When my friends or intellectuals start up a debate on Israel...I bring up North Korea. When someone apologises for Palestinian terrorism I talk about child soldiers in Africa. When I hear someone defend everything Israel does...I get into ruthless drug cartels in Latin America and their sex-slaves, bullying and assassinations or I bring up death penalties for apostasy and blasphemy in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. When people criticise American aid to Israel I change the topic to Female Genital Mutilation.
It's not that I don't care about the deaths in Palestine and Israel. I sympathise. In the past I spent hours and hours on the topic both in activism and intellectual engagement But I believe that the news space and intellectual air time that this story gets is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of proportion. These other conflicts and problems worry me more. They effect a broader group of people. Their problems are less irreducibly complex. The narratives change. I learn a lot when I read about these problems. I can imagine that at least one of the conflicts I mention will improve dramatically in the next ten years. Discussion about North Korea, Child Soldiery etc. involve less recycled material and less scripted and repeated conversation.
Does anyone else feel that the Israel-Palestine conflict eats up a disproportionate amount of intellectual air time? What other world conflicts or problems greatly concern you? What world conflicts or problems can you envision improving in the next ten years?
My concern is for any place that young minds are corrupted with political or religious hate and dogma. It is a guarantee that there will be strife.
Imagine if ALL the worlds children were educated in tolerance, science, and critical thinking. The world could be twice as nice in one generation. Can't imagine dictators allowing universal educators into their countries, but maybe start in places that aren't so bad.... yet.
So very much this.
700 people died in Syria last weekend, and it doesn't even get picked up by the newspaper of record, The New York Times. 350 people die in Gaza and its front page. 4 million Palestinian are denied a homeland and the world screams. 40 million Kurds are denied a homeland and barely anyone's even heard of them. Around 6.000 Iraqis and 1.500 Nigerians killed so far this year by terrorists, and few even bat an eye.
My biggest concern currently is the Ukraine situation spiraling out of control WW1-style. It's quite close and could impact me rather quickly. The other event is the increasing Chinese assertiveness, and the increasing warnings of the almost inevitability of a future Sino-American war.
I guess the Syrian civil war will end at some point, the average span of a civil war the last 100 years being about 8 years. Hopefully things will calm down in Iraq, and Iran seems to be more amenable to compromise. It's also quite possible that Russia gets a new leader within that time frame (most likely with a full head of hair) that hopefully acknowledges the importance of a Western partnership to stand up to a revisionist China.
Can you really imagine Ukraine spiraling into a major international conflict?
Well, it's one of these situation where a mix of suspicion, hostility and lack of understanding between the belligerents can quickly escalate if and when combined with brinkmanship, ineptitude and perceived weakness. Kinda like how the assassination of an unloved heir to a bankrupt regime in a faraway place no one cared about sparked the major events of the 20th century.
Conflict doesn't start when countries feel strong, it's when they feel weak, and currently all the involved parties feel weak.
I am happy to stay out of other countries hostilities, there are more then enough problems here at home, let us work to resolve them first.
I'd start by pulling all everyone out of Korea.
You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.
Which one is interested in me?
How do you know?
The wars of the future which have yet to happen. History is generally a study of how humans have lived through war, with the occasional outbreak of peace.
I wonder how long it would take, if S. Korea fell, for China to resurrect some ancient claim on it, as they claim Taiwan and have claimed Hong Kong.
S. Korea has had a very long time to prepare to defend themselves and they have NOT done so. I have no interest in defending their border.
How do you defend yourself against a totally militarized and beligerant neighbor without becoming one yourself?