violence and possibly massive and unpredicted retaliation. The last with perhaps the same repetitive propaganda to make people go to war. War and violence, violence and war, – both massacres and slaughter  where the law of civilisation does not count anymore.
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We can see glimpses on this from Afghanistan to Yemen, from the deserts in Syria and Iraq where ISIS tries to prevail in not less than barbaric style, – glimpses on the conflicts of African countries, and the tensions between Israel and the Palestinian people. But also the dynamics around Iran and the Ukraine…The list goes on, on and on….
We live in a time where collective obsession may reach epidemic proportions, supported by social media. As we have seen already at an early stage…
Whilst we increasingly and calmly seem to accept  the reports of civilian butchery in far away lands, we tend as well to enjoy the television entertainment of movies with all sorts of violence – without restrictions for our children, who should be able to learn and live by example. But many of those youngsters are already confused by what they see at home,  by what they experience on the street and via television or social media. Some of them in dysfunctional families. Some of them even willing to join ISIS, and travel to Syria to join this mindless evil of all evils, – at this time…
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Countries, now, make it easy for other countries of all shades of sanity, to get whatever weapons of destruction  they desire. Not recognising that unpredictable collective behaviour may affect us all in a chain reaction of violence. Things can easily have a domino effect.. Too many Governments preach peace with their lips and consider wars with intentions. Intentions on which  strategy makers may get locked in political decisions, from which there is no escape anymore.
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The question is what we really learnt from Anzac and all those other Anzacs of the world.  The fact that so many people from Australia, New Zealand and other countries died in one particular lost Gallipoli battle, with particular facts not highlighted, – should at this stage not be the sole sentiment, – but merely the realistic concern for the future, – our future. A future where governments proved to have learnt from the past , a future where we have a greater awareness of what to expect from our governments, where the last being possible. Propaganda is a dangerous thing when used for the wrong reasons to mislead the public….whether it is used in e.g. Russia or the US, or anywhere else…
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The sickness of the human soul is able to consume and breed violence, create repression which produces retaliation. And so the Anzac’s all over the world should not only cherish those who died in – as they may say – “noble conflict”, but cherish life for the living and make a call for joint efforts to slow down the destructive brutality which is breeding everywhere and anywhere. The brutality which affects the poor and the children. The brutality which poisons the relations between men because they are eg either a Jew or Muslim. The violence among Muslim states. But also the potential still,- of escalating violence around the Ukraine. We see the slow destruction of children as well, – not only by trafficking, but also by hunger and lack of the most basic schooling and living eg in houses with neither comfort nor heat…
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They are the future, but what sort of future if care and respect for life are  insufficient? .. A new generation as such can spiral down in savagery and destruction, both at home and across the world.
Prejudice among group dynamics in those children and young adults is the future we have to face, with even more advanced instruments of social media. With even more hatred, more bitterness and more combat missions… And as we see the western world is neither immune nor always right.
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I have no answer for those problems , neither principles to change all this.. There are simply no final answers, but when you teach to hate and to fear your neighbours because they are different in colour or beliefs, – you may lose part of your own identity if you don’t respect the other as yourself.. It starts with our children and all the youngsters.. It’s all about mastering the concept we have to learn to live with each other, however with the law enforcement and protection we all deserve, – based on being equal, regardless race or religion, based on being creative as a species, creative this way, – and not the other way!

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When we learn to respect each other, recognising we share the same short moment of life, recognising that we all deserve a chance to live our lives in purpose … and respect that ways can be different without conflict on battlefields, – there will be less future Anzacs anymore and this should be the message among communities, cities and countries… And if we so look around us as fellow men, – we may be able to dress the wounds among us, and so we may become in our own souls brothers and citizens of this world again, as part of an evolution of conscious… As part of an evolution over decades and centuries… As part of an evolution that actually, – actually we have no other realistic choice with all we have to destroy if mass hysteria gets grip on those who hate.

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Is this easy?… No, for sure not, – it is the biggest challenge we face on this planet….

It is like the Indian diplomat and politician Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit once said:… “The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war.” ..

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No matter how necessary or justified a war may seem, no matter that wars are as old as  humankind, – a new large and widespread,  and – or – all over war, will take away from us the ability to live and makes all of us the victim. And once most of us are dead, crippled, or burnt, or poisoned, we have seen the end of war.. But at what price?..  It is simply better neither to risk it nor to come too close to it, as there is no common international law that war’s –  if any – should be restricted to any one or two countries alone. And even then it is better to decide on the lesser evil, as even though not always true, – an unjust peace can be better than a just war.

