Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | ePaper

Has the year 2018 been a failure?

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Farouk Araie :
Lasting peace cannot be built while we are reviling or hating others. Permanent peace has to prevail. Historians are debating the issue on how history will remember 2018. This brutal year was a monumental failure. History will record that 2018 was responsible for the destruction and death in the Middle East and North Africa. The conflict and blood-letting continues unabated. Major powers spent a total of four trillion dollars on wars they lost, wars that killed four million innocent people.
Bombs, missiles, and chemical weapons were the emblems of these violent conflicts. Communalism, religious intolerance and sectarian violence are ugly scars, that have left their deadly imprint.
It was President John F Kennedy who on September 25, 1961, had this to say at the United Nations: "Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind."
Lasting peace cannot be built while we are reviling or hating others. Permanent peace has to prevail. The other alternative is annihilation on a global conflict. It was Martin Luther King Jr who said "The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows."
Let there be no mistake, the present constellation of global events will most certainly lead to a global war of immense proportions. The year 2019 will be a defining year for mankind, Brexit will lead to the disintegration of Europe. Oil will touch 100 dollars a barrel. Mass shootings will intensify in the USA. Cyber warfare will rear its sophisticated attack postures, that could cripple institutions globally. Long dormant medical viruses could emerge from hibernation, and spread across the world. A new and deadly nuclear arms race could spread, triggering a proliferation of weapons that were science fiction a few years ago. Terrorism will enter a new dimension taking an unwary world completely off guard. New forms of ethnic cleansing will continue unabated.
Robots will replace humans on the factory floor, creating massive unemployment that will lead to protests engulfing the world on a seismic scale. Artificial Intelligence will reach staggering new capabilities that will confound the world. Its scale and scope will propel us in to avenues that the human mind cannot match or comprehend.
Climate change and global warming will cause catastrophes of epic and biblical proportions. Millions of new migrants will cross numerous international borders, creating a tsunami of refuge seekers. Right wing populism will engulf the world, creating religious and religious friction, unprecedented in the annals of history.
New wars will erupt, heralding a new political alignment that could serve as a catalyst for world war 3.

(The writer is based in South Africa).

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