War and Suffering

The war in Yemen has just entered its fourth year. The war in Syria is 7 years old, the war in Sudan 5, the war in Afghanistan 15. War and suffering go together. For example, in Yemen which has already been called a humanitarian crisis :

  • in March 2017 an outbreak of cholera spread to a million people by the end of the year
  • an estimate of 2 million children are out of school
  • 2 million people, nearly 3 in every 4 people are dependent on humanitarian aid to survive
  • besides cholera there has been dengue fever malaria and diphtheria, while the fear and possibility of those diseases returning is real
  • the destruction of hospitals and infrastructure make rendering aid more difficult

Continue reading “War and Suffering”

An Anti-War Lesson

The tragedy in Syria, now in its 7th year, is inescapable to anyone who cares about what’s happening in the world. We have all been touched by the number of refugees escaping their war torn country, by the number of casualties, by the number of orphans, or wounded who have gone untreated. There’s also another aspect to the devastation of this war. Whether it’s been on the screen or in print, pictures of the destruction of several cities seem unparalleled. I for one have not been aware of a country with as much Continue reading “An Anti-War Lesson”

“…Before The Storm”

Bono, the lead singer for the band U2 and a known activist, has been true to form. He recently went to the Middle East and East Africa where he visited a number of refugee camps. He came away feeling that the problem is bigger than many countries acknowledge. Not only are many refugees not in camps but reside in the cities of the host countries where they may not have jobs or access to services, the problem is not going away. The idea of a “permanent temporary solution” will not do the job. While he was impressed with the sense of hope he found among refugees, a hope that helped him, he is calling for Continue reading ““…Before The Storm””

About Syria

The Guardian newspaper reports that the Syrian Centre for Policy Research (whose website has too much Arabic for Western readers) estimates that the war in Syria has resulted in 470,000 dead, 1.9 million wounded, and 45% of the population displaced. (The UN reported 250,000 dead, but they stopped counting in 2014 and the Centre has better access to local data). The staggering figures which are matched by the nightly reports on the refugee crisis in Greece, Turkey, Jordan and the whole area pound our conscience. A Los Angeles Times editorial February 11th asks Continue reading “About Syria”