…To strive,.. to seek in peace – as Alfred Tennyson, the British poet once said –  to find, ..and not to yield in foremost peace, – the last one, however, … the only battle worth waging….It’s all a matter of wisdom, understanding and respect, mutual respect, – but also to make a mutual and united stance against evil…No act of peace however, no matter how small, is ever wasted.. And this, – this should be the baseline education for future generations and an understanding for almost all people around the world, young and old, – as humanity has never been created to sustain the potential of future warfare at the scale it can escalate and destroy each other.

Thank you!

Paul 

Where Allied Forces met again in the ANZAC spirit at Gallipoli


English: Anzac Bridge memorial
English: Anzac Bridge memorial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Churchill did dream about Gallipoli and the Dardanelles, the dead soldiers on both the waters and the cliffs.

It was a nightmare!

The Dardanelles efforts have been his idea and could have altered the course of the 2nd word war at an earlier stage on the Western Front, – but it didn’t. The enemy was waiting and the bitter harvest was that the many youngsters belonging to Australia and New Zealand died, – like many British troops among those ANZAC’s died.

The memory might be fading and whilst privileged nations may not fight again, underprivileged nations will continue to do this and today at greater risk as due to access of warfare which ended the war in Japan.

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In those days with ANZAC fighting at Gallipoli the biggest fear was fear itself for the enemy, militarism in both major wars, – which was the reason those war’s were fought as militarism was in the hands of large evil powers.

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Almost all who died were civilians in peace time, leaving gaps in both their families and little towns, leaving empty places in both factories and farms.

They suffered, for sure, – whilst many others suffered as well, cruelty from all sides!

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Those who died would have rather lived in peace, but there was no peace.

Those commemorating ANZAC day on the shores of Gallipoli today dedicate this former slaughter field as a final resting place for those who gave their lives not knowing which fate they would endure before they arrived here. They did it willingly or unwillingly when the end was near.

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We will not remember for ever what they did, but let us never forget the evils of major war, – being dedicated to prevent such thing forever to be repeated again at far larger scale.

Now In the 21st century the wheel of history has turned from independence to a greater need of interdependence. This applies in all our endeavours, but the prevention of a new major war the most, even if it would take a war to prevent the last.

War’s have been fought over various decades, influence shifted across the borders of various nations and the balance of power will be neither the domain only of super powers nor the prerogative of economic powers when we see countries arise with the potential of military and nuclear power meeting us again, – eventually by surprise perhaps. The last destroying historical efforts of civilised nations to stay above the potential of mass destruction, based on the reasoning that a large new war is not a rational alternative anymore. Often this reasoning forged in the crucible of historical hardship, being different for most of the nations on this world, – however being unique in both the shared will to survive and to prosper.

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This is what we need to see on ANZAC day as well, a reminder that the past is not allowed to repeat itself in a different identity.

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Today in the international arena of politics we are faced with the increasing prospect that relatively less influential nations and leaders may use their possession of nuclear warheads by narrow-minded choice, – aiming to inflict as large as possible destruction for reasons nobody understands.

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Where in the past super powers were in a state of ongoing rivalry with each other, times require the same super powers working together both for reasons of economic stability, – but also to contain and prevent those leaders and nations who may opt to use their arsenal of nuclear and chemical destruction.

It is bad luck that science provided us by choice the ability to destroy each other but fact is that the abilities are there, likewise the choice to do so is there, – the last increasingly in the hands of a few who may act both as evil and irresponsible as some leaders and nations in the past.

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The examples are there and we all know them.

Neither history nor future will save us from destructive and evil spirits willing to destroy what has been made and to compromise the liberties of free man in the worst possible ways, – but early mutual recognition combined with similar mutual selective action may prevent larger drama’s lying possibly ahead.

The problem as such is as important as our response to this.

Whilst banning and destroying all nuclear and chemical weapons might be the ideal situation, it is not an achievable goal within the rational of those who have acquired those potential destructive powers as a deterrent.

Most of the countries who have them will use them as a last resort, based on the knowledge that first use of those abilities may lead to self-destruction, as first action this direction will likely meet more than a double strength response.

