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By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD
“There are the times that try men’s soul”, noted Thomas Paine in his famous “Common Sense”, the lifeline to American independence. In situations of adversity and crises, leaders represent optimism and hope for change, not egoistic agenda and confusion…………… Peace requires new THINKING and New VISIONS that American President and Israeli PM do not have except the WAR agenda. Would Peace and Security grow out of the nowhere? Threatening rhetoric of pre-emptive war strikes on Iran nuclear’s centers and the nuisance of individualistic political indoctrination do not articulate rational and responsible opportunities for rational and intelligent leaders to engage in peaceful dialogue or conflict resolution. Obama appeared confused instead of pragmatic and visionary leaders, his face and body language did not seem to correspond to his movements of lips and the air he was breathing at the AIPAC stage. There is no scarcity of proactive Jewish intellectuals and scholars in Israel and America enriched with political imagination and strong sense of interests of the global humanity and people who love peace and harmony with the Arabs and Palestinians, and likewise, American thinkers and political visionaries who could do a better job than Netanyahu and Obama’s warrior mindsets.
In a knowledge-driven global culture of enhanced human communications and proactive visions for sustainable futuristic co-existence between Man and the encompassed Universe and divergent civilizations, we the educators and learners are to exercise rational capacity of thoughts, universal ideals and continuous intelligent foresights to change and adaptability to the future-making. This requires intelligent commitment to principles of international peace and security for all, non-aggression in the working of global system, protection of life and a balanced ecological culture of co-existence within the encompassed Universe-Man and the Humanity.
The presidential elections are dominating the 2012 political culture across the United States, the world is nervously watching when and where the insanity would hit next. It is predictably unpredictable curiosity of the unknown impulse; otherwise, the news media and war profiteering lobbyists would go bankrupt. Today, Obama spoke to the politically influential AIPAC Israeli lobby in Washington. Global peace, humanity and security of the Middle East region are the net causality of Obama’s egomaniac rhetoric. War of words and hasty and conveniently arrived personalized hypothesis of the few sadistic intellect on complex global issues are draining out the time, opportunities for dialogue and positive THINKING of the whole of the mankind. The Iran war hysteria is heightened with immense fear-mongering as was the case of the false Iraqi WMD hysteria and the continued bogus Wars of Terrorism were planned and launched against Iraq and Afghanistan. What did the present or the former US political leadership achieve out of the insanity of the Wars?
Throughout the decade long Iraq war, the Pentagon and the European hired mercenaries refused to count the civilian causalities in Iraq but impartial observations put the civilian figures killed, tortured to deaths including Abu Ghraib, Fluodga, Baghdad and across the land of the ancient in the range of three millions lives destroyed by the genocidal acts against people and humanity who had neither threatened nor had the ability to harm the US-European national sovereignty or countries. Would those responsible – George Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Tony Blair and so many others be brought to justice as was the case at Nuremberg trials and Japan after the WW2? The Western democracy appears too complacent in its own search for relevance. Huntington (‘the Clash of the Civilizations’) had the sense to speak of the decadent nature of the Western culture and civilization looking for change but standing firm in its self-engineered animosity against Muslims and Islam – the policy bubble and behavioral hysteria that continues to govern the mind and priorities of the Western foreign policy makers. The institutionalized animosity psyche propagated to poison the minds and perceptions of the ordinary Western people as if the Arabs-Muslims were born in the eye of the storm or as readily standing armies -“jihadist” against the Crusaders. After the 9/11, the US, Canada and Western Europeans invested billions and billions in devising the legal precepts – laws on terrorism, and empowering the intelligence agencies-CIA-FBI, Canadian apparatus and British and others to become THINK-TANKS for foreign policy making and systematic surveillance on public. The undemocratic secretive powers of the security agencies have alarmed the masses across North America and Western Europe leading to opposition and strong rejection of the War on Terrorism and killing of the humanity. Redefined NATO gets new life to cover its past failure in dealing with the USSR and to waging unchartered wars in the region of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the drone attacks, hired private mercenaries from Eastern Europe, CIA secret 100 or so offshore investigative centers in many former Eastern European – Middle Eastern hired Arab outlets are the framework of global terrorism planned and executed by the superpowers. Thomas Paine’s ideals of “Common Sense” and Thomas Jefferson’s articulated principles of Freedom, Liberty and Justice must be at great loss and their souls tormented by the intransigence of the few. The parallels to history are startling.
