The ongoing Syrian onslaught spilled across two borders today as gun-toting combatants attacked refugees in Turkey and killed a journalist in Lebanon.
As a proponent of world peace and vocal advocate of non-violence, you may be wondering how a Peacenik like myself might address the atrocities taking place in Syria.
Here’s what I would do: deploy, either by air-drop or ground shipping, a community-empowering station called a Lifebox into cities and towns all across Syria. Lifebox runs off renewable wind and solar power to produce clean drinking water while serving as an Internet hotspot.
Each Lifebox also comes equipped with a self-updating 3D printer, capable of processing scrap metal and waste materials to manufacture electronic devices and other useful objects, all built according to 3D blueprints shared on public databases.
Now, thanks to Lifebox, communities will have access to the tools they need for self-sufficiency. More importantly these stations would eventually provide each citizen with a connection to the Internet, most likely with a tablet type cell phone printed by the Lifebox itself.
The Syrian population, no longer starving and armed with a mechanism to channel the voice of the people into real political action, will ultimately coordinate and mobilize until their government capitulates to their demands. The conflict would be over and peace and stability would reign.
Of course, the astute among you will recognize the Lifebox as pure magic, for they do not actually exist. At least not yet. Nor have we hashed out an effective e-voting type system that leverages cell-phone technology to give every person an equal say in how things run.
Still, all of the ingredients needed to build a Lifebox – cheap & effective renewable energy, super-powerful 3D printers, and a robust digital democratic system – are all coming down the pipe and could be here within a decade or two. Knowing this should at least uplift the rest of us, seeing how the potential for world peace is at an all time high.
Nevertheless, until the technological marvel known as a Lifebox becomes feasible, I don’t know any easy way to help the Syrian people.
One thing is for sure, I’d hate to see yet another predominantly militarized campaign ravage the Syrian population. Iraq, Afghan, and Libya all cost a fortune in blood and treasure and left an atrocious aftertaste.
There has got to be a better way, and soon enough there will be.