The Real Fallout of Past and Present Conflicts – The Refugees

I have been following the various major conflicts going on in the world right now, including Syria and Iraq with ISIS being the enemy of everyone right now and everyone else fighting and bombing them in both countries. The other major conflicts include the fighting going on in Africa, both in Nigeria and that whole area with Boko Haram as the main enemy, as well as what is going on in north Africa, specifically Libya. With the exception of the Ukraine, these other conflicts are religious based conflicts, Islamist extremist groups versus everyone else, but regardless of that the common factor is the massive amount of refugees being displaced because of these various wars. There was already a refugee crisis in Syria before the civil war broke out, with hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living in various refugee camps, forced from their country by the situation in Israel over the last several decades as their lands have been occupied.
For anyone who does some digging around on the internet the pictures of the conditions most of these people are living in can be seen and it is horrifying and almost unbelievable. Some of the pictures from Syria look like these people are living in ruins, which they are, ruins of what was formerly a city, destroyed by three years of civil war. Other pictures of Syria also look like cities completely devastated by war, looking very much like pictures following World War II of cities just destroyed and nothing left standing but ruins. This is 2015? Are we not a civilized society and should we not have learned from all the wars of our past? Apparently not, for we appear to be repeating the same mistakes and destroying cities and societies with no care for the consequences. The consequences that hundreds of thousands are living through right now in all these areas of conflict.
I have been reading first hand accounts of some of the horrific circumstances that these refugees are living through, the worst being the hundreds of children forced to beg on the streets of Beirut and other cities still relatively untouched by the wars raging around them. These children are either trying to raise money for their families or are part of a ring being run by individuals simply taking the money and in turn mistreating these kids, not feeding them properly and having them work all hours of the night. Short life spans are likely the norm for many of these children, and again I ask the question, are we really a civilized society in 2015? I realize that hundreds and thousands of children all over the world are suffering from malnutrition, starvation, disease and poverty, but these kids are there because of war, war that has been created, in large part, due to western intervention in these areas. But it is all too easy to ignore when those of us in our civilized western countries are comfortable, well fed and living in relative luxury compared to most people in these countries.
Without getting too involved in the politics of all these conflicts and laying blame or digging too hard for the truth behind these various wars, the question is, what can be done to try and alleviate the suffering of these refugees? Well, obviously the Red Cross and a variety of other agencies are involved and are constantly trying to get aid in to as many people as they can, risking their own lives sometimes in the process. My own niece is involved with one of these agencies and is herself in harms way, although not in one of these areas at the moment, but nevertheless is one of thousands of people who are actively trying to help. For many people giving money to help is the only thing they can do, for others more direct involvement is possible, like my niece, but the vast majority of people don’t give it a lot of thought, or they just don’t care. I wonder though, if you had to live just one day in the lives of one of these refugees, I would be willing to bet you would feel differently. If you could do something to change the situation in any one of the lives of these thousands of refugees, would you? How far would you be willing to go? Maybe we can all start by insuring that future refugees are not created by not supporting the governments creating them, such as our own Canadian government, the US government, the British government? Oh, wait, that is getting political, isn’t it?Yarmouk


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