“I can forgive Alfred Nobel for having invented dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize.”
– George Bernard Shaw
I have come to wonder if the witty Bernard Shaw in saying what he said about the Nobel Prize was right, especially after the awards for 2009 (Barack Obama), passing thru 2010 (Liu Xiaobo) to come to 2011 where the award is shared by three women (Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman) “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”.
Whereas Barack Obama’s award was premature as time has demonstrated, Liu Xiaobo’s final compensation was a longer jail term in the wake of Western silence; and the three women from Liberia (Ellen Johnson Sirleaf & Leymah Gbowee) and Yemen (Tawakkul Karman) may well have to wait ages before women’s rights, or citizen’s rights for that matter, are respected and full participation given to these in Africa and the Middle East. Much less will it be possible to see peace-building in these parts of the world after the Western blunders in international affairs affecting the countries of those regions.
The world went into an economic descending spiral that commenced with the 2007 U.S. sub-prime crisis and continued with the 2008 Lehman Brothers scandal, dragging the world into an even deeper dilemma – the total absence of ethics in the search for a common solution to our woes.
The Arab Spring that commenced with a bonzo burning of the young Tunisian, Mohamed Bouazizi, in Sidi Bouzid on December 17, 2010, set off a series of protests all over Africa and the Middle East, causing the fall of a number of long-term dictators ruling the region with complacent U.S. and European support. Curiously enough, all the U.S.-E.U. friendly dictators (Ben Ali of Tunisia, Mubarak of Egypt) have saved their necks thus far whilst others (Saleh of Yemen, Algeria’s Bouteflika or Syria’s Assad) continue ruling their territories with uneven Western support. Only one leader, Muammar el-Qaddafi, was assassinated in the hands of the rising political leaders of the ‘liberated Libya’ with NATO bombing support and United Nations sanction, in the name of civilian protection.
Do leaders really think the world is so blind not to see that all of their actions are a mere farce to cover up the fact that this world is governed by vested interests pulling the strings from back-stage?
As in Iraq and Afghanistan, petroleum and other fuels have been in the bulls-eye of all conflicts. The Northern African and Middle East conflagrations are along the same line, with Qaddafi’s elimination vital to cut off any possible leadership against vested interest moves to control the regional energetic resources. Furthermore, tiny conflicts are profitable for large corporations engaged in armament & aircraft technologies; and likewise these are of interest to companies offering their security services in unstable situations all over the world.
The sixth G-20 Summit is scheduled in Cannes November 3 & 4, with French President Nicholas Sarkozy as host. Long past is the first 2008 summit in Washington D.C. where he clamoured for “the re-foundation of capitalism”. Also forgotten, it seems, are U.S. President Obama’s September 8, 2009 statement on the Pittsburgh summit, “… It’s important to note how far we have come in preventing a global economic catastrophe. A year ago, our economy was in a freefall. …. The steps that we have taken to jumpstart growth have also been coordinated with our partners around the world. …. As the leaders of the world’s largest economies, we have a responsibility to work together on behalf of sustained growth, while putting in place the rules of the road that can prevent this kind of crisis from happening again.”
At Cannes, not only has capitalism not been re-founded nor have the world leaders worked together on behalf of sustained growth but also, and most important of all, we have followed a path in the wrong direction that leads to, not prevents, a global socio-economic catastrophe.
Well and good to claim women’s rights for all those who may not still have them all over the world but better still would be to stop once and for all 25,000 daily deaths due to hunger and disease.
How can this be possible in a planet capable of feeding twice its population?
The only answer that comes up to my mind is that we, the anguished citizens of the world, are playing a lopsided betting game in capitalism’s casino, where our meagre resources are up against 1 to a million odds in a vested interests rigged roulette.