The greatest danger to global security?
2017-06-15 11:54:48 -
In different circumstances, a story like Ireland having its first openly gay prime minister who is also from an ethnic minority background might have dominated the news. But Leo Varadkar’s winning the race to become Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach has been dwarfed by bigger stories.

The terror attacks in England continue to dominate the news. And for sure Trump’s decision to pull out from the international climate agreement known as the Paris Accord topped the bulletins. That’s not to mention his speech in Saudi Arabia addressing the leaders of 50 Muslim countries, where he told them that they need to sort out extremism before he boasted of securing trade deals worth $400bn.

What was normal for the mainstream media, however, was the scant attention paid to the heavy loss of life in Iraq and Syria.

According to the UK online newspaper The Independent, which quoted the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the period between 23 April and 23 May this year was the deadliest on record for Syrian civilians killed by the US-led coalition airstrikes – 225 lives taken, including 44 children and 36 women.

With respect to The Independent, though, it must be noted that a publication owned by a Russian businessman and former KGB spy somehow overlooked the huge numbers of Syrian civilians killed by Russian airstrikes.

Perhaps this sums up most of the mess that the world is in. Trump’s recent meetings and speeches in the Middle East showed how the so-called ‘free world’ views the Muslim world. They are only interested in the wealth of Muslim countries while at the same time branding them as the only threat that faces the west.

Maybe if Trump bothered himself to visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem during his quick trip to the West Bank, he might have been able to understand the world better. He would have come face-to-face with the families of Palestinian political prisoners who were on hunger strike in Israeli jails, and maybe then he might have remembered that Israel has been occupying Gaza and the West Bank for 50 years with full western support, particularly from America.

If he looked out of the window of his plane, he would have seen the refugee camps scattered all over the region, which might have helped him understand the impact of western interventions on the region and pricked his conscience.

The newest camps are for the Syrian and Iraqi refugees who would not be there if the US and its allies had not destabilised the whole region when they invaded Iraq and imposed a sectarian regime propped up by Iran. The older camps are for Palestinian refugees since the 1940s, created as a direct result of Britain and France’s decision to partition the Levant and create the state of Israel.

If Trump travelled further eastward, he would have seen the Afghan refugees from the country where the CIA trained and financed the founders of al-Qaeda and Daesh during its proxy war with the former Soviet Union in the 1980s. That particular US intervention led to the creation of the monsters responsible for the terror we witnessed in Paris, London, Manchester and of course in Libya, Syria and Iraq.

The new problem of Trump’s own creation will be more environmental refugees if he insists on withdrawing from the Paris Accord. There is no doubt that he imposes more danger to global security than all the terror groups combined.

Mohammed Samaana is a freelance writer based in Belfast.
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