By: Mahboob A. Khawaja
On need to abandon egoistic insanity
Are Arab-Muslim leaders waiting for the unknown and unthinkable catastrophic end to their own life and time in history rather than to stand up and make critical change? These leaders must inhabit a world of new political imagination to avoid the same ending as happened to the Romans. Would the estranged Arab leaders even acknowledge and address the cruelty of civilian bombardment, pains, destruction and sufferings that can be seen, and the unseen!
(Mahboob A. Khawaja, “Arab World at Crossroads: Leaders Waiting for the Unthinkable” 2015).
“Hell on Earth” – warns the UN Secretary General to the Security Council regarding the intensity of the humanitarian crisis in Ghouta (a countryside and suburban area in south-western Syria that surrounds the city of Damascus along its eastern and southern rim). There are 400,000 civilians trapped under continuous bombardment by the Assad regime and Russian “intervention”. A Unicef spokesperson spells out the tragic events: “Words cannot describe the humanitarian calamities and sufferings of the besieged people of Ghouta.”
How can we bear to witness these atrocities? This is the same question that millions of blood-stained humans were asking a year earlier in Aleppo. The Russian air attacks and Assad forces silenced the people of Aleppo with large-scale bombardment and cold-blooded massacres witnessed by the so-called ‘civilized world’. History is repeating the cruel insanity – the cursed evil of egoistical power as happened to the people of Aleppo – the unstoppable insanity of the civil war continues unabated. Does global humanity have an awareness of the gravity of the humanitarian crisis, or a conscience to address it? Innocent children traumatized by the relentless bombing cry for help, and call upon the international community to help stop the bloodbath. Not so the UN Security Council which conveniently postponed its deliberations for days to see who will gain the upper hand while perpetual insanity and planned cruelty rains down on the helpless masses in Eastern Ghouta.
What leads the UN Security Council to imagine that a cruel dictator will respond to the call of ceasefire in Ghouta, and stop the carnage of civilians? Did Hitler, Mussolini and George Bush ever listen to the calls of reason and honesty? Was the UNSC not supposed to take urgent preventive action to safeguard the people from the scourge of the war? Despite the UN Security Council Resolution of Feb 24, 2018, consented to by all the actors, the increased bombing and killings of the civilian go on relentlessly. Acceding to the compulsion of evil and the failure of moral and intellectual leadership have jeopardized the present and future of the Arab-Muslim world. Viewing the aggressive daily sectarian bloodbaths and militarization through a mental microscope, we see the outcome with a sense of unreality.
Morally indifferent and intellectually exhausted, as incapacitated as they look, Arab and Muslim leaders are waiting and waiting, looking beyond the obvious as to what will happen next in Ghouta. They live completely disconnected from the affairs and challenges of the present world. On Twitter and Facebook (and elsewhere) innocent children are sending an SOS to the global community as if there is someone ready to come to rescue them. It calls into question the conscience of the entire humanity. What are you waiting for when you have got the SOS distress call from 400,000 human beings? It also calls into question the moral and political obligation of the neighbouring Arab countries and their leaders who are nothing more than spectators. They maintain large armed forces as well as volunteer forces that could have helped the entrenched people, yet they did nothing. They have exhibited indifference and complete disregard to global humanitarian principles and values that warrant urgent action to safeguard fellow human beings. What kind of role model of traditional Arab culture and civilization do you witness in these situations of humanitarian crisis? An insane egoism has brought frightening trends in premeditated crimes against the humanity.
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