by Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja
Moral and Intellectual Abyss
The US and the Europeans see war as an instrument of political hegemony and control over the precious natural resources of the Arab-Muslim world. The super-ego American and the allied Europeans are missing sense of guilt for the vice and ruins of decade long occupation and destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. To heighten the demands of human conscience, Arab masses view them barbarians of a new age more savage than their predecessors crusader of the 12the century. Incapacity joined by insane egoism makes complacent oil producing Arab rulers to follow the Western dictates despite internal challenges and intrigues of their governance.
Temptation and compulsion of evil and failure of moral and intellectual leadership have jeopardized the present and future of whole of the Arab-Muslim world. Viewing the mental microscope, aggressive sectarian daily bloodbaths and militarization have articulated a sense of unreality. Morally indifferent and intellectually exhausted and incapacitated as they look, Arab and Muslim leaders are waiting and waiting to see what happens next, missing initiative and new imagination to the world of reason and prevalent reality - planned violence and resulting cruelty are becoming the societal hallmark across the Arab-Muslim world.
They wait for miracle to happen out of nothing. Exclusive materialism and militarization have devastated the Arab traditional culture and psyche. Perhaps petro-dollar transitory prosperity has removed the sense of fear and shame to embolden them to commit any crimes against the human nature and the people. The struggle is between the Western supported authoritarianism and the reasoning for political change by the Arab masses. All and everybody is fighting. Throughout the century, Arabs have lost the battles. The leaders appear entrenched in a new barbarianism unknown in human annals. If one is asked, what are they fighting for? There is no logical connection to the on-going American-led war against ISIL or the Iranian-operated Shiite group Al-Badr and others committing crimes against the Sunnis-Shiite and minorities. There is no moral in a proxy war. All belligerent acts enjoin their own intents and motives.
The Arab and Muslim world is turning into complete political cruelty and quagmire. Man killing fellow man, all killing all, and reason not to be questioned. The leaders and people appear to be on the same page of bloodbath, insecurity and breathing oxygen in a conflicting time zone falling apart into the unknown. They believe in nothing as if the Earth was dormant, as if there is no God and life ceases to have a noble purpose of peace, harmony and co-existence. Western war strategists are a crucial factor in bringing them to this perverted status-quo of moral and human equilibrium. In an advanced 21st century of knowledge, wisdom and information, man remains ignorant and arrogant of his wrong thinking. Arab-Muslim authoritarianism enforced by the self-image to commit planned violence and aggression against the revolutionary masses is radiating across Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Bahrain.
After five years, the global community is just a symbolic spectator watching the heinous crimes of the few against many. There is no World Order in place to protect the victims of the on-going bloody atrocities. There is no International Law to forbid the disorder. Most Arab-Muslim leaders lack capacity to imagine a viable political future and understanding of the purpose of human life and its priorities within the scope of living Earth and living Universe in which there is stern accountability of man in relation to time and place. How should this man-made cruelty and prevalent anarchy be stopped and mankind is saved from the scourge of bloody sectarian and highly politicized war gone so wrong and becoming unthinkable in consequences?
Had they believed in God, humanity and purpose of life with defined accountability, the Earth could have been a better place for all to co-exist peacefully. The outrageous sectarian divides and killings of Sunnis, Shiite, Christians and other minorities in the Arab societies are reaching to an appalling catastrophic magnitude. Does the informed global community want to see the Arab world to determine its own sadistic ending? Killing unjustifiably one innocent human being is like killing of the whole of the humanity. The global warlords represent cruel mindset incapable to see the human side of the living conscience. William T. Hathaway ("America is under Attack!" Dissident Voice), author of A World of Hurt and an adjunct Professor of American Studies, University of Oldenburg, Germany, attempts to clarify how the US and Britain have culminated havoc world of atrocities in the Arab Middle East:
"The USA and Britain committed similar atrocities in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Indonesia, and Afghanistan. We overthrew their governments, installed dictators, undermined their economies - all to strengthen our business interests. In every nation where we now have terrorism, we had first assaulted them. America is under attack only because it is on the attack. It's no wonder they hate us. Imagine how we would feel if a foreign country were doing this to us. We'd be fighting back any way we could...... If people knew this - knew how easy it would be to stop terrorism - they wouldn't want to fight this war. That's why the media ignore al-Qaeda's demands. Western leaders don't want people to see that the war's real purpose isn't to stop terrorism but to control the resources of this region. They actually want the terrorism because that gives them the excuse they need - the threat of an evil enemy."
