Lumpur, February 8 2001
68 countries, more than one third of 193 countries examined, suffer from civil wars, drug
wars and other skirmishes. The number is up from 65 last year and nearly twice as much as
in the 1980's.
Conflicts arise and vanish. This year 15 countries were added to the list and 12 countries
were removed. But did the masses had any say in why the fighting started or why the
fighting stopped? And were the differences solved? And were some leaders punished because
they caused unnecessary disputes?
Usually the differences are put on ice and the leaders live on as they did before and
during the conflict. In the meantime many people, mostly from the lower strata of society,
died because of widespread violence. The masses suffer always most and a new conflict
is never far away.
Most conflicts only arise because one part of the elite wants to get some
benefit over another part of the elite. Former president Estrada of the Philippines was
not ousted because he embezzled some money. He was ousted because the old Spanish elite of
which the new president Arroyo is a member, feared the growing power of the Chinese
business elite that supported Estrada.
My conclusion? In many conflicts I do not prefer any of the parties involved. I stand
behind the rights of the Palestinian people but I do not like the clique around Arafat and
I dislike the Israeli leaders. I do neither like the leaders of the Spanish ETA nor the
Spanish leaders. I do not like Estrada nor Arroyo, etceteras.
I gave some thoughts to this problem in my book The Scarists
also in Who is Joost van Steenis?, that part of
my site in which I give some facts about my own life.
Yours truly, Joost van Steenis