| by Mahboob A. Khawaja
“The hell of human suffering, evil and oppression is paved with good intentions. The men who have most injured and oppressed humanity, who have most deeply sinned against it, were according to their standards and their conscience good men; what was bad in them, what wrought moral evil and cruelty, treason to truth and progress, was not at all in their intentions, in their purpose, in their personal character, but in their opinions.”
(Robert Briffault. The Making of Humanity, London, 1918)
( September 2, 2013, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) If there were any moral, spiritual and intellectual values enshrined in the UNO Charter, the 21st century’s global political affairs could have been in more responsive shape and form than the warlike culture of the few. At least, the global community would have attained better sense of moral and legal accountability in the contemporary affairs. Not so, those who envisaged the UNO embodiment, they were more concerned with the aftermath of the 2nd World War and how best to put an end to human triviality and dreadful acts of aggressions against one another. 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.
Agreeably, wickedness and righteousness cannot be combined in one human character or official policy stance. Even in the beginning of knowledge-based 21st century, the mankind has not fully recovered from the scourge of the 2nd WW. The global powers and the UNO betrayed the public trust and vision for a peaceful future without wars. Rationality must overcome insanity that today’s world and the leading powerful nations are again engaged in multifaceted experiments to endanger life, habitats and the living Universe. America and its Western allies pretend to be acting in good faith to safeguard the mankind from the scourge of war and the use of chemical weapons against the innocent civilian population in Syria and elsewhere. It is the self-interest and politically indoctrinated strategic policy to shore up support and argument for another war on Syria. How would it be different than the sadistic cruelty being imposed by the Bashar Al-Assad regime for over two years on the people of Syria? Does the US and other Western nations have a clean slate of their own history of non-chemical warfare against the innocent mankind? The global community is painfully aware that those equipped with small wisdom, no knowledge but big mouth and most hated and feared are active again in misleading the humanity.
None of the international powerful leaders care for the safety and interests of the mankind. As early as during the 1916 -1917, the British used mustard gas to kill several thousands of Iraqi civilians agitating for their human rights and freedom from the British colonial rule. It was Winston Churchill - the Secretary-Minister who did that crime against Iraqis. America had unchecked freedom of political insanity to use napalm gas bombs and chemicals in Vietnam and massacred millions until opted for secret negotiations to leave Vietnam. No one could dare to call for American indictment in Vietnam. The global nations had signed the agreement at Hague in 1899 and the Geneva Convention of 1907 to ban the use of chemical weapons. It was reiterated in the Geneva Convention of 1925 and the Chemical Weapons Convention. The Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court specifically points out that employing “poison or poisoned weapons” and “asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all analogous liquids, materials or devices” are war crimes, under Article 8. During the 1980-90’s Iraq self-declared war on the newly formed Islamic Republic of Iran, Saddam Hussein had the blessings of the US and other Western nations to use chemicals weapons on the Iranian and his own Kurd civilians to kill several thousands without any accountability.
The UNO and other international agencies are simply spectators and issue paper-based statements and no military action to stop a monster killing the innocent people. The Geneva Convention Related to the Protection of Civilian Persons in time of War (Geneva IV) states clearly “willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health” as a grave breach, which constitutes a war crime. Do the contemporary holy warmongers think that the mankind is shortsighted of its own history or do they believe that it can be forced to believe the unholy virtue of the only left-over superpower to have the divine right to impose its own will over others. Since 2001 in Afghanistan and subsequently, in 2003 Iraq war, the United States and Britain had free hand to use cluster bombs and other prohibited weapons against the civilian population in both countries. It is widely known across the globe that the United States used cluster bombs, depleted uranium, and white phosphorous gas. Cluster bomb canisters have been used containing tiny bomb lets, which could engulf large segments of the population and areas. In Iraq and Afghanistan children have been affected and killed by the unexploded and left-over cluster bombs resulting in serious injuries and psychological scars for ages. It is well known that depleted uranium (DU) weapons spread high levels of radiation over vast areas of human habitats. Many Western analysts and reporters have given eye-witness accounts of sharp increase in health related problems and serious birth defects due to the use of depleted uranium in Iraq.
After the US led bogus War on Terrorism, there is a frightening trend in crime explosion against the innocent humanity worldwide. The Arab Middle East and other Muslim countries are no exception. Despite moral and intellectual capacity, 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. If the United States and its European allies go ahead to strike on Syria and its chemical stock warehouses, the resulting casualties will be more of civilians than the official parts of the authoritarian regime in Syria. The question is, what would such a belligerent strike achieve in short-long terms to help the global community to avoid future mishaps? 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. How would the US and its European allies achieve any solid aim of stopping the bloodbaths in Syria?
Over the years, lots of show and tell political talks are reported between the warring parties in Syria. There is no surety Assad regime will go away as it is not the strategic goal of the Western nations. Peace-making is not the ultimate aim and rational goal of any nations involved in the Middle East political turmoil. The Arab leaders are themselves devoid of any power or political role-play to sort out their own self-generated misfortunes and crises of time and history. None of the Arab leader could come to the global political arena and justify their credibility in any sense of the political affairs and legitimacy of the governance. All have been groomed and grown out of the colonial match-fixing of the tribal history and European domination of the region. For more than half of a century, there is no concerted efforts to change the neo-colonialism into a democratic system of people’s governance envisaged by Islam and its principles. Today’s Arab world is a hub of despotism, political cruelty and coming of an unthinkable future of political upheavals. If Egypt was evolving in the shape of civility and people’s run system of new democracy under President Morsy, the hope is stalled by the belligerent interests of the Western nations to encourage military intervention and impose deaths and destruction on the Egyptian masses. Unknown and uncertain as it appears to be, who will gain out of the miseries and killings of the Egyptian society. The emerging dreadful scenes of military barbarity- gassed massacres of people in Syria, killings in the streets of Cairo and daily bomb blasts in Iraq against the people should invite the Arab thinkers and intellectuals to reflect on the current affairs - what is going wrong and how could they imagine and articulate an action plan out of imposed neo-colonial system of governance of the few?
The drums of war are beating again. No one can imagine that if America makes a war-like strike on Syria, it will help the people of Syria to find a peaceful solution of the crisis. There is no impetus for peacemaking and conflict resolution. Then what is the rationality of talking in-between when Assad regime in Syria and the General Seisi in Egypt are actively killing the masses without any challenge. Do the dictators ever listen to voices of REASON? All the Arab authoritarian rulers enjoy the protection of the US and other European leaders for their own self- interest and continued supply of oil. President Obama and his European friends policies they pursue do not aim at conflict resolution in Syria or peacemaking elsewhere. They need more war-like opportunities to acquire domineering influence more than what they already have to manage direct control over all the Arab countries. This policy should be befitting to the American war economy and Israel’s additional capacity-building for supremacy in the region. Undoubtedly, the Arab people and countries are the net losers on all the fronts. Would a war on war make any difference? How could you burn something that is already burnt? How could you stop a fire with a fire? 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 written pages of human history.
Eric Bogle wrote “The Green Fields of France” and it was sung by Fureys:
Did you really believe, when they told you the cause,
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
Well, the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame,
The killing and dying it was all done in vain
Oh Willy McBride it all happened again -
And again, and again, and again, and again.
(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)