by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
July 21, 2017
This time of year Mediterranean beaches are the destinations of choice for many European holidaymakers; it’s also the beginning of the busiest time of year for the people smugglers based in Libya and elsewhere along the North African coast. July to October is their peak season — during this time in 2016 around 103,000 refugees were crammed into unsafe boats, often in the dead of night, and cast off into the Mediterranean Sea.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses the geopolitical consequences of global change with Professor Christian Parenti, author of Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil explores how climate change is increasing tensions between the global north and the global south.
It constitutes the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War affecting huge numbers of people and demanding all that is best in us. Yet instead of compassion, understanding and unity, all too often intolerance, ignorance and suspicion characterise the response to the needs of refugees and migrants.
The Trump Gang, hardly two weeks in the White House, is giving strong, petulant signals that it is hijacking the checks and balances of our democratic institutions. Coupling the Boss’s easily brusiable ego, marinated in infinite megalomania, with ideologues harboring objectives that would have frightened Nixonites and Reaganites alike, a runaway train is leaving the station.
Airport resistance is the biggest step forward by the U.S. public in years.
Why do I say that? Because this is unfunded, largely unpartisan activism that is largely selfless, largely focused on helping unknown strangers, driven by compassion and love, not political ideology, greed, or vengeance, and in line with activism around the globe. It’s also targeted at the location of the harm, directly resisting the injustice, and achieving immediate partial successes, including very meaningful successes for certain individuals. It’s gaining support from people never before engaged in any activism. And it shows no signs of any significant undesirable side-effects. This is a movement to be built on, and I have an idea what a next step should be.
To highlight suffering is one thing, to alleviate suffering yet another. To bring an end to suffering must be the primary reflex for moral action undertaken by persons that will not tolerate institutional accord with determinate and recorded crime by a nation state, in this case the State of Israel. Israel’s meticulously planned crimes against the women and children of Palestine archived, yet accorded perverse recognition by institutional complicity to an illegal occupation.
On this week’s episode of On Contact Chris Hedges tracks the evolution of the kidnapping industry in the Middle East post-9/11 with Loretta Napoleoni, author of Merchants of Men: How Jihadists and ISIS Turned Kidnapping and Refugee Trafficking into a Multibillion-dollar Business. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the Islamic State’s involvement in the lucrative business of trafficking migrants fleeing from war torn lands.
Ethiopia is regularly cited as an African success story by donor nations; the economy is growing they cry, more children are attending school and health care is improving. Well GDP figures and millennium development statistics reveal only a tiny fraction of the corrupt and violent picture.