Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja
“A vision without a task is but a dream. A task without a vision is drudgery. A vision with a task is the hope of the world.” (Inscription from a church in Sussex, United Kingdom).
“There are the times that try men’s soul”, noted Thomas Paine in his famous “Common Sense”, the moral and intellectual hub of the American independence. In situations of adversity and crises, competent leaders represent hope and optimism for change and conflict management, not egoistic political agenda and animosity.
Leaders who could not lead
Human nature longs for peace and harmony not violence and conflict. Nobody can invent peace, it needs to be discovered out of the planned efforts to make it happen. None of the contemporary leaders can enjoin a vision of peace or contribute positively toward sustainable future-making. Egoistic global leaders are in disarray and intellectual decline to think of peace and the engaging interests of the informed mankind. Is the Ukrine crisis a revival of history – warriors as dreamers exposing the mythology of ideological warfare? Not so, on the real confrontational fault lines. NATO was the readily available face of the Western alliance to challenge the might of the Russian-led former USSR communist bloc. All adversaries formed the framework of mutually convenient co-existence without any real warfare. They agreed on mutual coordination to help in making the humanity helpless. But now President Putin seems to have re-emerged the sole arbitrator of Russian nationalism by occupying Crimea and continuing to destabilize and dominate the rest of Eastern Ukraine despite minor diplomatic and economic threats from the West. Unlike George W. Bush, President Obama or the EU affiliates could not give 48 hours notice to President Putin as they did to Saddam Hussein to ward-off the Russian intransigence against the globally recognized sovereignty of Ukrine. The US and its allies know their limits and pre-occupation with bogus wars on terrorism and how much credibility they have in world affairs for any unilateral action. The EU economic interests and priorities overwhelm their political will to threaten Russia with a military challenge. “Lies of the Iraq War” certainly remind all how some of the leaders betrayed public interest and orchestrated lies to wage aggression against a small and helpless country without any rationale. The Western warriors with small wisdom and big thinking are not remorseful for the cruelty of killing approximately three millions people and destructions of habitats in Iraq. They simply attribute all reasoning to the “intelligence failure” without any accountability of those who were in power and planned the Iraq war.
People want peace not celebration of bogus wars on the innocent humanity. America and its paid allies are withdrawing troops from Afghanistan- the longest bogus War on Terrorism. Wars divide and humiliate the mankind- man against man and all against all with no sense of rational thinking. Who gains from wars? Some will argue that wars provide opportunities for economic growth and societal change and development. Other realist thinkers and observers will point-out that wars destroy all man’s work that is imagined by progressive civilizations. Are wars a menace to human civilization and system of global economic and political governance?
Man under siege of Capitalism
Paul Street (“For Intelligent Civilizations- on Earth.” Information Clearing House: 11/11/2013), an American author, journalist and historian wonders how legitimately humanity can claim to have created “an intelligent civilization” here on Earth. He outlines few of the vital related factors linked to the militantly hierarchical and authoritarian class-based profits system of Capitalism:
- The small but super-wealthy and powerful human elite’s propagation of an ideology of endless economic growth that functioned as a false substitute for the equality and economic security that most humans desired.
- Human capitalists’ reliance on constant economic expansion (growth as material reality, not just ideology) to sustain their profits in their constant competitive struggle with each other
- Capitalism’s reliance on “an economy of built-in waste” including: “(1) a gargantuan and ever-expanding sales effort penetrating into the structure of production itself; (2) planned obsolescence (including planned psychological obsolescence); (3) production of luxury goods for an opulent minority; (4) prodigious military and penal-state spending; and (5)…a whole speculative superstructure in the form of finance, insurance, and real estate market.”
- Capitalism’s inherent short-term fixation and inability to make long-term plans and to set social, democratic, and ecological limits on private/corporate profit in accord with the common good of humanity and other living thing
- The mutually assured global inaction imposed by the division of the world into competing capitalist states, each loathe to make environmental concessions for fear that their rivals would be advantaged
Does Economic prosperity alone make people Happy and Successful?
Across the globe, nations claiming to be economically prosperous and successful tend to base their claims of prosperity on accumulated value of natural resources.
