Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Syria, child soldiers and you.

The world failed in Syria. In my mind this is a situation that should never have taken place. The only reason it has is because no one had the courage to act with peaceful intent. Every action was rooted in violence and now here we are standing in an ever deepening grave.  As the violence continues, sadly, Syria is on the fast track to the complete chaos of collapse.
The use of child soldiers in Syria was a known reality from the outset.  Anyone that denies that has no sense of reality concerning the brutality this world offers. All sides in the Syrian conflict have questionable moral stands so why would the use of child soldiers be a shock to anyone?  
There is one element that needs to be understood when child soldiers are discussed. That element is the impact of environment on child development. Syria has been in a state of war for two years now. Two years is a great amount of time for a child. A person that grows up in such a place will be normalized to weapons, bullets and the bonds that soldiers acquire throughout war. For a child, they are more easily adapted because there is no long term knowledge of life being any different.
Growing up in such a reality becomes part of everyday life. How to survive in a war zone is a basic life skill for children because this is where they live. The reality is that they will most likely learn how to fire a weapon, clean wounds, run for cover and other gruesome battle field realities. The longer the war rages on the more education they will get, the more hatred they will acquire as friends die and the less likely children will be peaceful as they grow older.
At the moment there is a very strong push to increase the amount of weapons, training and support into Syria. Of course such a tactic will increase the violence and bring further destruction of everything within Syria. What is being completely disregarded in all of this is that supplying weapons, training and support to opposition forces within Syria is an illegal act. Syria is still a sovereign country and anyone providing aid to militant groups bent on toppling governments are guilty of supporting terrorist acts. It just so happens that such facts of reality have been killed along side the thousands of people.
What is to be done? Well, I have provided that plan many times and no one has the courage to try it. So here goes one more time.
As an individual we must badger our leaders to implement a total ban on weapons in the region. When those leaders tell you that can not be done ask why not since we put them there to begin with. If and when they wave you off that is confirmation that they agree but just do not have the courage to fight that battle. In this case you just ask if it is better more people die than you having the courage to work harder to bring peace to children.
If you are part of an organization you too can use the above strategy. Another avenue for organizations is to seek out opportunities within Syria to begin building peace. There is no place that is too small to start from because with each point hope is planted. Offer support to organizations in refugee camps that have educational programs, even better if there are programs about peace.  
Now with all of that, the best way to improve the world is to work at building peace right in your own community. As sad as it may be for those in Syria, often the most important battle is within your own mind first.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hugo Chavez

South America has been on the cusp of being an economic force in the world for as long as I can remember. Many leaders in South America have stood up and gave hope to the people.  The people believed that the improvements were going to be made. There have been a number of external factors that stall improvements such as the Asian financial crisis of 1990’s that impacted South America greatly. However, rich with resources and culture South America has been thwarted by poor governance.
Governance has been an issue for South American due to a number of reasons and Hugo Chavez exemplifies this issue. The grand plan for Venezuela is the Bolivarian Socialist Plan 2013-2019. www.unidosconvenezuela.org/wp-content/uploads/PROGRAMA-PATRIA-Inglés.doc
One of the major issues of governance in South America is socialism has often been the goal. For many the word socialism is equal to jihad. Socialism is not good for business and that is often the battle which is fought in South America. In reality what is good for business is peace no matter what the name of a style for social order is. There are those that can not get their minds to that level of wisdom. Without going into the death spiral of labels for economic systems, people need to know what is going on.
To a great extent Hugo Chavez provided the people with a vision and delivered on improvements to society.
Chavez was demonized by some because of his socialist views, tight control of media, treatment of political opponents, his fiery remarks and the leaders he has befriended. Most often these views were made from those that have done worse things. Also his views on capitalism are correct. Capitalism is not sustainable  and the current economic crisis is proof.
There are still great improvements to be made on the South America continent. Governments are still on shaky grounds in some countries, trade issues within the continent, and social concerns are in dire need of attention. Chavez showed the world that a plan is good to have, the will to see it through is great and finally the understanding that people are more important profit.