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Political civil wars

There are regions around the globe where warfare over the struggle for human rights and justice play out with people dying daily — much of it caught on camera — at great risk for journalists.

Although much of this activity involves powerful weapons that leave buildings in smoking ruins, and families torn apart in the almost hopeless cycle of brutal violence, the endless global struggle for human rights is under the spotlight in several major countries with the world watching.

Concern is high that some verbal political battles could lead to deadly encounters with gunplay instead of words. History repeating itself. With so many victims from two world wars, and subsequent military conflicts over the years, it would seem not much was learnt from trying to solve differences with bombs and bullets.

These days, when powerful nations lock horns over major issues, smaller nations often with no connection to the problem have concern that should things slip out of control, the world could become a dangerous place for all.

Former US president Donald Trump appears hell-bent on destabilising Joe Biden’s presidency (File photograph by Evan Vucci)

Gloom and doom gets more publicity in just about any country than the many positive stories of people who dream of an atmosphere where children can play without fear and with no shortage of food as families share happy moments together. Sadly, differences of opinion become stumbling blocks over who should or should not be entitled to all rights, in what should be a free society operating on principles of democracy.

The most powerful nation on earth, America, finds itself engrossed in what many observers see as a political war between the Democratic and Republic parties over the direction in which the nation should be moving in order to improve life for all of its citizens. The problem seems to be centred on leftover bitterness by some who feel the Confederates should have won the Civil War, which divided the nation and made life a nightmare for people of colour. More than 200 years since that dark chapter of American history, and with significant progress on civil rights that involved even more bloodshed, racial divisiveness remains a threat to inner peace and democracy in that nation.

America is indeed a great nation with much to be proud about. However, that greatness that many, including Bermudians, have enjoyed through advanced medical techniques, super shopping, and entertainment to suit every taste is under threat by extremist groups unable to accept the new world of diversity. The most shocking part of all this is that a former US president Donald Trump, who lost in the last election against Joe Biden, is heavily engaged in trying to keep his supporters believing that the election was stolen despite producing no proof to support such a claim.

Bermuda has a unique relationship with America, and most Bermudians would want the nation to move forward, because its success is very much tied to ours through years of successful tourism, with much of the trade coming from the US. In fact, many friendships over the years evolved between Americans and Bermudians.

Apart from America’s inner political battles over human rights, many observers around the world see the potential for violence witnessed last year, when an angry mob of mostly Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in what amounted to a clear effort to subvert democracy, and prevent Biden from being sworn in as the new president.

Yes, we have heard that story countless times since that tragic event. Now with efforts to alter the voting system by the GOP, concern is mounting that the country is not out of the woods in dealing with a crisis that will test what the nation really stands for.

A citizen of Ukraine under threat from the Russian army perhaps put it best when she told a reporter “we are educated people, and we should be able to work out differences without the use of bombs and bullets”.

That situation at this writing is still a time bomb ticking. We can only hope for a peaceful solution. Wars do not build nations, and the aftermath of military conflict could take generations to repair. We are blessed here on our lovely island of Bermuda, but we are also part of the world.

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Published February 05, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated February 04, 2022 at 3:20 pm)

Political civil wars

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