Christopher Helman (“The World’s Happiest (And Saddest) Countries.” 12/13/2011), examines the economic indicators of 110 countries and asserts that people are happier in some of these democracies as participants and functionaries of the democratic system of governance are making headways in technological advancements.
Natural resources help: Australia, which ranks third, is benefiting greatly from selling its coal, iron and natural gas to China. And yet some of the most resource-reliant nations, like Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, are far down the list. There’s clearly more to it than oil and ore. Joining Norway and Australia in the top 10 are their neighbors Denmark, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand. Equally small and civilized Switzerland and the Netherlands are also up there. Rounding out the top 10 is the United States at 10th and Canada (sixth).
Strange as is, that in 2013 at the closing of the federal Government in Washington, according to CNN opinions poll, 85% of the masses were dissatisfied and thought of the Congress as disconnected to the masses and not working for their interests. It is highly questionable if economic indicators (hypothetical or evidence-based) could alone sustain the notion of human prosperity in any given age devoid of other essential factors such as moral, intellectual and spiritual manifestations. Christopher Helman strikes a cautionary note “that prosperity/happiness is not a zero-sum game; every country can improve simultaneously…..Legatum’s researchers also noted surprise at a drop in personal freedom rankings in Finland and Sweden, which show slightly less tolerance for immigrants and minorities. Expect worse results for Europe next year.”
Do wars provide lifeline to the man-made system of economic and political manipulation? Wars and aggressions kill people and do not produce peace and harmony but resentment and degeneration. History illustrates when a nation or its leaders challenge the limits of the Laws of God and approach near to the end of their lifespan, insanity takes-over common sense and they tend to ignore warnings and reject all voices of reason for peace and not for war.
Political tyranny of the Few and People are the real Power
Throughout the contemporary global political theatre, politicians claim to be at peace within themselves and the environment around them. But do they really know what peace is and what it means? Individualistic absolutism is often the obsession to achieve political power. Their campaigns for election violate the sacred covenant of societal support and collaboration and imply competitive strategies to enlarge competition and conflict, not cooperation and harmony to pursue the political aims. Politicians are stage actors and politics is a game of maneuverability and tactfulness, fair or foul to get elected on behalf of the public interest. Once in power, personal agenda overwhelms other known choices to enhance egoistic priorities. Political illusions never carve the reality of societal peace and harmony. Common people – the electorate lose their vitality after exercising the right and choice at the ballot box. The 21st century knowledge-based informed democracy is out of order. Across the globe, the sit-in people’s protest movement of 2012 offered a staunch warning of the collective interest of the 99% deprived humanity. The 1% ruling elite continues its tyranny and cruel exploitation of the masses. There are important things that people can do for change and future-making and nobody else can imagine its forceful reality. To play your role and activism with a defined purpose to challenge the implied political illusions. You can be effective and successful if you challenge the imposed modern ignorance of political exploitation. You are not just an individual but a spirit and form of collectivity of a society. Your presence, mind and views cannot be traded-in at the marketplace. The individual, points out Robert J. Burrowes (Why Violence), that is left, having been stripped of its Self, is now (unconsciously) terrified, self-hating, powerless and violent (particularly towards itself but also towards others and the Earth) and is readily manipulated into becoming a passively obedient student, worker/soldier and consumer. How do we restore the highly individual search for meaning in life (which will also better enable us to deal powerfully with the enormous challenges to human survival)? Asks Robert J. Burrowes, the author of Why Violence and “The Struggle for Meaning in a World of Violence.” (Information Clearing House: 10/24/2013), has lifetime commitment to ending understanding and ending human violence extends the force of self-consciousness and strength to individualistic discourse:
Tragically, however, this innate drive to search for meaning and thus achieve consciousness of the Self has been destroyed in virtually all human beings as a result of the violence inflicted on them throughout their childhood and the (unconsciously) terrorised state in which this leaves them throughout their life. In a life that is devoid of the deep satisfaction that derives from the search for meaning, any number of pale substitutes might emerge to ‘fill’ this aching gap. The individual might become ‘content’, for example, to seek attention and/or approval; to become wealthy; to succeed in some intellectual, physical, spiritual or commercial endeavour; to experience sex and romance exhaustively; or to ‘see the world’. In short, the individual may become addicted to seeking one or more of these things, or something else, as the fearful compulsion to fill the aching hole in their Self-hood drives them relentlessly.