Who are the Real Barbarians - Western or Muslims?
"It was under the influence of Arabian and Moorish revival of culture and not in the fifteenth century, that the real Renaissance took place. Spain not Italy, was the cradle of the rebirth of Europe...It is highly probable that but for the Arabs modern European civilization would never have arisen at all; it is absolutely certain that but for them, it would not have assumed that character which has enabled it to transcend all previous phases of evolution. For although there is not a single aspect of European growth in which the decisive influence of Islamic culture is not traceable, nowhere is it so clear and momentous as in the genesis of that power which constitutes the paramount distinctive force of the modern world and the supreme source of its victory." Robert Briffault, Professor Cambridge University (The Making of Humanity, London, 1919).
Arabs were once the pioneer of knowledge-based sustainablecivilization lasting for 800 years - the longest period in human history. Today, the former colonial thinkers and occupiers describe the Arabs and Muslims as "extremists", 'terrorists" and barbarians." Throughout the 20th century and well into the 21st century, the oil richness failed to deal with emerging social, moral, intellectual and political problems. Instead with militarization of the region, increasing bloodbaths depicts a havoc political spectrum- floating without roots and reason. Islam enriched the Arabs to become global leaders of a progressive civilization, but the oil enhanced prosperity transformed them into 'camel jockeys' and object of hallow laughers after dinner jokes in the Western culture.
When the Arabs had a missionary zeal to "forbid evil and invite mankind towards goodness", they excelled in human change, moral leadership, material progress and civilization. Money cannot buy wisdom, honor and human integrity. The late Saudi King Abdullah and Sheikh Sabha al-Sabah of Kuwait were both complacent in providing logistic support to George Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq and the massacre of approximately three millions Iraqis during the prolonged occupation. The bogus "war on terrorism" could not have happened if the Arab leaders - the frontline bogyman of the US Empire had useful mind, intellectual capacity and integrity to challenge the most irrational and cruel act in human history. The Arabs created a knowledge-enshrined pioneering culture of tolerance, encompassing various ethnicities, faiths and languages -- thus inspiring the development of everything from mathematics to astronomy, medical sciences, poetry, and imagination of futuristic human civilization, education, law and justice, splendid architect defy gravity onward to library science and lot more.
But the Arab-Muslim world failed to produce any leader of vision and intellectual integrity for the changing and complex global affairs of the 21st century. When Arabs were the leaders in Faith ('Emaan') and human values, they articulated a unique civilization tolerant of diversity and varied cultural ethnicities and built upon the unity of Islamic faith to nurture peaceful co-existence and human development. If you list the discoveries and contributions of Muslim scholars, they are countless. Do you know any other scientists or scholars whose contributions were used in text books for six centuries in European medical schools? Consider Mohammad Hussein Bu Ali Sina's Cannon of Medicine.
The Europeans changed his name to Avicenna so that nobody would recognize that he was a Muslim scholar. It is said that Ibna Sina alone discovered and authenticated 36 pharmaceutical formulas being used to this day. Marai Rosa Menocal (A Golden Reign of Tolerance: The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain, 2003), explains: "The lessons of history, like the lessons of religion, sometime neglect examples of tolerance. A thousand years ago on the Iberian Peninsula, an enlightened vision of Islam had created the most advanced culture in Europe....In Cordoba, the library housed some 400,000 volumes at a time when the largest library in Latin Christendom probably held no more than 400."
Daily barrel bombs across Syria, Jehadi car bombings in Baghdad, Houti's led Iranian-backed Shiite insurgency in Yemen, bloody street encounters in Cairo and Tripoli - millions are being displaced and wiped out in seconds as if they were not human beings - all tell of a dehumanized Arab culture of irreversible frightening trend. The future is darkened by the forces of evil. Violence and hatred are fast sinking the large landscape of Arab-Muslim societies into massive deaths and societal destruction. Daily killing statistics generate media-frenzy supporting Samuel Huntington's ("The Clash of Civilizations", Foreign Affairs, 1993), claim of "Islam has bloody borders."
