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Unaccompanied immigrant children, lack of solutions in Gaza, democracy in Thailand, isolation of Britain, and why Zimbabwe wasn't invited to the Africa Summit

This week's round-up of commentary covers the tragedy of unaccompanied immigrant children, the lack of solutions in Gaza, the problems for democracy in Thailand, the isolation of Britain, and why the US didn't invite Zimbabwe to the Africa Summit.

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    Yoselin Cano, 5, takes part in a vigil for immigrant rights and the protection of women and children fleeing violence in Central America, on Salvadoran Heritage Day in Los Angeles, California August 6.
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Ahora / Holguín, Cuba
The tragedy of unaccompanied immigrant children in the US

“[I]f the government decides to resolve the situation with strict enforcement of current laws, the existing immigration chaos will only be exacerbated,” writes Albor Ruiz about the unaccompanied children pouring over the southern border of the United States. “This chaos is the product of a long list of injustices and mistakes.... Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has said that children arrested on the border are prioritized for deportation, emphasizing that immigration laws will be enforced regardless of [their] age.... The children do not come in search of the illusory ‘American dream,’ but to escape the dangers of poverty and desperation, drug traffickers’ violence and murderous gangs, which have displaced an entire generation.” 

The Guardian / London
No easy fix in Gaza Strip

Recommended: Border crisis 101: eight things to know about unaccompanied children

“America has to get over its obsession with happy endings or definitive solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian problem. Because right now there are not any...,” writes Aaron David Miller. “[Secretary of State John] Kerry is out of sync, both in trying (and failing) for ceasefire after ceasefire and in trying (and flailing [sic]) to make peace.... The key next step is for the US to see its role as small, not big – transactional, not transformational.”

Bangkok Post / Bangkok, Thailand
Is Thailand really ready for democracy? 

“I have heard many comments [on] ... whether Thais are ready for democracy and whether Thais ... truly understand what it means,” writes Pichai Chuensuksawadi, referring to the coup in June. “There have been suggestions, for example, that candidates for elected MPs should only come from the ‘knowledgeable and educated,’... that only taxpayers should be allowed to vote, or that voters should at least be given a test on what democracy means before they are allowed to vote.... [W]e should be honest with ourselves and admit that we are not yet a democracy.... [W]e will never have a democracy like countries in the West.... [O]ur culture and our traditions are different.... But unless we find a political structure that allows all stakeholders their space and say in governance, we will once again be back to where we were before.”

Arab News / Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Britain’s era of self-imposed isolation

“[I]solationism was made clear by the rapid rise of the UK Independent Party (UKIP), which is ideologically anti-foreign and opposed to the expansion of [European Union] power...,” writes Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg. “UKIP came first in the 2014 European Parliament elections ... probably the first time in a century that a party other than Labour and Conservative parties came first in a nationwide election.... Conservatives [tried] ... to demonstrate that they were more anti-immigrant than UKIP. They sent out vans with messages encouraging illegal immigrants to ‘go home’ as well as calling for tougher policies against immigrants’ right to benefits and the welfare state.... It is ironic that Britain, with a long imperialist and aggressively intervention past, and with a domain covering seven continents, would now adopt isolationist policies.”

The Herald / Harare, Zimbabwe
Don’t brush aside Zimbabwe

“The US cherry-picked African countries to attend the [US-Africa] summit [Aug. 5-6], which is within its right...,” writes Tichaona Zindonga on US relations across Africa. “There will be 47 countries [at] the table with Obama, that is, including the International Criminal Court-wanted Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta. The US says it has not invited Zimbabwe because it maintains sanctions against President Mugabe and key officials ‘over suppression of democracy and what Washington sees as politically motivated violence....’ Zimbabwe is the incoming chair of both [the Southern African Development Community] and the [current deputy of the] African Union.... [Now] the US decides to ostracise Zimbabwe, which will preside over continental affairs for a good year to come. How constructive does the US want to be with Africa?”

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