Lives Matter.

Someone made a comment to me today that the US should assassinate Putin and end the war in Ukraine. Of course it is unlikely to happen, but not for the reasons we might expect. It made me think about the killing of Osama Bin Laden, founder and first leader of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, On May 2, 2011. Osama bin Laden was shot and killed at his compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad by United States Navy Seals. I recall watching the events on the television and it horrified me. Was it right to kill Osama Bin Laden? . Why was he not brought to trial? Not only did the assassination of Bin Laden make a mockery of the US justice system, there were women and children in the compound who were also killed. They were dubbed collateral damage! The killing was neither ethical, nor sensible because if we look at the situation today the demise of al-Qaeda has given rise to ISIS. The Islamic State has turned US policy in the Middle East upside down. Having found a haven in Syria, ISIS paved the way for the US to have a greater military presence in Iraq and Syria and the affects are still being felt, especially in Syria where estimates of the total number of deaths in the Syrian Civil War, by opposition activist groups, vary between 603,064 and about 620,000 as of August 2023. Over 12 million Syrians remain forcibly displaced in the region, including almost 6.8 million within the Syrian Arab Republic and 5.4 million living as refugees in neighbouring countries Added to this the west has shown it is far less likely to rescue refugees who are Muslims than those who are Christian and living in predominately white European countries. Most Ukrainians have received evacuation assistance. The stark distinction between the treatment of refugees in the Ukraine and those in Muslim countries should be of major concern. In addition, this has highlighted the agenda of the extreme right in the US and the UK where racism has been a deeply entrenched historical problem and where the number of refugees is carefully monitored to make up just 1.3% of the population in America, 4.4% of the population of the UK and 3.2% in Australia. (UNHCR). This is hardly a picture of multiculturalism and it dances to the tune of right wing exceptionalism.