America Needs Critical Thinking and Sense of Humanity

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AfghanFuneralDroneMahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

[Afghan funeral party. ]

Editor’s note: I highly recommend the article “Why Was Pakistan Drone Strike So Deadly?” as a case in point for Dr. Khawaja’s article.

On January 16, 2014, CNN moderator Don Lemon asked Professor William Pollack (Clinical Psychologist, Harvard University), why are we witnessing daily carnage of civilian bloodbaths – shootings in schools, shopping malls, movie theatres and street grocery stores?  What has gone wrong with the American Society?  The answer Professor Pollack offered tells a lot and perhaps not too many morally conscientious Americans could disagree with. America lives in a “disconnect” world being unaware of the surrounding real world. An imaginary world of self- indulgence in a prevalent culture of cell phones, text messages, footballs match shouting and excluded entirely from the mainstream of human realities. Another female commentator explains: we are waging wars on ourselves by disregarding the world around us. Once the cell phone is turned off, we are not sure, how to cope with the impinging real world except taking out guns, shooting at random and killing the innocent people.  One wonders if this is what America has come to absorb – fair as foul and foul is fair – the traditional American moral and intellectual psyche wants practical and remedial answers which nobody seem to articulate. Are the American moral and intellectual values been replaced with self-generated violence, hatred of others and self- survival of the fittest?  Questions and answers on the news media come and go but the societal reality remains the same.

A year earlier, Finian Cunningham (“Killing Children Is the All-American Way.” Dissident Voice: 12/22/2012) raised similar concerns on the growing diasporas of the US political culture:

“Americans need to look at how their society has increasingly become a psychopathic culture of death over many decades. Americans need to realize how their hallowed capitalist ideology of the putative American Dream is in practice nothing but the destruction of communities and millions of individuals on the altar of elite profit-making. Think about the glib, common parlance used to describe the process of human destruction. Investors “make a killing”; workforces are “liquidated”; society is facing a “fiscal cliff”.

In reality, the long waited Third World War was launched by George W. Bush in March 2003 against Iraq. After its failure in Afghanistan in 2001 to come to terms with Reason, Washington- based Industrial and Military Complex prepared the US politicians including the Congress for another global savagery without any reason. From George W. Bush to Barrack Obama, the global insanity of wars has not halted in any manner. Both betrayed the trust of the American masses that elected them to foster peace and harmony across the nations of the world. America cannot exclude itself from the consequences of what it does to others. Today is the memorial day of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had he lived longer to see how his dream was sabotaged – The Vision of a New America, his moral and intellectual spirit would have been more tormented: “He said, O Lord, we ought to be, what we are not.”  Agreeably, we live in God’s created One World- One Planet. All and every things that happen affect us all. At human conscientious level, words depict a picture of virtual reality, The CNN moderator was worried and horrified as to what is next –  the cost of political success of the few warmongers leading America to ruthlessness and bloody degeneration?  Are we in a different time span than the political affairs, action-reaction of violence and threats of aggression and what oppressed the mankind prior to the imposed human insanity of the WW2?  Both World Wars were fought by man against man. Leaders and nations complacent in making the Two World Wars are again coercing the mankind to animalistic thinking and behavior without realizing the consequences of their cruelty and ambitions to dominate the world. They failed to learn from the living history. Peace never grows out of war as wars kill people. Who else should know better than the Europeans and American who orchestrated the grand scheme of things to wage wars and control and manage the global herd as part of their economic development scenarios? Immanuel Kant’s spirit of the Perpetual Peace’ must have been disturbed and crying loud when the Europeans and American leaders are talking of more wars to show perversion from their own history. This week, the disclosures of pictures of burning of the dead bodies of Iraqi soldiers re-ignited the decadent American culture of morality and humanity.

