Looking back on twenty eighteen, it has been a long year and I don’t agree with whoever that claims that time flew by. So I want to do a quick review of the events that made headlines, the ones that were the real hash tags of 2018, events momentous with large magnitude on humanity that will have aftershocks around us for a very long time.
One of the reasons why 2018 was long is that we HBO didn’t give us a game of thrones season so we were are waiting for April 2019 which seems so far but throners will wait, I will wait. So before I started writing I was debating with myself how to do the 2018 review if I would do month by month but then that would remind many of whoever passes by of school and I kind of know some of my readers not to associate with chronological way of doing things.
I will not start with the White House because by the time I finish penning this something will have happened there. So I will start with a death, one that many people who share their stories on-line will relate to in Uganda and world over because he had a book on amazon. I felt like the death of Joel Benjamin Ntwatwa was gone too soon, but having read some of his work, and how active the Uganda Blogging Community website and twitter page were active before his passing makes me be thankful for his life. I didn’t know Nevender for long, when I started this blogging thing, through the internet I got into contact with the Uganda Blogging Community and his blog was among those we were advised to visit to know what blogging was in a training (Blogging 101) I attended. And then I actually learned from him that consistence was key in content creating. How active he was on social media, then his advocacy about the disease that took him from us. Watching pumpkin soup by Kitara Nation in corporation with Nevender legacy at the national theater really tops up Joel Benjamin Ntwatwa life. And for him I will keep writing and sharing.
Let me just do the White house already and move on, the firings and the resignations were wow crazy, so when I would stay up watching TV in the night mum and my little brother would ask me in the morning so who did Trump fire this time. Throughout the year most notably he fired his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Antony General Jeff Sessions I personally thought would not be fired because maybe he had something on Trump, then the Chief of Staff (gate-keeper) Gen. John Kelly as if that was not enough then of late the Gen Mattis the Secretary of Defense. Trump has had enough key people live his administration that would make anybody question American democracy.
Still on the White House, Trump decided to pull out of the P5+1 deal that the Obama White House had signed with Iran. Trump hoped that Iran would cave and come back to the table running but the Persians seem to be ready to wait him out, till the next president. Iran has decided to stick to the agreement with other parties that were party to it originally. But one power in the East decided to go to war with America. In 2018 a full brown trade war broke out between China and America, with tariffs from America against all its allies and counter tariffs from China sending world trade into confusion. It’s still tricky to tell who is winning because the trade war had a huge impact on the midterms but it also looks like China is caving.
There was also the Skripal poisoning, which involved Mr. Skripal a former Russian double agent who now stays in the UK was poisoned allegedly by Russia with a nerve agent along with his daughter who was visiting him on her work leave. I just can’t figure out why she visited her father publically knowing his former life in the intelligence world since she stays in Russia. Anyway they both survived, but the UK had to expel Russian diplomats and Russia closed down a British consulate in one of the major Russian cities. Then there was talk of England not going to the world cup which was in Russia this same year.
I can’t talk about 2018 and I leave out the Cambridge Analytica saga were people data collected from their social media usage was misused, especially for people like me who spend half my day on-line. The scandal almost cost Mark Zuckerberg the founder and owner of Facebook his job, at some point he lost about billions of dollars in one night and his company lost almost half of its market value. But Mark Zuckerberg taking on questions from USA law makers was classic, wow it was if he was having a cup of tea, anyway that show down made the law makers in the UK and EU ready for him and Facebook was handed fines in Europe.
Meanwhile the war in Syria is still going on for the eighth year, it’s no longer a civil war any more as it has taken on many forms, a holy war on some fronts, other fronts some parts want to break of like the kurds, there is a proxy war the biggest I can remember. However the end is getting closer, this December Trump decided to pull out and hand Syria to Russia as a gift to Putin for putting him in power, hope its full payment. Same Trump had earlier on had ordered an attack in response to a claimed chemical attack by the Assad regime on the rebels.
