| by Mahboob A. Khawaja
( January 8, 2015, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Today’s cold blooded massacre of French journalists of satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” in Paris underlines the imperative of critical thought towards understanding the global affairs. Emerging crises are not being understood rationally and consequently large segments of humanity are in chains. Leaders around the world are quick to condemn the cruelty of the few against many innocents caught in the firing. But the same leaders fail to take initiatives to use dialogue and peaceful resolution of current one-sided aggressive wars. No matter where on planet, the daily killings of the innocents in France, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, The US or elsewhere, it demands fair and objective-oriented analysis to come to grip with the prevalent facts of human affairs. The global humanity longs for peace, not for terrorism. But many egoistic leaders deliberately override the facts to pursue strategic agendas to run down the mankind under false pretexts of Islamic terrorism. Those who take up arms in the Arab Middle East continuing war theater are often doing it as a reactionary challenge to the imposed tyranny of more than decade-old bogus war on terrorism. Despite having advanced knowledge and technology, wide range of systematic human surveillance and curtailment of freedom and violations of human rights, crises are not managed by informed leaders and national security apparatus across the globe. The ordinary citizens are targeted and victimized beside the whims of leadership presence in staged news media appearances. There is gulf between knowing from the problematic media screen and understanding the pivotal issues deserving rational rethinking and policy changes. Undoubtedly “Je Suis- Charlie.” There is pain and feelings of anti killings across the globe. The human unity of ultimate aim must assume top priority.
Police and national intelligence and security agencies, which carry out wholesale surveillance against the population and serve as the corporate elite’s brutal enforcers, are omnipotent by intention. They are designed to impart fear, even terror, to keep the population under control. And until the courts and the legislative bodies give us back our rights—which they have no intention of doing—things will only get worse for the poor and the rest of us. We live in a post-constitutional era…. Hannah Arendt warned that once any segment of the population is denied rights, the rule of law is destroyed. When laws do not apply equally to all they are treated as “rights and privileges.” …Elites who feel increasingly threatened by the wider population do not “resist the temptation to deprive all citizens of legal status and rule them with an omnipotent police,” Arendt writes. This is what is taking place now. The corporate state and its organs of internal security are illegitimate. We are a society of captives.
Towards Understanding the Critical Issues facing the Mankind:
According to the media reports, the President of the Muslim Organization of France has condemned the killings of the journalists and others in Paris. So do many religious leaders in Paris and elsewhere in Western Europe. The killings were not part of any Islamic issues supported by any religious decree. If the killers shouted ‘God is Great- Allah-O-Akbar’, it does not prove that attackers were Muslims unless the investigation provides the evidence. Such phrases have been imitated before by non-Muslims too. Why do some media analysts jump to conclusion and blame game when essential facts of a crisis are unknown? When unusual crises whether state sponsored terrorism or individual terrorism make its presence, the situation requires careful thought and intellectual comprehension to avoid hasty reaction. The global warriors - some of the leading Western leaders do not seem to learn the lessons from the contemporary history. Consequently, the War on Islam and Muslims - the bogus war on terrorism continues with multiple belligerent reactions. There is an overwhelming Western media obsession to link the blame of some of the crises to Islam and Muslims around the world. Irrational as it seems when another person commits a crime, the identity would not include religious or ethnic cliché. Should rational people make irrational assumptions and undermine the societal harmony and co-existence because an individual is at the center of some ugly or false accusations? Are we not supposed to know the facts before we could draw extreme conclusion about some faith, ethnicity or group of minority living in a society? Truth-telling and critical rational analysis of the prevalent political imperatives of global political affairs must penetrate to open-up the thinking of the closed global leadership mindset. Across the Arab Middle East the only known conflict was between Israel and Palestine and to search for a peaceful settlement of the existence of State of Israel and establishment of an independent State of Palestine. But the US-led war on terrorism is a gateway to many emerging conflicts in the Arab Middle East and elsewhere in the world. The voices of reason and human conscience must speak out loud and clear. With unstoppable cycle of political killings, sectarian massacres and daily bloodbaths happening across the Arab world - Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon and Yemen, and spill-over impacts to other oil producing Arab nations - and reactionary militancy against the authoritarian rule and dismantling of the socio-economic infrastructures. Could the global affairs change if the leaders imagine political change and pursue it for peaceful co-existence?