Helen Pow (“Pictures Show U.S. Marines Burning Bodies of Iraqi Insurgents”  “Information Clearing House – “Daily Mail.”  01/16/2014) attempts to show the results of the planned cruelty of the US led war in Iraq. More than a decade later the shocking images and explosive photos depicting U.S. soldiers burning the bodies of Iraqi fighters at Fallujah in 2004 have already sparked a Marine Corps investigation. Two pictures show a Marine pouring what looks like gasoline on the remains of enemy soldiers and another two images appear to show the remains go up in flames. Two more capture the horrifically charred bodies. Other horrific pictures show a Marine squatting next to a skull to pose for the camera. His U.S. military uniform is clear, on his face he wears a wide grin and he is pointing his gun at the skeleton. Another picture shows a soldier rifling through the pockets of the scant remains of an Iraqi soldier

Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steven Warren said the proper handling of war remains is set by U.S. military regulation and that the actions depicted in the photos ‘are not what we expect from our service members.’ Cmdr Speaks said the deplorable acts depicted in the images are not representative of the millions of hardworking men and women who have served in the Middle East.

‘The actions depicted in these photos are not what we expect from our service members, nor do they represent the honorable and professional service of the more than 2.5 million Americans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan,’ he told MailOnline.

James Howard Kunstler (“America the Horror Show.” Clusterfuck nation,
Comment on Current Events by the Author of “The Long Emergency” 12/17/2012) points out that:

The USA has an act that perfectly expresses its true spirit as the horror show nation among nations: the random mass slaughter of little children by a maniac. Is it not so that the failure to protect little children from harm is the most shameful weakness an adult human can present? We live in physical surroundings that are the perfect growth medium for serial killers, mass murderers, psychopaths with no feeling, and sado-masochists preoccupied only with the ritual orchestration of their own shame and guilt in the service of inflicting pain….. There are enough weapons loose in the USA to conduct a full-scale Civil War right now. And probably enough ill feeling. Just pick the flavor of the conflict you want: ideological? Religious? Racial? Regional?

As if the worldwide reported horrors stories of American killings of the civilians in Afghanistan combat operation were not enough to touch the global human conscience, more revelations appear damn disturbing.  Helen Pow (“Pictures Show U.S. Marines Burning Bodies of Iraqi Insurgents”  “Information Clearing House – “Daily Mail”  01/16/2014), narrates that in a 2005 report, U.S. soldiers in Gumbad, Afghanistan were investigated for burning the bodies of two enemy fighters. The men argued they set alight the corpses for hygienic reasons, after local citizens had not retrieved the bodies after 24 hours. A report concluded that the action indicated poor judgement but was not a war crime.

It stated: ‘Based on the criminal investigation, there was no evidence to substantiate the allegation of desecration or any violation of the Law of War. However, there was evidence of poor decision-making and judgment, poor reporting and lack of knowledge and respect for local Afghan customs and tradition.’

After the US led bogus War on Terrorism, there is a frightening trend in crime explosion against the innocent humanity within America and across the globe. The warmongers go freely to massacre innocent women, children and rape the youngsters – a prevalent culture of the crimes of the Empires. The Arab Middle East and other Muslim countries are no exception. In the 21st century knowledge-based global culture and despite having moral and intellectual capacity to challenge the political madness, nobody takes up the initiatives at conflict management and crisis management. Leaders appear more of insane egoistic character than peacemakers. They are unmindful of the consequences of their own vicious thought and priorities simply to double the imagery of popularity number games.  For over a decade, in Iraq, Afghanistan and its spill-over into North-West Pakistan, millions and millions of people have been victimized by the US failing war strategy.

