Posts filed under ‘Syria’

News Hour?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I was glued to the Olympics. I love sport and the Olympics holds a very special place in my heart. I remember watching as a young child, one spectacular memory being David Hemery at the 1968 Mexico games. I am from a large family and I remember all of us watching the race and seeing my father getting quite excited as he shouted him to the line. I thought at the time if athletes could hear the cheers of the television audience they would break stadium/country/world records every time.

London 2012 was therefore a thing of joy for me. I cheered every medal I saw, jumping in my living room as Mo, Sir Chris, Jessica, Charlotte, Laura, Alistair and all the other winning athletes lifted Team GB and NI to third in the Medal table. Like many others I shed a few tears as all the hard work paid off. I was irritated by the oft-used term ‘only a silver’ and ‘only a bronze’. Those who apologised for not winning gold? Please don’t apologise to me or anyone else, your achievements are amazing.

I love the thought of many children watching and being inspired to want to do the same. That for me is the legacy of the games. It is not an easy path to take. Many will struggle to hit the heights but it will give them discipline and work ethic to take through life.

However, there is one issue I had through the entire Games, news coverage. Not the coverage of the Olympics itself, I applaud the BBC for their broadcasting throughout. I salute Clare Balding and Michael Johnson in particular, common sense and knowledge make for great commentary. My issue was the limited coverage given to other news during news broadcasts.

The real world doesn’t go away when we have a huge event like the Olympics. Real life in all its glory and horror still goes on but it would have been difficult to get enough information when more than ten minutes of a fifteen minute broadcast was taken up by the Olympics. The only item I saw take the ‘top spot’ for the entire period was the search for Tia Sharp and then the sad, sad news of her death. My thoughts go to those who loved her.

I suggest to everyone that they search for Syria on their local news site. The resignation of Kofi Annan was in my opinion a huge blow to making progress. News from the 12th August tells us that the Arab League had postponed a planned meeting to discuss the crisis in Syria. No reason was given for the postponement. The US and Turkey are working together to assist the opposition to the current regime. William Hague also pledged assistance without weapons to the rebel forces in Syria. However, the Government in situ has firm support from other Governments. I don’t know if we are heading for some kind of stand-off but worry that the people being attacked are stuck in the middle. Talk of chemical weapons and mass bombings are frightening.

I don’t shout ‘invade’, that is a dangerous path that has been stepped on before. But what is the best path? I live in a country that has been badly affected by tribalism, I see the same threading through the news stories. Are our origins so important that those who do not share them become nothing? Are those who do not share our beliefs mere collateral? Are power and religion the only things that matter to people? I believe in freedom to live and worship but believe the right to do so is based on allowing all others to do the same without fear or penalty. I am now in a quandary. I am scunnered hearing about diplomacy and want to see action. However, the action only takes us down that same road again. Where do we go from here, I would love someone wiser than me to tell me. Is there an answer? I don’t like the thought of this being the only solution

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

August 15, 2012 at 11:03 am Leave a comment

When Life Means Nothing…..

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

We have all been reading about recent events in Syria. The UN has condemned the Syrian government for the Houla massacre, the Syrian government blames ‘rebel forces’.

There are many definitions of Government. Oxford Dictionaries online gave me a concise definition – ‘the group of people with the authority to govern a country or state; a particular ministry in office’.  I also checked Wikipedia to see a list of types of government. They gave me this list, I will let you study definitions in your own time.

Adhocracy, Authoritarian, Anarchism, Band Society , Chiefdom , Constitutional monarchy , Constitutional republic, Democracy, Geniocracy, Kratocracy, Kritocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Nomocracy, Oligarchy, Plutocracy, Republic, Stratocracy, Technocracy, Theocracy, Timocracy, Totalitarian.

On another site the Syrian government is defined thus – ‘Republic, under authoritarian military-dominated Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party regimes since March 1963’. I think that speaks multitudes……

What is missing from Syria is a duty of care for the people of Syria. Yes, a simplistic opinion from me but if any country is to have a government then top of its ‘action’ list should be a duty of care. This is missing from many governments but it is taken to extremis in Syria.

The question that reverberates round my head – ‘How can anyone do this to their people, those men, women and children’. When you read the reports and hear how people were attached with swords and knives. How can one person look at a child and do that?

Do we remember Rwanda or have we allowed that to dim in our collective consciousness? We all talked at the time about the horror, the atrocity. We condemned and felt good because we condemned. And here we are again; another country, another set of atrocities. Sometimes I despair.

I checked the UN website this morning. They have a link to areas ‘In Focus’ and include Syria as top of their list. The statement found at the Syria link states:-

UN responds to crisis in Syria. The UN is leading efforts to:

– end the violence

– stop human rights violations

– secure humanitarian access

– facilitate a Syrian-led political transition to a democratic political system.

I am glad that they are stating this but want to see them work swiftly. I know the world of diplomacy is a (viper’s?) nest of meetings, compromise and back-channel discussion. I get that there are those whose stance will be a complete denial of the Syrian government’s actions in solidarity for the regime. I understand the UN has a fine line to tread; that is why they so often get criticised by all sides for too little/too much action.

Time is critical here – it only took 100 days for half a million people to be slaughtered in Rwanda. Do we want to see this again? I think not. Any time wasted in putting severe pressure on Syria means more people are wounded or killed. Some who read this will shout ‘Invade!’. I believe in diplomacy, in discussion, as the long-lasting solution but have sympathy for this view. I do not join in the shouting but it does whisper in my mind. However, how many more lives could be lost if this was done too quickly and those who are responsible for the atrocities try to cover their tracks by initiating more?

Today,  I ask the UN one question – how quickly can you fix this? If you aren’t quick enough then what are the repercussions for the civilians of Syria. What are your options and how swiftly will you move?

My last thoughts are for those who carry out these acts. I am not a vengeful person but I hope the faces of those you have killed haunt you. I hope you see them every time you close your eyes. When you take your last breath on this earth I hope that guilt and regret for your actions will be the last thought in your mind. I do not care what justification you give yourself today, you know there is no justification for this. You do not care for the life of others, I wonder what will happen when you are the one whose life means so little. How will you save yourself then?

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

PS – Yes, I did send this post to the UN and will come back with any comments received….

June 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm 6 comments


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