Colin Wilson (A Criminal History of Mankind) offers a rational context to the self-perpetuated decline of the Roman Empire as they were egomaniac leaders and full of the sensation of power, behaved like children and attempted at civilization to collapse into chaos, ruins and dark ages:
“The Romans were slipping into violence by a process of self-justification, and once a nation or an individual has started down this particular slope, it is impossible to apply breaks the Roman people were too unimaginative and short sighted to realize that, once murder has been justified on grounds of expediency, it can become a habit, then a disease.”
The US foreign policy is intimately linked to its geo-political grandeur interests not to the COMMON THINKING and primary interests of the masses. The biggest anti Iraq- Afghan wars rallies and protests were launched within the American – European people’s moral and intellectual cultural environment. The Middle East captive Arab-Muslim population showed no humanitarian reactions to the onslaught of the fellow human beings at Guantamobay, Abu Ghraib and Belgram prison in Afghanistan. Their leaders were complacent in the Bush led Crusade against Islam – few princely monsters gave logistical support to the US-Britain invasion of Iraq in 2003 – ultimately reasons for Iraq’s destructions and genocide – what a moral and intellectual tragedy that cannot be rationalized.
There is a continuing evolution of the WAR THINKING and conflict-making and conflict-keeping against Iran within the aegis of the current Obama presidency, more so now into the re-election agenda of the incumbent President. The international community is entrenched in a sickening dilemma of the few cancerous puppies unable to see the rational current of the global mankind – the net victims of monstrous culpability and fallibility of few sadistic minds. Is this not the same what was repeated during the WW1 and the WW2? Have we learned anything from the past to change anything because of the knowledge, history and facts of life to know our weaknesses and strengths of vision and to change and reform our minds and behavior when facts warrant a change, be it in policy making or global interactive behaviors? After all listening and learning are critical factors for the changing role of the 21st century political leadership and so is the flexibility mechanism to be built-in for effective leadership. But there are no intelligent and proactive leaders with a vision of the FUTURE to see the ONE Humanity except naïve and self-geared egomaniac full of the sensation of power using triviality and viciousness to torture and kill the mankind and destroy ecological habitats. But contrary to the brutal perceptions and actions of the US-former Europeans imperialists, the international community is informed, mature, and enjoys the moral and intellectual capacity to know and understand the facts of life and to challenge the politically imperiled insensitivity to universal accord and UNITY of the mankind against brutality of the Terrorism of Wars that unites them with a common fate more than divides them by any token of adversity and separate national identities.
Progressively evolving is a new information-age plausible global culture of THINKING of ONE HUMANITY and a new proactive civilization of strong bonds and affinity of people to people cultural communications – citizenry participation in social, economic and political THINKING and Globalization – man in one part of the world feels, thinks and acts-reacts to what happens to any man in another remote corners of the globe. Mankind is neither blind, nor inept, it defines its own purpose, meaning and identity for peace and harmony that the established institutions of governance – be it in America or Europe or elsewhere miserably failed to recognize or value their importance in global political affairs. Given the inherent systematic deficiencies and moral and intellectual corruption in the US – European – worldwide political governance and policy formulation toward the international community, the global community is actively organized and morally and intellectually powerful to halt all the belligerent nightmares planned and orchestrated by the upcoming warmongering against Iran. Contrary to the media’s misgivings, there are 120 nonaligned nations agreed to support Iran in its stance and its right to enrich uranium.
