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Mayday, mayday, mayday

The geopolitical uncertainties the globalised world order faces today are becoming increasingly frightful. Apparently, the so-called rule based order developed in the aftermath of WWII…

The geopolitical uncertainties the globalised world order faces today are becoming increasingly frightful.

Apparently, the so-called rule based order developed in the aftermath of WWII has since collapsed, or has never really stood as fast and firm as it is generally believed. We are fast sinking into an abyss there can be no coming back from. What’s obsessively scary about this is that we might have reached an inflection point where the gulf between the two principal sides of the emergent geopolitical order is irreconcilable. The insolence boggles the mind! The outrage bullies the soul!

I mean, it just seems absolutely impossible that a common ground could be found between NATO and the incipient Global South. Unhinged doesn’t even begin to describe what western hegemony has become. And it isn’t just about the lies… I don’t know if they can even be called lies technically because as far as I can tell, they don’t think they’re telling lies. I think these are clinical delusions.

Funny thing is that it makes one wonder—what if that’s how obtuse you too are and you just don’t realise it the same way the other side seems to not realise things that are so vivid to me. It’s probably already started. I don’t think even the events that led to the first and second world wars combined were as disturbing. The showdown in Ukraine has been long coming and it so happens that it is the hottest conflict since WWII… and the conflagration in Palestine is by the same token the deadliest since the establishment of the terrorist state of Israel in ‘48.

 

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Where people siding with Israel are not held accountable for their actions–in fact, if you tried, you end up with the “antisemitic” scarlet letter on your forehead. Pro-zios don’t even mince words. I watched an interview featuring the legendary British and Muslim journalist being interviewed by another British pro-Israeli journalist Piers Morgan. There was another interview conducted by the same Piers Morgan featuring American activist Cenk Uighur. It is upsetting how they were bending over backwards to appear critical of Hamas for its actions on October 7. “Do you condemn Khamas” is usually the opener whenever he has a pro-Palestinian on his show.

Some of the arguments people like Mr. Morgan proffer is that there can’t possibly be anything under the sun that should warrant Hamas’ “barbarism”. There is just no excuse – and I agree! As at the time of writing this piece, Israel has murdered more than 34,000 defenseless Palestinians, mostly women and children. The casualty tallies also show that there are 8,000 missing–presumably dead and buried under the rubble.

When Hamas killed 1,200 Israeli civilians there can’t possibly be an excuse. But then in the following weeks and months, Israel took everything Hamas did, then offered it back to Gaza’s civilian population on an industrial scale. About 40,000 Palestinians are dead; 70,000 injured; about 70 per cent of Gaza has been flattened.

Up until about a month or so ago, Israel had also denied two million Gazans food and water for six months. The human tragedies were unfathomable. But is this acceptable? It is more so discombobulating that Arab leaders in the Middle East were prepared to go to extraordinary to defend the already well-defended Israeli territories but won’t lift a finger to help their fellow Arabs in Palestine.

When Iran decided to “punish” Israel for bombing its consulate in Damascus, the effort to mount an effective defence involved Saudi Arabia, Jordan and to some extent Egypt as well. They banded together with American, British and French military assets in the region to hunt and shoot down about 300 cruise missiles and drones launched by Iran against Israel. It is said that this coalition spent billions of dollars pulling this off while Iran spent a few million dollars to launch the attack. I personally have no problem with anyone helping Israel defend itself. It boggles the mind that major Arab political elites are looking the other way as the genocide against Palestine is in full swing.

As Nigeria and many other countries are on holiday in celebration of May Day, I find myself restless and disturbed. To me, there is nothing to celebrate while stories like that of Hind Rajab, a six-year old Palestinian girl who was targeted by Israeli drones and snipers as she drove with her family towards safety. She was the only survivor and was crying and begging for help.

Two civil defence operatives were dispatched to rescue little Hind and no one heard from them ever again. It wasn’t until after 12 days that rescue teams could reach the scene and they found her and the civil defence personnel all dead. Then there are the mass graves containing the bodies of hundreds of Palestinians murdered by the IDF around the al-Shifa hospital complex.

I spent Sallah day in bed because I couldn’t stop agonising over the raw suffering Palestinians were going through. I was so desperate to escape that tortuous reality. I spent Labour Day in a like manner, although I must confess that the reason for that is partly because I was still recuperating from certain health crisis I have been dealing with. Mayday, mayday, mayday. My subconsciousness must have been chanting this for the eternity I spent.

I basically spent the day counting sheep,` staring at the ceiling and looking for freedom.

The “mayday” procedure word was conceived as a distress call in the early 1920s by Frederick Stanley Mockford, officer-in-charge of radio at Croydon Airport, England. He had been asked to think of a word that would indicate distress and would easily be understood by all pilots and ground staff in an emergency. Since much of the air traffic at the time was between Croydon and Paris, he proposed the term “mayday”, the phonetic equivalent of the French m’aidez which means “help me” or m’aider, a short form of venez m’aider, which stands for “come help me”). Somehow, the term is unrelated to the May Day holiday.

Following tests, the new procedure word was introduced for cross-Channel flights in February 1923. The previous distress call had been the Morse code signal, SOS, but this was not considered suitable for voice communication, because of the difficulty in distinguishing the letter ‘S’ by telephone. In 1927, the International Radiotelegraph Convention of Washington adopted the voice call “mayday” as the radiotelephone distress call in addition to the SOS radiotelegraph or Morse code signal.

But my own distress is not for being stranded at sea or up in the sky in a malfunctioning aircraft. The circuitry of what I was feeling, what I was going through, I believed, has been so aptly captured by the African-American poet, Paul Lawrence Dunbar:

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,

When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—

When he beats his bars and he would be free;

It is not a carol of joy or glee,

But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,

But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings—

I know why the caged bird sings!

Mayday, mayday. mayday! Someone please help us!

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