Sunday, June 11, 2006

In search of WAR!

"What if" you doggedly drew the living room window shades open one morning and this was the scene in your neighborhood...

I have a particular fascination with world events, follow them daily, and find international conflicts and struggles for democracy, theocracy and anarchy WAY more interesting than our own homegrown, getting staler-by-the-day politics. With 42 countries hosting current conflicts and/or hearing the rumblings of civil war, there is plenty of material to cover and I'm always looking for better ways to do it.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
—Benjamin Franklin, 1759


Flashpoints does a terrific job of illustrating and analyzing ongoing conflicts around the world. On their website they say "Flashpoints strives to provide the information needed to make informed judgements about the nature of specific violent political conflicts, the aspirations of the adversaries and the prospects for intervention or resolution. Above all, we try to remain impartial and present alternative viewpoints in the hopes of stimulating critical thought and informed debate."

And that, "remaining impartial and presenting alternative viewpoints," Flashpoints appears to do!

Another exciting resource I found this morning is Nobelprize.org's educational feature Conflict Map. Here you'll be surprised to find a quick loading, Macromedia Shockwave driven, precisely icon populated page of civil conflagrations to world wars displayed on a world map with data ranging from 1900 to 2001. The page also wants to draw your attention, and rightly so, to the adjacent Nobel Peace Prizes graph, but keep your eye on the concentration of present day conflicts running just north and south along the Equator world wide.

Sure... I accept war as inevitable; but there also seems to be a lot more WAR than peace on the big blue marble most days—regardless of how far we've come in the last century and with all due respect for our men and women on the frontlines—and each morning when I scour the newswires that digital shooting rings in my ears and the virtual smoke stings in my nose evermore.

Those who make peaceful change impossible Make violent revolution inevitable.
—President John F. Kennedy


Yes, I'm ready to "give peace a chance."