Whilst rising intensity of slavery in history and the threatening dissolution of the US as a nation became the triggering cause for a massive civil war on US mainland in the 1860ties, – rising nuclear tensions and the lack of super powers cooperating to combat those last tensions may be not the trigger of a civil war, – but the trigger of a new global war with more losses of lives than in all war’s before, – with more destructions than in all destructions before.

This is what we need to see as well, – remembering ANZAC day today.

We are faced with an opportunity to save and improve coöperation on this issue at global level, or lose it all together, – testing us now whether we can long endure.

The principles on which our endeavours would help us to reduce the risks being more clear now, need to be agreed on by the nations with the most leverage and influence on the dynamics of this world. Those principles would involve agreements and processes under which circumstances it being right to take military action as a first and last resort to prevent greater dangers down the line.

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The issues around North Korea and its dictatorship provides an opportunity to both China, the US, Russia and other countries to re-examine their attitude towards the dangers of more countries perhaps having access to nuclear weapons and the increasing risk when they are in the hands of irrational leaders, – neither willing to surrender nor to compromise.

The issue that existing weapons are non provocative, designed to deter and carefully controlled is more important than ever before, likewise the issue of being disciplined in self-restraint and committed to peace, refraining from rhetorical hostility, – all being of greater importance than ever before.

Those countries not complying with the last, subject to prove,  – need to face the agreed implications at the earliest possible stage. The last neither as part of victory nor triumph, – but more for the sad necessity to relief the world of potential more devastating and evil directed conflicts than ever before, putting humanity at risk.

This requires being prepared for those who wish this, – but civilised nations need to be alert to stop it.

The last as well in an effort of building a world where the strong are just by meeting their responsibility to protect those who are weak.

Whilst the road to peace might be difficult, – a strategy of annihilation in one part of the world may affect the whole world and is inconceivable.

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It’s a thing not to forget when facing ANZAC day in the eye today!

It’s a problem affecting us all and whilst present problems are the result of the way of thinking created at least in part amidst various rivalries from the past, – major improvement can only be expected when the majority of civilised nations do realise that some of the past perceptions do not work, – and can’t be solved by working harder on inflated and obsolete ideas.

That we need to captivate imagination and inspire emotion to work together in different ways and leave rivalries risking to compromise an enduring stability behind.

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Whilst the founders of many nations did achieve a lot to be where we are now, the harvest of any past glory is overshadowed by the challenges we face in a world with an obligation to sustain, – and not to perish together on moral ground not being fully occupied on the proposition that all men are created equal, and that no one has the right to put the lives of many at risk on the battle fields of hatred.

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Therefore the ANZAC spirit at Gallipoli can’t be forgotten, – because if we forget,  the past will repeat in the future at a different time and at a different place and at a different level.

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/

 

From Pol Pot to Darfur


On the 25th of April each year, Australians  commemorate ANZAC day, the landing of Australian and New Zealand Troops at Gallipoli in 1915. The spirit of this day – as suggested by the official war historian C.E.W Bean – both stand and stood for “reckless valour in a good cause, for enterprise, resourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship and endurance that will never own defeat”. It also encompasses the laughter, the love and pride of life which fits most Australians as well. Anzac was a terrible day in history with about 265000 casualties on Allied forces. including 7594 Australian soldiers.

It’s a day indeed not to forget and for Australians it is an important day. Like D-day and other battlefields were many people lost their lives. John Masefield wrote in his tribute about those bold, laughing soldiers, -“they seemed to be of one race, for all of them had something of the same bearing, and the same look of humorous swift action.” On an other occasion John Masefield made a tribute on the heritage of English universities, being places where ignorance has been despises and where people strive to know, “where those who perceive truth may strive to make others see. ” Unfortunately we can’t say that ignorance has been despises as the  “modern” world still builds on the legacy of genocide and an increasing ignorance of human rights, – besides controlling most of the world’s oil, most of the world’s weapons, most of the world’s money, and most of the world’s media. The energies of most countries are going 10 times more to either being well prepared – and eventually going to war, – rather than eliminating the chances of war with the risk of partial or total self-destruction, as being possible in the times we live today.

