By Ahmet Abdulaziz…….

Yes you may declare me a pessimist. You may consider yourself correct, but I know I am not a pessimist. Rather I prefer to call a spade a spade. I prefer to sound like a pessimist, because I do not believe in painting a rosy picture of the near future, when I know the reality of what’s going on in front of our eyes.

Just give me a reason to be an optimist, at the beginning of 2018. Do you believe that the ongoing wars, armed conflicts, terrorism, political unrests would all finish in the next 12 following months? You are wrong if you believe so. Unfortunately, I am not that simple. I am sure you would have been equally optimistic in January 2017, and 2016, and 2015 and back. If so then why do you still insist to believing in something that is not going to happen in the near future? So be realistic. I am realistic, and that’s why people think I am a pessimist.

Remember, the year was 1969 when John Lennon was writing and singing, “Give peace a chance”.  Almost 48 years have passed since, but peace was never given a chance.  The year was 1978, and Bob Morley was presenting the “One love peace”, concert in Jamaica, dreaming for a peaceful world. But 40 years since then, the world still lacks both peace and love.

When I close my eyes and think about the next 12 months, I do not see a peaceful 2018. The Vietnam War was on during 1960s when I was in school. The pages of Time, Newsweek and Life magazines used to be filled with the photographs and news about the killings in Vietnam. It continued for years and years, just like that. The killing machines broadened their scope of brutality by annexing Cambodia and Laos. Hundreds and thousands of human lives were simply butchered to death.

The cost of war – Vietnam

Hundreds and thousands of young soldiers lost their lives in the 8 year long Iran/Iraq war. The war ended with none of the countries as winner. No one talked of the human lives which were simply wasted, without any reason. Here I am not mentioning the Yom Kippur war, fought between Israel, Syria and Egypt in 1973  and the Falklands War in 1982, just because these wars did not lead to a large number of loss of lives of civilians.

The Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan in 1980 opened a new chapter of war in the world history. The 9 years long war, where the USA fought Russia in a proxy war, disturbed the area to such a grave extent that after more than 30 years human blood is still spilling.

Oh, how can I forget Rwanda, where in a short period of just 100 days an estimated number of 500,000 – 1,000,000 people were killed. It was one of the worst genocides on a racial basis. That was the year 1994. Hundreds and thousands of injured men, women, children, old and young still carry the scars of this horrific genocide. They will never forget what their fellow human beings did to them.

The wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Sudan, etc etc etc, all led to killings of civilians, of innocent children, most of them had never heard of human genocides. But they faced it without any reason. They were butchered, on the basis of some self declared reason.

The war that started in Kuwait in 1991 opened a Pandora’s box. Since then millions of human lives have been lost in Iraq, Syria, Libya, without any hope of being stopped in the near future.

The cost of war – Iraq

When we talk about the Middle East, the unjust treatment of Palestinians by Israel cannot be ignored. The injustice, the serious violations of human rights, has been going on for more than half a century. Voices raised, protests organised, resolutions passed, failed to bring anything good to the Palestinians, living both inside Israel and out of Israel in Gaza. The ongoing blockade of Palestinians in the Gaza area, is a clear example of violation of human rights, but is continuing.

And of course not to forget the civilians killed in Yemen, by the Saudis.

The terrorism that started during the 1990s has spread to a larger portion of the world map. Nobody is safe anywhere. They are everywhere, hunting for human beings to be killed, without caring about gender, age, religion, race. They are out for killing and they love killing.

Why is all this going on around the world? This is the question that everyone asks. There are too many easy and difficult answers to this straight question. But I am not interested in any one of the answers.

What I am interested in are the simple facts. I do not care if Russia increases its influence in Middle East or America. I do not care if Iran gets an upper hand in Iraq. Or if Saudi Arabia gets an upper hand in Yemen.

Honestly what will you or I get if North Korea attacks America? Just nothing.

The cost of war in Syria!

But I am more than concerned about the human lives lost in all this, just for nothing. I am concerned about the children who lose their parents in these wars. I am concerned about the homeless. I am concerned about widows, orphans. Their numbers are in millions, and they all suffer just because someone more powerful is interested in getting more benefit for himself. How silly is it?

But unfortunately this is what is going on in this world. Throughout my whole my life I witnessed the same, and I am still witnessing the same, and still I see people wishing the year 2018 will bring peace in the world.

You may call me a pessimist, but I don’t.