If the News Is Frightening You, Don’t Read This
Because more and more bad news seems to have been reaching us from across the globe in the last couple of years, and since there is not much that we can do about any of it, these days I tend to just scan through the main headings of digital newspapers, and only read carefully those articles that I believe I should know and think about – even if only to create more inner doubt and questions. At least, it’s sometimes possible to form an opinion on the matter.
A lot of things have happened in the last two weeks and I am not sure how to keep up with so much information anymore. This text is my attempt to cope with and filter through all that has been going on recently.
Firstly, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced new (anticipated) elections in the U.K., which have been approved by a great majority in parliament. This is clearly May’s attempt to legitimise her actions in the upcoming Brexit deals if the Tories win the election, which is why she has her hopes up now. As May announced, Britain is leaving the E.U., “a historic moment to which there can be no turning back”. She is definitely making history, yes, but for the wrong reasons. Signing up for a “hard” Brexit deal will help no one, improve or accomplish nothing.
The E.U. has not closed the door to the British people, however. With the new elections settled for June 8th, Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, has claimed that if the British people were to vote against the current government, thereby rejecting the hard Brexit deals, Britain could be welcomed back in the E.U., where it should be. This depends, of course, on how the new government will want to lead the country. Tajani sees this election as a new opportunity for the British people to speak their minds – after all, they are being given another chance to let the world know, once and for all, how they feel about the European Union, now that article 50 has been triggered. Perhaps Tajani is being too optimistic, as it is extremely doubtful that we will ever see the U.K. as part of the E.U. again.
Another hot topic in the news lately has been the U.S., and Trump in particular. First, a horrible chemical attack, attributed to Assad’s forces, has happened in Syria, to which the U.S. promptly responded with bombarding the alleged source with 60 missiles. More than anything else in the news in the past years, the reports of the war in Syria can be misleading and untrustworthy in many cases. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, for instance, which has been taken as a serious source, is actually located in Coventry, in the U.K. (read: not in Syria). Besides, it includes only one person, Rami Abdul Rahman, its creator. Furthermore, testimonies from local witnesses, such as Sister Guadalupe’s, a catholic nun who has lived in war-torn Aleppo for 4 years to help the local people and risking her own life, show that Assad’s army has actually been the only means of protection against terrorist attacks to innocent citizens by the rebels, the so-called “moderate opposition” to Assad’s government. Many of these are armed with American weapons, whereas Assad is supported by Putin, who, I believe, we all find scary.
More than anything, this seems to be a war between the U.S. and Russia, and the atmosphere somehow resembles that of the Cold War, not that long ago. So, every time I read the news on this subject, I wonder which version of the truth has been officiated, and can never rest assured. The fact is that thousands of innocent people are dying or have died, and because of this war we are facing one of the worst refugee crises in years. This has to stop – the war has to stop. I have never believed in conspiracy theories, but this war certainly seems like a war of interest and power that has little to do with Syria itself.
As if the Syrian war was not enough, there is also the nuclear tension growing between the U.S. and North Korea. It seems that Trump and his government are not dealing with this political situation in the best way, not to mention the embarrassing interviews claiming that a great “armada”, with “powerful submarines, very powerful”, was going on its way to North Korea, to showcase American supremacy, when in fact it was moving in the opposite direction, towards Australia. Trump’s ways of dealing with external politics can cost the world a lot, even if most of us don’t actually see a threat in North Korea, apart from feeling sorry for the people living there.
The fact is that we are all well-aware that a nuclear war would be the end of the world, quite literally. And surely none of us want that to happen.
Finally, and besides more terrorist attacks happening all over Europe and even Russia, Erdogan has, sadly, won the referendum which now will allow him to remain president of Turkey until 2029, imperiling the democracy and bringing back the death penalty. After everything that has been done regarding censorship and the imprisonment of opposing voices in the last few months, Turkey looks as though it is moving backwards to form a dictatorship.
None of this is our war. Playing with nuclear weapons is not a child’s game. It’s not fun and no one should be doing it. We want peace and tolerance – where is all of that? I will patiently wait to see what happens next in the world.