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Never ever nuclear powers will surrender in times of conflict without resort to those forces and this risk is growing year by year. If we look into recent history and see the level of irrationality among some of the worst tyrants, – whilst the world has made minimal efforts to stop those leaders at an early stage, – there is a real concern when any of those countries and it’s leaders have either access to nuclear power plants or nuclear weapons. I am under no illusion North Korea (with its current leadership) would be able to destroy a few nuclear power plants on the east coast of the US, if it is able to develop long-range missiles. They would have no mercy.

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Even when some countries do have nuclear weapons for not using them (“deterrent”), – other countries with less rational leaders acquire those weapons with the purpose of irrational use, if they feel fit to do so. In any significant nuclear encounter where one single nuclear explosive alone is almost 12 times the explosive force applied by all the Allied airforce during the 2nd world war,- the military encounters at Gallipoli with the losses of 265000 soldiers are only trivial with the losses then being endured, and we can’t take any pride anymore by sending our “brave soldiers” to war (being slaughtered) whilst the nations in the word have failed to take drastic actions to prevent the spreading of nuclear energy.

John Masefield if still alive in such days would despise the ignorance of not having prevented those battle fields, and the failures of the UN to end tyranny and the abuses of human rights. The problem is that some member states abuse human rights themselves and are subject to gross tyranny at a cost of their own population.

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If we consider the most evil leaders in the world we can be pleased that at least Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot are not among the living anymore, – but they were tolerated to use their powers and have never been stopped at an earlier stage, – as such preventing the misery and deaths of millions all over the world.

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Still  there have been , – and still there are many other tyrants who exercise the most brutal powers and all forms of inhumanity. Many of those people have been and still are, – tolerated on the political scene,  even within the context of the United Nations. Some of those people are suffering from serious psychopathology but are still able to keep up  in a world of increasing themselves with more and more personal wealth, ethnic cleansing and coordinating often cruel obliteration of any political opposition. Some have, – others will get in the future excess to nuclear power plants, which will enable them to join the countries with the powers to use nuclear weapons eventually.

Needless to say what power graving inhumane leaders could provoke in the future, if the United Nations and the Global Community does not learn the lessons from the past and deal with those leaders at an early stage.  This should have happened with e.g. Pol Pot and Idi Amin, the last with a killer record of about 400000 and the first with even 3 million Cambodian’s being massacred under his responsibility. Pol Pot with his Khmer Rouge “revolution” has been (per head) possibly the deadliest in Asian history, and the world watched it happening…

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Terror and paranoia reigns at more places around the world, and early intervention would have prevented the ramifications of some of those brutal monsters.

To give a glimpse only and starting to speak about North Korea, – we all know the dangers associated with Kim Joni -il,  – the leader of this poverty-stricken and possibly one of the most isolated countries in the world. He is most unpredictable and acquired nuclear weapons ready to be used. Actually he is known as the world worst dictator now. His problem is the combination of personal paranoia,  his deadly weapons and his addiction to Hennessy cognac ( his yearly alcohol bill is over $200000,-). For many other countries apart of his own, – this  is a potential  lethal combination with the wrong decisions being made, despite diplomatic efforts to control the situation as long as it can be controlled.  A report compiled by Frederick L . Coolidge and Daniel L Segal (with help of a South Korean psychiatrist) concluded that the current North Korean leader has similar personality disorders as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Saddam Hussein (sadistic, paranoid, antisocial, narcissistic and schizoid). Although many stories about this man are perhaps somewhat exaggerated perhaps, – needless to say that he is a most dangerous commander of the “Korean People’s Army“, the 4th largest in the world. Two hundred thousand of North Korean people have been imprisoned as due to opposition. This country with this leader is able to create a nightmare scenario.

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In Iran we still have Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He is the leader who declared the Holocaust to be a lie and a myth, stating that the Jewish Nation should be wiped from the map. Later he denied this,  saying that he was not “passing judgement” on the Holocaust and that he “respects Jews very much.” The population in Iran has increased quite significant but has major problems in terms of unemployment and inflation. Obviously there are powers behind this President, but there is not enough clarity. The records on human rights are notorious and the nuclear ambitions are  potentially most dangerous. Having said this in a 2009 interview with reporter Ann Curry on the question whether the President of Iran would rule out an Iranian nuclear bomb in the future, – he responded: >”We have no need for nuclear weapons.” <->”Without such weapons we are very much able to defend ourselves.” <……Though  he may prove likely not to be consistent in his projections,  at least he is not as irrational as the North Korean leader. Being however both a controversial figure in and outside Iran, – Human Rights Watch has been quite explicit about tortures and mistreating dissidents. There is no tolerance for peaceful protest and gatherings. Within the context of the Middle East dynamics he proved to support Hizbullah against Israel and in October he did visit Lebanon. It would seem he is buying time within the Middle East dynamics.