Would America and Israel Determine the Future of the New Middle East?
Are the Arab leaders collaborating with the US and Israel policy agenda to undermine the Arab nation states and the future of Palestine? The ultimate goal is aimed at complete militarization, destabilization and continuous destruction of the people, culture and economic environment of the Arab peninsula. Throughout the oil exporting Arab world, some of the contemporary rulers have turned out to be complacent in the US-Israeli strategic plans for the future of the Middle East. The recent outcomes of the Israeli political elections and return of PM Netanyahu gives ample concerns that Palestinian will face formidable problems in pursuing the freedom goal out of the continued occupation.
Perhaps, Palestinians need new, educated and proactive coherent leadership to deal with the 21st century's critical political challenges. Somehow neglecting the history, Israelis and Palestinians are not overcoming the missing humanitarian, moral and intellectual communication norms and linkages. When the European massacred and displaced Jews, Arabs welcomed them in their own hearts and governance extending excellence in human dignity and political prominence in An-Andalusia (Spain) and elsewhere. There is an urgent societal need on both sides to rethink and to capitalize on moral, social and intellectual communications between the Palestinians and Israelis to avert violence and reject political hatred. Whenever any antagonists keep means of communication open and accessible, human problems could be tackled by reason and necessity of the human nature. Israelis and Palestinians are living and informed entities and they must come up with action plans to co-exist at human level of decency and sustainable future. Denying freedom to Palestinians would be a denial to the freedom of self-oppressed Israelis politically and intellectually with continuing occupation and wars. None of the Arab leaders have ever come out to represent logically the public conscience on the issue of Palestine and the establishment of an independent homeland for the people of Palestine. An internationally acclaimed Canadian author, Eric Margolis ("Middle East Peace is Buried", Information Clearing House: 3/21/2015) brings home the much perceived reality:
Who is going to force Israel to follow this sensible, two-state solution to the misery of the Palestinian people? Obama could not even stop Netanyahu from coming to Washington and humiliating him before Congress. Is Obama going to force Israel and its 650,000 armed settlers out of the West Bank? .....As for the Palestinians, they don't seem to have much hope. Chances for even a rickety, feeble Bantustan state on the West Bank are gone. Netanyahu declared no Palestinian state at the end of the elections race. He will, of course, continue flirting with the US and EU over this worn-out question, making small tactical concessions to allow his western allies to continue going along with the charade that "peace talks" are still alive. They are not and have not been for a decade. It just suits the western powers to continue this deceitful game while Israel relentlessly annexes the Occupied Territories.
In view of the unstoppable cycle of political killings and daily bloodbaths in so many Arab states - Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Tunis, Bahrain and spill-over to other oil producing Arab nations - and continuing militancy of the ISIL and its chain reactionary rivalries of other extremist groups, vengeful deaths and destruction unleashed by the Iranian backed Shiite militias in Iraq, Syria and the Houtis in Yemen and dismantling of the socio-economic infrastructures - is the Arab world coming to its own end? None of the Arab leaders seem to care or to think of creative political initiatives and measures to stop the cycle of sectarian killings and massive destabilization of the region. Any objective-oriented analysis will point out that Arab authoritarian leaders interdependent on America and Britain expect their masters to come and rescue them in political crises. Obviously, America and Britain enjoin their own political and military agenda and follow it through.
How to Change Political Insanity into Moral Reasoning?
One finds a fatal deficiency in the mindset of the Arab-Muslim leadership - a moral and intellectual behavioral sinking with missing soul of curiosity and internal mindedness. In situations of crisis and unusual emergencies, competent and responsible leaders do not look towards convenient escape from reality but get engaged and extend intellectual security to manage problems. What is the cure to raging indifference and cruelty to the interests of the people of the Arab-Muslim world, America, Europe and for that matter to the whole of the global community? Looking at the Nature of Things, the universe encompasses many challenging opposites - time, space, sun, moon, gravitational rotation of the earth, fire, water, air, sand, floods, earthquakes, tsunami, disasters, explosions, wars, destructions, bombing and all that can be imagined to destroy the mankind and endanger the continued movement of the splendid, inspiring and harmonious Universe.