When nations as big and materistically powerful as America is, act to violate the sanctity of human ethical values, it brings us to question whether the given nation is indifferent to its own doing and the ultimate consequences or simply moving on a path of self-engineered moral and intellectual collapse. In December, a 39 years old Indian female diplomat Devyani ­Khobragade was arrested in New York on violations of US labor laws, strip-searched and abused by the police treatment. Her diplomatic immunity was ignored. Had this happened to an American doorman in a developing country or its agent of some kind without diplomatic status, the US would have immediately claimed diplomatic status and asked for release of the person. Not so, to the female young Indian diplomat who was insulted and dehumanized by the police cruelty. If there was a legal problem, it could have been referred to a local court of law but her arrest was violation of the diplomatic protocols. It shows a marked discriminatory behavior by a superpower toward other members of the global community. Whether people are killed in a move theatre, innocent children murdered at Sandy Hook Newtown, New Mexico school shooting, Columbine School in Colorado, women and innocent children massacred in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, it gives pain and anguish to the global humanity. Insanity turned into guns and bullets and drone attacks, lacks sensitivity of color, age, gender, ethnicity, religion and geography, it is the controlling mind that must be changed and reformed. To many, war is entertainment videos and killing of others a cherished hobby to be practiced in remote Afghanistan and Pakistan. Surely, President Obama and other one-track thinking politicians would need educated advisors, people of new ideas and creative strategies of critical thinking and human values to deal with draconian minds, policies and practices unleashing the killing of the innocent. It can be done and should be done. Finian Cunningham (“Killing Children Is the All-American Way.” Dissident Voice: 12/22/2012) points out the context:

 “this is from the man who orders drone kill lists in Afghanistan and Pakistan every week that involve the “collateral damage” of children being ripped to pieces….This is from the man who immediately agreed to millions of dollars worth of more weaponry to the Israeli state fresh from its mass murder of innocents in Gaza. …Through the pain and suffering of the latest mass shooting in the US, maybe ordinary Americans are beginning to realize just how big a change is really needed in their country……..If human life can be violated and cheapened on such a vast, systematic scale, both in America and around the world, then the loss of 20 children in Newtown is, to be honest, a price that is negligible, if not worth it.”

A joint investigative report by the Stanford Law School and New York University School of Law published in September 2012 entitled Living Under Drones, and based on over 130 interviews carried out in Pakistan offers most credible but horrifying record of the American operated drone war. The Stanford University-New York University authors explicitly challenge the US version and deny the official claims of precise surgical strikes by the drones: “This narrative is false.” The Director of the charitable organization Reprieve is quoted in the report as saying:

“An entire region is being terrorized by the constant threat of death from the skies…. Their way of life is collapsing… kids are too terrified to go to school, adults are afraid to attend weddings, funerals, business meeting or anything that involves gathering in groups.”

If Immanuel Kant’s ‘Perpetual Peace’ was taken seriously, today’s America and Europe would have been at peace, not wars within themselves and with the global community. The crush for war is instinctively part of human ignorance and arrogance. Wars contradict the human Nature and the Nature of the living Universe. It is co-existence and peace that brings people and nations together and helps to flourish life and relationships befitting to the human Nature and the Nature of planet Earth and the larger Universe. Civilizations grow out of peace not conflicts. None of these civilized values are part of the US-European agenda for the mankind. If there were any global moral, spiritual and intellectual powerhouses, they should have taken initiatives to find peaceful ways and means to end the authoritarian hostilities and massacres of the innocent civilians. The history speaks loud and clear that few powerful rulers with individualistic absolutism and most often, mentally retarded persons have always driven the mankind to large scale slaughters,  victimization, deprivation and long term scars of why and how it happened, it never goes away from the human memory and written pages of human history.

James Howard Kunstler (“America the Horror Show.” Clusterfuck  Nation
Comment on Current Events by the Author of “The Long Emergency” 12/17/2012) strikes a staunch REMINDER to American politicians for critical thinking and to encompass a better sense of humanity:

 Let me remind you that there is a range of thought and feeling evinced in human culture that no longer exists in America. These things were called virtues. They are qualities in thought and action related to goodness and excellence, and they are in very short supply these days in the USA, though we are well-supplied with fakes and approximations of virtue — such as the moments of sham heroism witnessed yesterday afternoon and evening by men watching televised football. What matters now is that an epochal undertow of events is dragging this enormous nation into an economic convulsion that will inevitably turn political. I don’t think that our society can be redeemed in its current form. It has to pass through a tribulation that demands the reemergence of adult male humans who know how to be men in more than one dimension. And you who make it through to the other side will barely comprehend the monsters left behind, or how they made themselves that way.

 

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012.

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