letters equator 1

May 2022

Infinite escape

I have seen men always on the run
from the mud houses
from the hatred of the brothers
from the broken lands
from forgotten diseases.
I have seen women always on the run
from the violence of men
from the burnt villages
from love sold
from the hunger of the children.
I have seen children always on the run
from the streets of evil
with weapons drawn
from the stones thrown
from the wars of the fathers.

Selective walls and minor wars

We hope that the wall is solid and the barbed wire is not severed, because I really don't want a family of Syrian Muslims at home. Perhaps it would be worse to think of welcoming blacks, perhaps even gay people. Roma children are more or less white, but surely educated to steal everything they find. Please, a little respect for our traditions. Refugees must respond to specific characteristics: white, blue-eyed, Christian and heterosexual. A great invention that should be worked on, but which already seems to be working, are border walls that automatically select good migrants from bad ones. And then waves of the sea that bring to safety acceptable families and instead boats that sink together with their load of human waste.

Business is business and there is no doubt that the main business in the world is the production and trafficking of arms. A systematic rearmament means guaranteed employment for many workers. And good earnings for CEOs and executives. Scientists, engineers, biologists, computer scientists who are in the shadows, perhaps out of humility, continue to design new and increasingly sophisticated weapons, real jewels. In the evening in front of the news reunited with their families, perhaps they will explain to their children that the powerful hypersonic missile that has just killed a hundred people was invented by their father. Without them, the powerful could do nothing.

Are we aware or not that these are widespread opinions and in the end we resign ourselves that they are the dominant ones?

After the selective walls, the differentiated migrations and the unsolved questions of peoples such as the Kurds, the Rohinga, the Palestinians, we also have wars of greater and lesser importance. The minor wars are those far from the West such as in Yemen, Ethiopia, Syria, Northeast Congo, Darfur and Sudan. All conflicts with hundreds of thousands of deaths and mass rapes, hunger as a weapon for the annihilation of populations, the destruction of villages and hospitals. And those fleeing these wars have no escape, they find high walls of barbed wire, hatred and indifference.

If Judge Falcone were still alive, he would suggest checking as he had done with the Cosa Nostra the bank accounts of politicians and soldiers and their relatives and friends who have relationships, shares, consultancy contracts with weapons factories. Businesses that are producing mind-boggling profits, dramatically increasing inequalities and the progressive impoverishment of the strata of society that are suffering the economic consequences of wars.

Pope Francis reiterated "I was ashamed to hear that some states want to increase military spending".

In Italy, the figures for rearmament expenses and earnings are not published. The former concern the population, while the latter are the prerogative of a few: the usual financial oligarchs, the usual families of industrialists, bankers. And the power of the military continues to strengthen.

The war does not stop by continuing to produce and sell weapons. Public money must go to health, to schools, to safeguarding the environment.

We have an ongoing pandemic and we are living the consequences of death, unemployment and misery. The good intentions of the first months of 2020 dictated by the great collective fear of the virus have now been canceled. The promises of a real change in health through investments in territorial medicine and public hospital echoes by now.

The social and political role of health workers within the community needs to be rediscovered. As doctors we must be against any war, fight against inequalities and discrimination, put care before any logic of profit.

Poetry and article by Dr. Gianfranco Morino, Head of World Friends Kenya

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