One of the biggest events of 2018 was the winter Olympics hosted by South Korea, but were more about the two Koreas that decided to have one team, a joint team in the name peace. The sporting diplomacy latter paved the way for a meeting of the two leaders of both North and South Korea at the border. Kim Jong Un called it the start of a new history. All these events brought about the Trump-Kim Jong Un meeting which was more of a photo event or the official welcome of the boy to the Nuclear club since denuclearizing can never add up for North Korea after what happened to Libya.
Speaking of peace making and new histories there was another event in the horn of Africa, Ethiopia’s new prime minister decided to end a long stand war between his country and Eritrea a country that broke off the Capital of Africa. The Ethiopian PM visited Eritrea and then the President of Eritrea visited Addis Ababa embassies from both sides were reopened and it didn’t seem like Africa at some point but it was 2018 anyway.
Hold on, how many elections did we have this year? Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Russia can also be counted, Pakistan, Malaysia, Zimbabwe and maybe the midterms in the USA, am forgetting Italy. The rest was not that vital since I have failed to remember, was Iraq and Lebanon this year too? Anyway for Brazil and Mexico they decided to go the populist way just like Italy in Europe.
In Colombia Ivan Duque come to power after the opposition was basically not allowed to field a candidate. Did anyone notice that Vladimir Putin was re-elected? Well he was. In Pakistan it was cricket, okay Imran Khan now retired from the sport made his way to power with a slight help from the army. In Malaysia they had known one party that was synonymous with leadership of the country since independence in 1957, but through a funny coalition it all come down like a house of cards.
In Zimbabwe after a new form of coup at the end of 2017, they had an election without Robert Mugabe running, if you recall Grace Mugabe had claimed that her Husband would win an election even if he was dead so it was something special to have an election without him being the center of focus but still his party is still in power because they won. Zimbabwe was not the only thing that happened in Africa or in the south of the continent. South Africa also had some kind of funny change.
South Africa, Austria and Peru played what I personally call dirty democracy. In the Rainbow nation Jacob Zuma was forced to resign and his Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa got his half chance till official elections in 2018. For Austria they have changed leaders six (6) times since 2007 so their way of doing things is sort of special.
Brexit was still made headlines, daily hash tag trends at various times it affected the value of the starling. The new Iron Lady reached a deal with the European Union, but MPs in the UK from all sides didn’t like her deal at all, in her conservative party Theresa May went through a leadership challenge which she survived. Brexit is still on mainly because there is too much politics and personal political careers at play including the prime minister. The labor party has failed to committee its self yet, as the drama unfolds into 2018.
They were some special moments that offered hope for humanity in 2018 like the football (soccer) world cup in Russia, the hockey world cup in India all presenting shocker which were beautiful, the common wealth games in Gold Cost Australia especially for my own Uganda, the Tiger Woods come back but for me the stand out was the Royal Wedding of Prince Hurry and Megan. The other fairy tale was that of the Thailand 12 boys and their stupid coach who took them to a cave in the wet season, their rescue as the world watched on was one of those things that will always be special in human history. Hope is all we need and these moments brought to us.
So now let me taken on the sad part of my 2018 review. Indonesia has had two tsunamis this year the last one coming this December. They had two earth quakes one responsible for the earlier tsunami and the other this month of December was caused by a volcano that caused a land slide in water displacing water that caused the tsunami.
The real highlight for me for 2018 as a writer and one event I will always remember about 2018 is savage murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul Turkey. This event has changed what diplomacy is from 2018 to the future. The murder send all kinds of signals to writers of today and those that will come. The way it was done was saddening and they have failed to taken on the responsibility. I actually blame the USA, Turkey and the MBS’s Saudi Arabia.
That was my twenty eighteen 2018, my person of the year is Judge Kakuru have not written about him in my review because am looking for a guest writer to do Uganda. Am also looking for a blogger I can work with to do a special sports review for 2018. If you are out there please reach me. For now am working on my preview for 2019.