Noam Chomsky (“What are Iran’s intentions?” ICH: 03/3/2012) offer a rational context to the US media led highly charged agenda and forthcoming American presidential election hysterical paradigm:
“As tensions flare between Iran and the West …………Europeans regard Israel as the greatest threat to world peace. In the Arab world, Iran is disliked but seen as a threat only by a very small minority. Rather, Israel and the U.S. are regarded as the pre-eminent threat………….There is little credible discussion of just what constitutes the Iranian threat, though we do have an authoritative answer, provided by U.S. military and intelligence. Their presentations to Congress make it clear that Iran doesn’t pose a military threat…………… The understanding of serious Israeli and U.S. analysts is expressed clearly by 30-year CIA veteran Bruce Riedel, who said in January, “If I was an Iranian national security planner, I would want nuclear weapons” as a deterrent.”
Upon assuming the historical White House presidency in 2009, as British colonialist used to say “White man dressed in black clothe,” Obama appeared a forward looking person, he spoke of initiating dialogue and diplomacy with the Muslim world and to reapproach Iran for normalization of relations whose former dictator-Shah Pehlavi had the history of dealing with seven US presidents and acting as an American stooge in the Middle East affairs. Obama wanted to close the infamous Guantamobay Terrorism headquarters and did sign the first act of law, he wanted to stop the bogus wars but these illusions disappeared fast with the enforcing realities of self-interest and survival. Paul Craig Roberts called him “The World’s Least Powerful Man – the Obama Puppet”, rescinding all his commitments to “Yes We Can” and global peacemaking. Obama and Netanyahu both have serious problems of self-awareness and intellectual consciousness of the realities of prevalent culture and civilizations if they wish to pursue animosities and preemptive war attacks. They should first know the perceived enemy to be relevant and effective for their own good. America is just over two centuries old, and Israel was established in 1948. Iran has thousands of years of culture and flourishing civilization. If you start throwing stones in the sea, the water of the sea will ripple but will not change its course; you will simply be wasting your energies with abnormal acts of behavior. Onlookers at sea sites could THINK, you may have some mental disorder. Obama and Nentanhyu do not know the people of Iran nor understand the Arab-Islamic culture and civilization to deal with them. This is what caused strategic failures to the US-NATO in Iraq and Afghanistan. The animosity dots are disconnected. Obama apologized for the unknowing act of the Qur’an burning in Kabul. Thomas Jefferson had three volume copies of the Al-Qura’an in the library that he used to devise legal jurisprudence and moral and intellectual stipulations for rights and obligations for the American Constitution. Was this historical fact unknown to the US politicians-leaders? Muslims know, believe and respect the Bible and Talmud (Torah) as part of the Abrahamic monolithic faith. For centuries, the Europeans religiously persecuted Jews, and finally the Holocaust that was planned and carried out by the Europeans, not by Arabs, Muslims or Iranian. Recall, throughout the formative history, who took the dispersed and persecuted Jews to safety, equal rights and protections and honored them with distinctions of participation in the Arab intellectual culture and governance – The Arab civilization in al-Al Andalusia- Spain for eight hundred years – longest period of any human civilization. There is lot of learning for the both to come to understand how they want to move to the future of perceived confrontations. What if Obama had the courage to act like Anwar Saddat – the Egyptian President who took initiatives to go to Tel Aviv and address the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) for a new beginning in the dull and crazy Middle East politics? Could Obama have not done the same to go to Iran or invite Khomeini – President Amideenjadad to Washington to have face to face dialogue? Would this have stopped the earth from rotating against the sun or would the sky have fallen on the Antarctica? Intellectually and morally spirited scholars and experts hold the view that all man-made problems are solvable given the will and rational flexibility and strategies to find workable solutions. The mankind views these leaders performing acts of absurdity on stage with awesome frustration and dismay. Are the leaders not supposed to lead? Do the Americans and the Europeans have any intelligent leaders who can lead for the larger interests, peace and global security of the humanity? The forthcoming presidential elections in America do not indicate any hope for change in the status-quo of its policies and behaviors in international affairs.
