By Morak Babajide-Alabi
So you think you have found the solution
But it’s just another illusion
So before you check out your tide
Don’t leave another cornerstone
Standing there behind
We’ve got to face the day
Ooh-we come what may
We the street people talking
We the people struggling
When the Reggae Legend Bob Marley and the Wailers sang the above lyrics to the track “So Much Trouble in The World,” they would not have thought much of the fact that the scale of troubles and violence at the time would be a child’s play compared to what is happening presently in the world. But there is no doubt that they caught the reality of the present day in this particular song. The following verse says it all – “Now they are sitting on a time bomb. Now I know the time has come. What goes on up is coming on down. Goes around and comes around.”
This is exactly what the world is witnessing currently. There are too much ego trips among the world political and economic leaders that you cannot but agree with Marley that the world is sitting on a time bomb. The world is burning, cracking up and disintegrating into an abyss, but check out the world leaders. Do they care? There seems not to be much to make one believe they do.
Take for example; the deprived people of Syria have been shouting their heads off for so many years now. Every day, in that corner of the world, children are killed and made orphans by the minute. Yet, the world leaders who could make the changes needed in this region have shifted their eyes away from the happenings. They have continually folded their hands while the Syrian authorities walk all over its people.
They care less about how many children are killed, maimed, or become orphans. They pretend not to see the bombs that rain on hospitals, nursery and primary schools every day. They turn deaf ears to the shrieking cries of the citizens and indeed appreciate the “beauty” in the ruins all over the country. They marvel at the resilience of the people of the country and wonder how those who survive managed the miracle. As long as there are no economic gains in this region, these leaders are not making any move towards permanent peace in the region.
I watched with pity and unbelief last week as rescuers pull children, adults and the aged out of the rubbles of the most recent assault by the government against its people. My heart was torn apart as a woman with absolutely good command of the English language screamed to the cameras, begging the United States of America to come to the aid of the defenceless people of Syria. She said: “Mr Trump, please stop this. Stop this shelling. Stop the killing of these innocent people, Please America. Please do something.”
All the calls have fallen on deaf ears as the American government of Donald Trump thought it had enough in Syria. After the previous mistake of his predecessor, Barrack Obama’s administration to support the Syria opposition against the incumbent government, Trump came into office with a different approach – to fight ISIS in the region, instead. He, however, missed the point that the failure of Syria is one of the reasons why ISIS flourished as such. The defeat of ISIS in this region has been celebrated by the Trump government, but he deliberately refused to accept that Syria is broken beyond being left in the hands of Omar Al-Bashir, the Russian President and the Iranians.
In a recent tweet under the Twitter handle of the United Nations Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: “Increasing airstrike casualties are being ignored. This is a failure of leadership by the world’s most powerful nations, resulting in tragedy on such a vast scale that we no longer seem to be able to relate to it at all.”
The Syrian situation has gone on for far too long. It is indeed worrying to think that these world leaders could not reach a compromise and end the carnage in the region. History will be unkind to them, as they have the opportunity of making life easy for the Syrians, but chose to look away as there is nothing to gain from a peaceful Syria. Directly, the war represents a game between the superpowers of the world.
But not far from the Syrians, the world leaders are shifting unnecessary attention to the Iranians. The storm over Iran is gathering speed and about to envelope this hitherto peaceful area of the world. President Trump engaged in the Iranian issue as a personal battle that must be fought and won. This is not for anything but the effort to roll back on all the worthy things that history could record in favour of Obama while in office. As a result, Trump and the British are desperately discovering ways to call out the Iranians from where they are taking shelter. They are rumbling the still waters looking for troubles. Even when there is prevalent peace, they seem to advance a conflicting agenda.
For quite some time not much had been heard about this country that was once upon a time a thorn in the flesh of all Western leaders. The history of the relationship of Iran with the rest of the world speaks volumes of how daring they have been in upsetting the world peace. However, in the past four years, the world had slept with eyes closed, because some intelligent leaders managed to broker an epic agreement with the Iranian leaders.
It is not everyone that sees reason in this plan to keep the Iranians distracted from developing their nuclear future. Donald Trump’s vision for Iran is completely outside the agreement that had managed to keep the country in check. His hatred and disdain for his predecessor in office, Barrack Obama, are too much to allow him credit for the peace the world has enjoyed from the Iranians.
To these leaders it is not about the peace or development of the world, it is about dominance. They are consumed typically by how to continue world domination. It is all about them fighting their corners to maintain the status quo. It is the same story all over the world. The broad line that differentiates the developed countries from the developing ones has worn thin as they seemed to have merged into each other.
From Argentina to Zimbabwe, we get an identical line of stories, with little or no variances. You can say there is not much difference in the level of integrity of the leaders of the nations of the world. The milk of humanity that was once available and associated with some countries has dried up. Where there is still a limited amount flowing, it has turned sour or with harsh conditions to access them.
Many of Marley’s songs are suited to the prevailing circumstances in the world. This is what makes a legend, The ability to pen words today that live to affect the psyche of generations unborn. Marley could see beyond what political or economic leaders could not even think of. This is why his music is still relevant today.
Regrettably, the drums of war are getting louder and louder. The world at large is, indeed, sitting on time bombs.
As published in the Diaspora Matters column, Sunday Vanguard of August 4, 2019.