Global problems need people-oriented global thinking and solutions
America and its allies had no understanding of the culture, moral and intellectual values of the people of Afghanistan, Iraq to determine a useful strategy to fight the wars. Despite all the technological and advanced weaponry, they are defeated by handful of people. Crisis in Ukrine reignite the vitality to understand the nature of ethnic divides and how to manage the conflicts. The Western leaders lack capacity to conflict management and haphazardly doing things that make no sense in relation to the situations on the ground in Ukrine. Once again, humanity appears to have been pushed back to the shameful annals of the European Dark Ages. In search of new animosity, few utopian scholars wanted to distract the humanity after the end of the Cold War to keep the liberal democracy working and to ensure electoral voters active participation. In 1993, Samuel Huntington reinvented the old cliché – “a clash of civilizations” between the West and Islam – a new age of confrontation between the predominantly technologically advanced culture of the West and the subdued interdependent societal religious culture of the Muslim world. The powerful mass media and the official policy makers throughout the West, fuel the insane imagery that the Arabs and Muslims are “fundamentalists” and “terrorists.” This one-sided political tyranny could not be more far from the truth when the US and some of its EU allied nations are engaged in the bogus war on terrorism and have unleashed massive deaths and environmental destructions in Afghanistan, Iraq and northwest part of Pakistan.
Analyzing the contemporary global affairs, the image of a single most World Power is fixed and unquestionable, be it fair or foul. The net outcome shows the manufactured imagery of Muslims as the alleged terrorists and the sole inheritor of the 21st century political ideology. With massive corporate sponsorships and the Western mass media collaborative alliances, Muslims are the only targeted client of this emerging business.
Global Humanity is living entity and its concerns must be understood
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 – global 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 few war lords.
Across the Western world, masses vigorously oppose the on-going deadly wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In wars people are killed, leaders are not. None of the Western leaders have ever fought a war on the real front. Simply put, there are politicians lacking reason and honesty of purpose, and are engaged in time killing discussions. The expanding conflict and embossed regional identities in Eastern Ukrine serve multipurpose for the economic and political interests of the US-dominated NATO establishment. NATO had never faced any real war front against the former Communist bloc. After having being dismantled, it was reborn out of the nowhere to join the US belligerent attack on Afghanistan. ”The EntireGlobe is a Battlefield for Pentagon” (Information Clearing House: 5/26/2013), explains Pepe Excobar that “Until virtually yesterday the Obama administration did not even recognize in public the existence of the shadow ‘Drone Wars’ killing the innocents in Pakistan elsewhere. Medea Benjamin (“Why I Spoke out at Obama’s Foreign Policy Speech” Information Clearing House: 5/26/2013), is not a heckler to disturb Obama’s individual relevance but an internationally known voice of reason and moral force, President of Women Peace and Code Pink, asked the President but was forcibly moved out of the conference by the security agents: “Excuse me, Mr. President,” I said, “but you’re the Commander-in-Chief. You could close Guantánamo tomorrow and release the eighty-six prisoners who have been cleared for release…..The bulk of the president’s speech was devoted to justifying drone strikes. I was shocked when the president claimed that his administration did everything it could to capture suspects instead of killing them. That is just not true.” Could it be that President Obama is no longer interested in listening to the voices of reason?
Stephen. Lendman (“Eroding Freedom in America,” Information Clearing House: 5/13/2013), is a Chicago-based international peace activist, a man of human conscience and author of Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity (2013), spells out what went wrong to contemporary America:
Freedom is a four-letter word. It’s fast disappearing. It’s an endangered species. Wealth, power and privilege alone matter. America’s war on terror priorities advance them….. Tyranny isn’t in the eye of the beholder. It’s escalating in plane sight. It’s just a matter of time until it’s full-blown. Washington’s bipartisan criminal class plans it…. It’s dangerous living in America at the wrong time. Supporting right over wrong is threatened. Anyone can be targeted for any reason or none at all. Guilt by accusation is policy. Diktat authority has final say…. War on terror priorities breached First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment freedoms. At issue are search and surveillance authority, indefinitely detaining citizens and non-citizens uncharged, and undermining free expression, due process, and equal protection.
Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution, and comparative Western-Islamic cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest one: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany, May 2012).