“There are the times that try men’s soul”, noted Thomas Paine in his famous “Common Sense”, the lifeline to American independence. In situations of adversity and crises, leaders represent optimism and hope for change, not egoistic agenda and confusion. With massive natural devastations over the weekend, America is mourning the loss of 38 deaths, 92 tornados in one Friday and pain and anguish of thousands and thousands destroyed lives and helpless people engaged in prayers and salvation. It was an opportunity for self-reflection and self- actualization for Obama and for America. The Holy Bible REMINDS to Man – the Chief Creation of God on Earth that extreme Natural Disasters are prelude to staunch punishment from God – be accountable and do not transgress in the lands. Planet Earth and the encompassed Universe are not the outcomes of any government or legislative body or opinion syndicates-lobbyists nor do they work according to the laws of the parliaments/congress or the man-made futile systems. Not a world was uttered by President Obama on the havoc unfolding human tragedies and sufferings of the people of America except to appease the politically indoctrinated sermon to the Israeli lobbyists. To enlist support of the powerful AIPAC lobbyist group in Washington for his re-election, Obama addressed the issues of mutual interests on Iran, Middle East, peace between Israel and Palestine and the Iran’s nuclear weapon program. The choices of words and punch lines clearly demonstrate one track approach to talk of the Israeli perceptions of the manufactured paradigm, not necessarily befitting to the global role of the US as a superpowers. Comforting the major paradoxes of history as Arnold Toynbee (A Study of History) described warrior as dreamers devoid of moral and intellectual imagination when they come close to stagnation they jump to irrational outbursts and conclusions about the facts of life. Wrong people, glued to wrong THINKING, do the wrong things without any rational sense of time, people’s interest and history. Obama failed to see the interest of the global community to a peaceful approach to conflict management through dialogue and non-rhetoric belligerent statements. Naïve egoism and one-sided complacency to Israel’s interest cannot further the cause of peace in the region but an America free to think on its own and defining its own policy free of the lobbyists entrapment could opt out of the political fantasy to global outreach to regain respect and reentry to global moral and intellectual consciousness.
To Obama’s mind, America and Israel do have historical bonds of friendship but in a global context they are disconnected to the rest of the international community. America and Israel are alone, not part of the global thinking and agenda for peace and co-existence. America and Israel need a political and intellectual challenge to come to terms with peace and security but the oil-soaked dumb and intellectually sold out oil producing Arab leaders cannot provide one. Peace requires new THINKING and New VISIONS that American President and Israeli PM do not have except the WAR agenda. Would Peace and Security grow out of the nowhere? Threatening rhetoric of pre-emptive war strikes on Iran nuclear’s centers and the nuisance of individualistic political indoctrination do not articulate rational and responsible opportunities for rational and intelligent people to engage in peaceful dialogue or conflict resolution. Obama appeared confused instead of being pragmatic and visionary leaders, his face and body language did not seem to correspond to his movements of lips and the air he was breathing at the AIPAC stage. There were visible protests outside the AIPAC complex against the Israeli-American policies organized by Jewish political leaders, American public and Palestinians peace activists. There is no scarcity of proactive Jewish intellectuals and scholars in Israel and America enriched with political imagination and strong sense of the global humanity and people who love peace and harmony with the Arabs and Palestinians, and likewise American thinkers and political visionaries who could do a better job than Netanyahu and Obama’s warrior mindsets. Moving facts of life speak louder than dry inked words. Ignorance of the facts of life, intransigence and aggression against the creations of God and Planet do not cultivate opportunities for peacemaking. Nobody in the region has the capacity or will to threaten Israel or America’s security. Obama failed to see the bigger picture of the American national interests and the converging essence of the vital interests of the international community; he remained entangled to worship the form in attracting roaring applause and forgot the essence of peace and security. In a political culture overwhelmed with 2012 presidential election agenda and much charged by conscious intransigence of the few, America and Israel are fearful of the unknown and have no vision for peace and co-existence either in the region or in a global context. Peace and security are not one sided pursuits nor can be experimented in a lab.
President Eisenhower in his farewell address (January 17, 1961), to the American people must have sensed the decadent futuristic moral, intellectual and political culture in the US governance to warn his countrymen:
“Together we must learn how to compose difference, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose.”
(Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution, and comparative Western-Islamic cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications in international affairs. comments are welcome at : email@example.com).