When we thought the world has made significant strides in terms of technology, human civilisation and democracy, the current headlines raise many questions on whether the human race is as advanced as we thought and if it is, who is benefiting from it. Something does not seem to add up somewhere.
The disappearance of the MH370 Malaysian flight on March 8 remains one of the most curious mysteries of our times. This happens at a time when the human race is convinced that with technology very little or nothing is impossible.
A few years back a guy called Saddam Hussein was pulled out of hole in Baghdad where he was hiding from an onslaught over allegations of stocking weapons of mass destruction.
While the weapons were not found, they managed to pull the guy out of a hole in the city of Baghdad. This makes one wonder how this world, with all the technology at its disposal, cannot find an object as big as a Boeing 777-200ER carrying 239 passengers most of whom may be the same size as Saddam Hussein. It is so mysterious that it feels there is something the world is not being told.
I am left heartbroken because I had so much faith in this technology. I just cannot imagine how much has been invested in satellite technology including numerous space projects and yet the world looks stupid before what seems to be an easy click and zoom satellite exercise.
It is even more troubling to think that George Clooney launched a satellite surveillance project in 2011 to capture possible threats to civilians in one North African country, observe the movement of displaced people, detect bombed and razed villages, or note other evidence of pending mass violence.
Even with that kind of equipment it has taken the world so much time and effort to locate the whereabouts of the MH370. It is a mystery that has even evaded even our headline prophets whose spiritual powers have created all sorts of miracles from cash-in-your-pocket, grass eating to weight loss. Their visions have been blurred on this one.
The second mystery is the recent annexing of Crimea by Russia. When we thought the days of territorial expansionism were over, Russia was slowly, but surely pouncing, feasting on the confusion that beset Ukraine.
While the European block should partly take the blame for acting slowly on the Ukraine crisis, the Russian action on Crimea again raises interesting questions.
For starters Russia has resolutely and arrogantly stood as an ideological sovereign state. They refused to align themselves to the whims of Western democratic narratives choosing to have their own model.
With that came economic growth after it embraced capitalism, but within their own ideology, different from the West.
To date the Russian economy ranks eighth largest by nominal gross domestic product and sixth largest by purchasing power parity. Russia’s extensive mineral and energy resources, the largest reserves in the world, have made it one of the largest producers of oil and natural gas globally. Perhaps they have every reason to behave like a high school bully.
The Crimean crisis has pitted Russia against a world that believes in democracy and sanctions as a behaviour change model. But it’s a world that has been partly weakened by economic decline and recession, but still has the audacity to impose sanctions on a country that can either operate independently or decide to hit back on those countries that depend on it for important supplies.
In short, it is a complex scenario dealing with Russia at the moment without questioning the strength of democracy against adversity. China is watching and may be having the last laugh.
The last paradox is that of the Oscar Pistorius trial. The hype that has characterised his trial makes it appear as if he is the first high profile celebrity to emerge from our southern neighbour.
The case of Lucky Dube’s murderer has not received such attention even though his music soothed many people’s hearts and transformed societies across the world.
It is interesting how this world can convert other people’s loss of lives into money spinning ventures.
A special television channels has been established dedicated to his trial and with the whole thing bordering on the academic debate over whether he murdered, even though he admits killing his girlfriend.
Children watching the channel can surely think it is okay to kill as long it is not murder and if anyone tells you it is murder find a good lawyer to put good and confusing words in few sentences to discount intent and you are out of the woods.