We are relaxing here in Wellington preparing for all the rellies on Alofa's side to drop by for an Xmas barbie. While I am still doing some work, I am taking it pretty easy right now, doing more mountain bike riding and running than usual.
Photo: courtsey of Truthout.org
On a sombre note: I often wonder where things are heading in this world. What kind of world are we going to leave our grand children? Christmas and the New Year signals the end of another year of global conflict and suffering and 2009 looks like it may be worse than being better. I have no faith that US President-elect, Obama, will make a skerrrit of difference because huge wheels are in motion that will crush any one man who dares to resist them.
I make no apologies for sounding so depressing. We should not deny reality for the sake of appearances, should we?
Central to this pall of depression is the ongoing meddling and conflict in the Middle East. I have been following the shameful Israeli - Palestinian conflict since as long as I can remember. Back in the late 60's and 70's I was all for Israel kicking Arab butt. But I realise now that I was sucked in like most other Westerners by the propaganda. I changed my mind. Regardless of who is right or wrong, I feel the onus for leadership to bring about a peaceful resolution must lie with the party that is the stronger. In this case, all the power is with the Israelis and the guys pulling their strings - the USA. Instead, we see the Palestinians being treated no better than rats trapped en mass in a filthy sewer. Any fight back by Palestinian militants draws military responses of biblical proportions.
I have a Lebanese acquaintance who has just returned from Lebanon which is slowly rebuilding after the last Israeli invasion. She is livid with what is gong on in Gaza right now and says the Israeli army is itching to return to Lebanon to destroy their infrastructure once again. The Israeli army has unfinished business with Lebanon. They want Hamas to send over more of their home made rockets, so they have the excuse they are looking for to bomb the crap out of the Lebanese populace.
Have a read of this: http://www.truthout.org/123008A
I now realise that huge armies, such as we see in the USA and Israel, are really no more than the public frontages for the massive arms industry which unduly influences global politics. There is no interest by these powerful corporations in peace breaking out everywhere. They need war, civil unrest and terror to drive their burgeoning industrial machinery. We see a parallel example in health which is increasingly and disturbingly being controlled by the pharmaceutical industry.
Resistance to oppression and war-mongering is crushed, sometimes brutally.
As a matter of interest, the tiny Pacific island nation of Fiji has had four military coups in recent times. Whenever an elected Fijian Government gets too independent of the military, they take over. Fiji has a hugely over-sized army which is now the career of choice for young Fijian men. The military budget is secret and not subject to scrutiny by anybody other than the generals in charge of this financially skint country. The generals learned the finer skills in population control (beatings, murder, etc) through contracting their services to UN peace-keeping missions such as in Bosnia. The financial and democratic future for Fiji is bleak. Fiji demonstrates how tenuous freedom is and just how dangerous militarisation is to peace and democracy.
Like Fiji the USA is operating under a war economy. Like Fiji, it is heading for bust and it threatens to take us all down with her.
If we want the world to be a much better place for all, rather than an elite few, then all of us need to stand up, voice our concerns and resist the influences of greed and power.
Here's something positive to look forward to beginning 2009; but will it ever happen?
Let's all join together, beginning right now, to make sure that the world is a happier, safer and healthier place for our children.
I trust you are all fit and well.
Do you have a question?
Email Gary: gary at myotec.co.nz (Replace the "at" with @ and remove spaces). Please include any relevant background information to your question.