Friday, November 11, 2005

11th November 2005

This isn't funny: I nearly forgot Remembrance Day.
Remembrance Day or Armistice Day is a day of commemoration observed in the Commonwealth of Nations and various European countries (including France and Belgium) to commemorate World War I and other wars. It is observed on November 11 to recall the end of World War I on that date in 1918.
Most of our Western-centric attention seems to be taken up with one war in particular these days, but take a look around the globe and the situation is - as ever - horrifying. The following is taken from (emphasis added by yours truly):
The United Nations defines "major wars" as military conflicts inflicting 1,000 battlefield deaths per year. In 1965, there were 10 major wars under way. The new millennium began with much of the world consumed in armed conflict or cultivating an uncertain peace. As of mid-2005, there were eight Major Wars under way (down from 15 at the end of 2003), with as many as two dozen "lesser" conflicts ongoing with varying degrees of intensity.
Current conflicts include:

Algeria - insurgency
Angola - Cabinda
Burma - insurgency
China - Senkaku Islands
China - Spratly Islands
Colombia - insurgencies
Congo (Zaire) - Congo war
Georgia - civil war
India - Assam
India - Kashmir
India - Naxalite uprising
Indonesia - Aceh
Indonesia - Kalimantan
Indonesia - Maluku
Indonesia - Papua / West Irian
Israel - Al-Aqsa Intifada
Ivory Coast - civil war
Korea - Korean war
Laos - Hmong insurgency
Moldova - Transdniester
Namibia - Caprivi Strip
Nepal - Maoists
Nigeria - civil disturbances
Pakistan - Baluchistan
Peru - Shining Path
Philippines - Moro uprising
Russia - Chechen uprising
Somalia - civil war
Spain - Basque uprising
Sudan - Darfur
Thailand - Islamic rebels
Turkey - Kurdistan
Uganda - civil conflict
United States - Afghanistan
United States - Djibouti
United States - Iraq
United States - Philippines
Uzbekistan - civil disturbances
Yemen - Sheik al-Houti

Most of these are civil or "intrastate" wars, fueled as much by racial, ethnic, or religious animosities as by ideological fervor. Most victims are civilians, a feature that distinguishes modern conflicts. During World War I, civilians made up fewer than 5 percent of all casualties. Today, 75 percent or more of those killed or wounded in wars are non-combatants.

Sounds like something too big to forget, doesn't it?