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The current leader of Syria, President Bashar al-Assad has continued his family’s Ba’athist regime and rule of Syria. His secret police as part of normal routine imprisons, tortures and kills those people who disagree or speak out against his regime. In an interview with ABC news he stated that: “We don’t have such things as political prisoners.” Assad has been  logistically supporting & sponsoring various militant opposing groups against Israel as he is “anti-Israel”, though appears perhaps interested in a “peace treaty” today, – but not real peace. Besides this he is “anti – West” as well and a close ally of Iran. Large protests against the regime earlier this year have been crushed. His economic policies are in the range of gross neglect of his own country. Family members are holding key government positions to secure his power base.

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In Zimbabwe there is still President Robert Mugabe (the world’s 3rd nightmare dictator). Zimbabwe’s economic fall down is one of the worst being known, together with a dreadful record on human rights. Mugabe’s ruling party inflicted militias to support his campaign to hold on power during the 2008 elections. Vote counts were falsified Foreign Journalists were chased out of the country or detained. Supporters of the opposite party were either beaten or killed by Mugabe loyalists, using relentless torture methods being widespread documented. The South African President Tabu Mbeki watched in silence whilst the murder rate peaked, but brokered under international pressure a deal with the leader of the  Movement for Democratic Change (Morgan Tsvangirai), and the last became Prime Minister, – however under Mugabe’s rule. The process of white farmers being expelled from their properties is still ongoing. Mogabe’s regime and followers are not less than a gang of murderers and thieves, without any moral bearing and the majority who did support him should be sent to an international criminal tribunal, once there will be an M.D.C led government. Mugabe has been President since the early 1980ties and it is amazing that he still holding this position, in a country with so much bloodshed. Neither the dynamics in the Commonwealth, nor the dynamics in the United Nations or South Africa have been able to stop this man holding onto power.

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In Eritrea the leader still is Isaias Afewerki. Since the date he came into power in May 1993 he has been responsible of shutting down all human rights organisations, besides removing all international development agencies from the country. Elections have been canceled and Amnesty International did report excessive human rights violations, like in other countries. A war looms with Ethiopia and the government is under suspicion of supporting terrorism, hence pending economic privation, – despite 2/3 of the populations receiving food aid. Border conflicts and a poor economy are ongoing issues, besides frequent reports on human rights abuses.

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President Yahya Jammeh has ruled Gambia since 1994. Apart from being known for his herbs and banana cure for Aids, he is known to have decapitated gay’s. Not to mention the documented torture and imprisonment of dozens of journalists and political opponents who disappeared from the scene. In round up’s traditional “witches” in his country were taken from their hut’s and villages by bus to secret locations. Here they were forced to drink hallucinates causing terrible pains with provoked and mindless killings. Gambia might be the smallest country on mainland Africa but has a very large record of human right atrocities and President Jammeh counts Iran’s President being a close ally. Both countries have much military and trades ties. Hopefully there will be pending signs of a fracture in the junta leading to it collapse, and if this collapse could be supported it would only create a more favourable situation. However if Iran would export nuclear technology eventually to this country, not much imagination is required of what would happen next.

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In Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov became the leader after the declared independence after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.During a peaceful protest in Andijan in 2005, Karimov’s police murdered 750 civilians. Since the 90ties he has jailed  at least over 8000 Uzbeks for “Islāmic extremism”, with him having warm connections with the US when President Bush was in power. The war on terror as it would seem, allowed the West to turn a blind eye to all sorts of human rights atrocities (in which thousands have been killed) as long those countries were supportive towards anti terror policies of President Bush. Opponents of  this particular  regime and the democratic movement are nullified and President Karimov blames any uprise on “terrorist groups”. Karimov has been selected already as one of the world’s worst dictator’s because of his tactic’s on torture, media censorship and fake elections, which are notorious. Craig Murray, the British embassador from 2002 to 2004 in this country details in his memoirs the financial corruption and human right’s abuses, which he encountered during his term in office.