John Horgan (“Countering Students' Fatalism Toward War” The Chronicle Review, V. 55, Issue 31: 4/10/2009) is a science journalist and director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology. Horgan points out the issues involved in man and human nature and optimism that societal change is real in the course of history:
History offers many other examples of warlike societies that rapidly became peaceful. Vikings were the scourge of Europe during the Middle Ages, but their Scandinavian descendants are among the most peaceful people on earth. Similarly, Germany and Japan, which just 70 years ago were the world's most militaristic, aggressive nations, have embraced pacifism, albeit after catastrophic defeats.
The current wave of fatalism is all too understandable, given September 11 and its bloody sequelae, not to mention conflicts roiling the Middle East, Central Africa, and other troubled regions. ….. My overarching goal in "War and Human Nature" is to persuade my scientifically oriented students to see war not as a permanent part of the human condition, stemming from our genes or original sin, but as a potentially solvable scientific problem. To be sure, war is a dauntingly complex phenomenon, with political, economic, and social ramifications……. Peace is a challenge at least as worthy of pursuit as cheap, clean, renewable sources of energy or cures for AIDS or cancer.
To Face Up Realism and Work for Global Peace and Not Terror
Leaders create leaders. Likewise warmongers indulge in violence and threats of bombing other weak nations to undermine the very existence of human existence as was the case during the Two World Wars and the current unending bogus War on Terrorism. Everywhere mankind is being oppressed, exploited by the few and systematically victimized under various slogans of freedom, rule of law, democracy and human rights. Ironically, how much more bloodshed is needed to gather momentum for priority in resolving the man-made conflicts and ushering a new era of peaceful co-existence? One must resist the temptation to become indoctrinated by grim prophesies of spearheading freedom, rule of law, democracy and protection of human rights by egoistic leaders waiting to launch next election campaigns. West Europeans have critical issues of social, economic and human emancipation. The EU is a framework but often of competing national interests overlapping the collective interests and resolve of the purpose ingrained in the EU mission and role. The pride and prejudice of European nationalism and sketchy borders fought for many generations and engulfed the good part of mankind with similar institutions and unending trends of military invasions, terrorism against the poor and weak Asian-African and Muslim nations. They need to uplift their thinking capacity from superficial imagination to realism corresponding to the 21st century knowledge-based age and its imperatives. Do they still long for historical flaws to view them as politically superior and ethnically top notch people and races of the world? Time is critical for self-reflection and finding out ways and means to critical thinking and be able to have unity of purpose and proactive leadership to deal with complex political crises and consequential catastrophic humanitarian problems. Reason reveals itself in the unity of the heart and mind. Wickedness and righteousness cannot be combined in one leadership characteristics. The unwarranted madness witnessed today in the heart of Paris and brutal killings of the Charlie Hebdo journalists and security personnel need not be defined in political motivation and images. Change in global affairs is possible and attainable if people of reason long for peace and not for terrorism. The crusades against Muslims and unwanted military interventions in the Arab Middle East must be stopped. Every beginning has its end. The global humanity longs for peace and co-existence and war is not its agenda item. It is possible through transformational leadership if educated and intelligent people of the new generation come to assume the power and leadership role. Falsehood and truth are not the same. With certain imperatives of cultural- religious norms, Western journalists need not to carve sensitive cartoons of others to invest in hatred and animosity. More so, of religious beliefs and personalities. Perhaps the Charlie Hbedo did that in the past. But a rational person would not react to known falsification of some religious entities. There should be rapprochement to respect and understand the religious differences without agreeing or disagreeing.
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? What rights do these figures enjoin to engage in military invasions and commit massacres in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria day in and day out? 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 war 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. Under ‘Advocates’, the Foreign Policy notes:
“The global thinkers herald causes often wrongly considered inconsequential or verboten. They support forgotten victims of sexual violence, protect civilian targeted in internecine violence, count casualties in the fog of war, and demand legal protection for world’s most vulnerable migrants. Often these men and women, scholars, activists and religious leader among them- do this work on their own peril and pay the price landing in court or in prison in some of the world’s most repressive countries. For all of them, however, the risk is worth the possible rewards.”
(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 Academic Publishing, Germany, May 2012).