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.
Even the UN and the global political master appear to be aligned into a ‘No Action – Wait and See’ preference in this crisis. Condemnation will not help the masses under strain of a life and death situation. While Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron call on Putin to stop the bombardment, one wonders why the Arab leaders could not call on Trump and Putin to stop the bloody carnage in Ghouta. We witness the failure of the UNO in similar parables. Western military interventions and Arab authoritarianism have ruined the whole landscape of the Arab Middle East. The unspoken question is “How to reverse the anarchism of the few against many in a world being determined by the powerful nations at the UN Security Council?” The Arab rulers have absolutely no sense of time and history. Nor do they care for human values and political accountability to any international system of governance, be it the UN or the International Humanitarian Law dealing with war and conflicts and the protection of civilians in war zones. They are not open to listening to and learning from the conscientious, the learned, and the wise.
The Arab and Muslim world is being completely subsumed into a quagmire of cruelty and madness. The leaders and the people appear to be on the same page of bloodbath, but they breathe oxygen in separate time zones as the people are 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.
Imagine if there was a conscientious global humanity to protect the besieged civilians in Ghouta!
Time and again, the entrapped civilians call upon the people of the earth to rescue them. They narrate horrific experiences of cruelty and 24/7 bombardment by the Assad regime and Russians. More than 500 civilians are reported to have been killed in just four days. Could it be the colour, language and ethnicity of the Syrian people as not much known or popular with the Western industrialized civilizations? Could it be that their faith in Islam is a problematic and blocking factor for the emergency aid to stop the aggression? Imagine, if they were of the Anglo-Saxon ethnicity, would Russia have dared to annihilate them? Would the Americans and West Europeans not have rushed to help them or stop the cold blooded massacres at all sites of the human consciousness? Do all of these believe in God, Humanity, Justice and Purpose of Life and Accountability? Does the informed global community want to see the Arab world determine its own sadistic ending? Unjustifiably killing one innocent human being is like killing of the whole of the humanity. The global warlords represent a cruel mindset incapable of seeing the human side of living conscience. Perhaps, they view humanity as just numbers, not as living entities with social, moral, spiritual and intellectual values and hope for change and development. Every beginning has its end.
What went wrong in the Arab-Muslim world?
Once the Arabs were the pioneers of a knowledge-based sustainable civilization which lasted for 800 years in Al-Andalusia (Spain)—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-rich nations failed to deal with emerging social, moral, intellectual and political problems. Instead, they increased the militarization of the region, resulting in increasing bloodbaths depicting political havoc – floating without roots and reason. Islam enriched the Arabs to become the global leaders of a progressive civilization, but the oil-enhanced prosperity transformed them into ‘camel jockeys’ and object of hollow laughter at after-dinner jokes in Western culture. Money cannot buy wisdom, honour and human integrity.
All nineteen Arab states have strong military institutions and secretive police trained and managed by the Western nations. All the military and police institutions are subservient to the authoritarian dictum. This is why both the US and Russia have blended their short-and long-term interests to be interventionists in the Arab Middle East. The ruptured socio-economic and institutional infrastructures will offer an open invitation to foreign intervention as there will be no challenge rising out of the chaos to be taken-over by the foreign masters. Such an outcome will open new markets for the US and Russia which are fast becoming war-run economies.
Do the authoritarian Arab leaders not know the end-game and destiny of all the monsters of history, such as what happened to Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam, Mubarak, Gaddafi, and so many others like Assad in waiting? If they had a sense of the prevailing reality, would they not opt for a navigational change to safeguard the people’s and their own future? Tyranny is corruption and the masses are against this tyranny of governance, be it in Syria or across the rest of the Arabian Peninsula. All dictators enjoin an erotic ambition to rule and remain in power even if they have to dehumanize the entire population. The resulting degeneration and destructiveness has gone on for seven years in Syria. This aggressive action should have been challenged and stopped – even by force, if not by reason – by other affluent Arab leaders and countries of the region. Alas, their conscience feels no sense of guilt for the ongoing crimes against humanity. Time and history are not on the side of tyrant Arab rulers – soon they will be floating like scum on the torrent of time.
Violence and hatred are fast sinking the large landscape of Arab-Muslim societies into the abyss of irreversible death and destruction. Daily death statistics generate a media-frenzy supporting Samuel Huntington’s (“The Clash of Civilizations”, Foreign Affairs, 1993), claim of “Islam has bloody borders.”
The contemporary Arab societies are caught in a delusional, oil-generated, economic prosperity and they are overburdened by the ignorance and stupidity of the uneducated ruling elite; they are unable to see the light out of the box. Arab authoritarianism needs a strong jolt – a powerful political, intellectual and military challenge to avert the ongoing military assaults against the very people on whose lifeline the nation state was created.
The voices of reason are loud and clear as global humanity cannot suffer the penalties of tyranny and the evil-mongering of the few dictators. We the people of the world enjoin focused minds and imagination to articulate a new world of One Humanity, brotherhood and peaceful co-existence amongst all, free of hatred, intrigues tyranny, encroachment and animosity.
We, the people of the globe, have an enriched understanding – how to change the egoistic and embittered insanity of the few hate-mongers and warlords into equilibrium of balanced relationship between Man, Life and God-given living Universe in which we reside all.