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Sudan’s dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for both war crimes and crimes against humanity within the committed Darfur genocide. He came to power in 1989 when he led a group of officers in a coup that ousted the Sadiq al – Mahdi government. The atrocities were committed during the war in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, which claimed over 300000 lives since 2003 and terrible mass displacements, – apart from torture, sexual violence and rape. An international arrest warrant (10 counts of genocide & war crimes) will be  issued in the dictator’s  name. However the regime may retaliate now against aid workers and peacekeeping soldiers in Darfur. International relief efforts could well be compromised resulting in more suffering among ordinary Sudanese people. Providing justice could have implications for peace keeping operations. Violence still continues in Sudan and the transition to a more peaceful civil society will prove to be a complicated process. Key transitional justice issues are envisioned already by Dr Mohammed Abdallah  Aisa, Physician and former Professor of Medicine at L Fasher University in Darfur. He has been much involved in the treatment of survivors of sexual violence and torture. Civil society in Darfur needs to be involved in crucial conversations about transitional justice to be well equipped to lead, once a peace agreement is in place.

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The list does not stop with this. One last example:

Than Shwe ( one of the world’s most terrible dictator’s) has been the military dictator of the ruling junta in Birma, but I am led to believe that since yesterday his role has somewhat reduced, – however he is still a very influential background figure. He imprisoned, tortured and executed Buddhist monks, opponents and even journalists. Birma is one of the 10 poorest countries on earth and during the late 80ties the “Democracy Summer” has been squashed with murdering thousands of demonstrators. The Human Rights world report in 2005 describes this country as one of the most repressive countries in Asia.  A country excelling in all forms of terror among its own people, besides being listed as possibly the 3rd most corrupt nation on earth. Mind you if such a nation, or any of the others would get access to nuclear power plants.

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Unrest is going on now at various levels in Middle East countries and China, where there is a call for more democratic reforms and freedom. Human rights have been often compromised in those countries as well.

Countries are different and follow different patterns of processes leading eventually to more democratic reforms. On the one hand we may hope that democracy and justice will prevail in those countries were the walls of oppression are still high. On the other hand it is not sure how many massacres those countries will have to endure.  However, keeping the world stable and safe it is better to start to make strategies for democratic reforms as at the end of the day they are legitimate and whatever happens they can’t be stopped. Delayed perhaps, but not stopped. Crushing the movements for reforms might be successful for some years but the resistance will grow and grow and trying to stop those movements will jeopardise the general stability and economy of each country trying to do this. Reconciliation at the end might be even more difficult as atrocities will not be easily forgotten.

Processes as they evolved eventually in South Africa with the election eventually of President Mandela in the 90ties are perhaps not everywhere applicable, but still the transition eventuated in a peaceful way where civil war would have been the alternative. Where leaders of countries like e.g.  China are able to make choices for the better of their country, it might be wise to do so as in the long term it will serve the purpose of China to be a peaceful super power in the world, with much leverage with surrounding countries in the region.

The amount of unstable countries on this world with oppressive regimes and human rights abuses is quite staggering at the moment and the dangers on escalating violence are quite clear as e.g. illustrated in Libia. The UN did step in eventually in this area but the options in other areas are quite limited as veto rights will be exercised by other member states. This at the background of an increased number of  nuclear powers makes the world unstable and far from safe, with the experience that some leaders have the capacity to respond in a total irrational way due to the personality structure of some leaders themselves, – holding on to power with everything it takes, – even self-destruction.

The modern Hitler’s. Stalin’s and Pol pot’s may dominate the world if united efforts from within the UN do fail to stop the most dangerous people at an early stage, with genocides worse than the killing fields in Cambodia and Vietnam. The liberation movements can’t be terminated as the currents will get stronger and stronger, so that the mightiest wall’s of oppression will fall. This is what the late Senator Robert F Kennedy once said on a tour in South Africa, – at the time this country had a most oppressive regime. The point is that he is right, but the question is at which cost if the UN does not become more proactive in dealing with those countries who are at risk.

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As Elie Wiesel once commented – surviving both the Nazi Auschwitz death camp and Buchenwald: >”Have we really learned from our experiences? Are we less insensitive to the plight of victims of ethnic cleansing and other forms of injustices in places near and far?”<

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Democracy is not “the prescription” for no trouble, but with proper balance of powers being constructed within the constitution, allowing constitutional freedom of press and an obligation to preserve human rights, – it is at least the form of government allowing change if so required.

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/on-the-issue-of-human-trafficking/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/