How it is that Man - a creation of God cannot co-exist with fellow Man? Is Man by nature a blood thirsty creature? Why should few West European leaders and President Obama have free hand in launching bombing campaigns and killing the innocents in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria? Would they dare to do the same against Russia in the Ukraine crisis? What rights do these insane barbarians enjoin to engage in military intervention and massacre the innocents in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Syria day in and day out? American shifting metaphor in policy will not end the Syrian bloodbath. It shows how the ill-fated bombing coalition against ISIL is futile and meaningless. All Western leaders are playing sadistic games of survival and exploitation. Dictators never reason but dictate and so the landscape of the Iraq-Syrian conflicts.
When would this planned and continuing cruelty come to an end? Is there a sense of superiority and indifference to the interests of the global mankind? In its 2014 Global Thinkers statistics, Foreign Policy ("A World Disrupted: The global Thinkers of 2014") pinpoints that "something big requires a team rather than an individual...." To enhance global peace and to undo the bogus wars on terrorism, there is an urgent need for teamwork by all concerned not just the few self- addicted warmongers who have consciously undermined the vital interests of the mankind. The teamwork if undertaken with unbiased mind and without pre-conceived notions could usher sustainable change and a new beginning between those who claim to be at peace and somewhat superior than the ordinary folks and those who are fighting reactionary wars of freedom against insanity and catastrophic devastation of the human habitats.
To change the world into peaceful co-existence and sustainable harmony, it is incumbent upon the intellectuals, academics, visionaries, poets, philosophers and thinking hub of the informed contemporary global community to perceive and articulate new and creative ideas, new political imagination for the 21st century organizations to be functional for the people, by the people and accountable to the supremacy of the people's will. Time and encompassing opportunities warrant new thinking and new leaders enriched with new and innovative visions for change and coherent future-making - The One Humanity.
But change and creativity and new visions will not emerge out of the obsolete, redundant and failed authoritarianism of the few insane leaders. None have the understanding of tangible peace or respect for human life and co-existence in a splendid Universe. To challenge the deafening silence of the US and Europeans (the powerful and hegemonic forces of the world governing system), for global peace and security, the global humanity must find ways and means to look beyond the obvious and troublesome horizons dominated by the few warlords as if there were no rational being and people of reason populating the God-given living Universe.
The informed and mature global community looks towards those Thinkers, educated and honest proactive leaders enriched with coherent unity of moral, spiritual, intellectual and physical visions and abilities to be instrumental to rescue it from the planned encroachment of the few Western warlords. Wars never end but obsess the succeeding generations with unthinkable physical pains, psychological, injuries and tormenting anguish to dehumanized effects for ever. Pete Dolack ("The Art of Becoming Human", Counterpunch: 3/13/2015) an activist, writer, poet and photographer, blogs Systemic Disorder; attempts to share the first-hand life experiences of the few US combatant soldiers fighting the bogus war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan:
. ...That 22 veterans commit suicide per day is a grim reminder not only of the harsh demands of military life but that the Pentagon effectively throws away its veterans after using them.
There are those whose injuries are obvious, such as Tomas Young, whose struggles were shown in full intensity in the documentary Body of War. In the letter he wrote to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney when his death was impending, he put into words his agony:
"Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical [disabilities and] wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned."
Kelly Dougherty, "talk about my feelings of shame for participating in a violent occupation." She writes:
"When I returned from Iraq ten years ago, some of my most vivid memories were of pointing my rifle at men and boys while my fellow soldiers burned semi trucks of food and fuel, and of watching the raw grief of a family finding that their young son had been run over and killed by a military convoy.
Are the Arab-Muslim leaders waiting for the unthinkable catastrophic end to their own life cycle and time in history? To inhabit the world of new political imagination beyond the obvious horizon, these leaders could imagine the same ending as happened to the Romans by their own wishful constructs. Would the estranged Arab leaders ever know and understand the cruelty of Wounds that can be seen and those not seen!
Mahboob A. Khawaja