Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man in Search of New Thinking
Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD
In its search for change and movement to progressive future-making, the global mankind is oppressed by systematic ignorance, intransigence and arrogance of the few affluent class of people managing the global institutions, militarization and governance - the perverted insanity lacking basic understanding of the Human Nature and of the working of the Universe in which we enjoy coherent co-exist. Animals do not commit massacre of their kind and species, nor set-up rape camps for the war victims, the Western led wars against the humanity have and continue to do so at a global scale without being challenged by any global organizations or leaders. Torture and massacres of innocent civilians are convenient fun games to be defined as “collateral damage” and a statistic. Perhaps, they view humanity just in digits and numbers, not as the living entities with social, moral, spiritual and intellectual values and progressive agendas for change and development. Every beginning has its end. It is just that most powerful nations have failed to learn from the living history- a slap to EH Carr’s precious thoughts of human history.
Perpetuated insanity of the two on-going Terrorism of Wars or Wars on Terrorism got jolt to commit past mid night massacres of the 16 innocent civilians - women and children in Kandhar- the occupied and poverty stricken Afghanistan. The US war thinking news media reports of the Afghan ‘host’ reactionary language of silent protests – the journalistic front page headline sketch of the poor-man’s pain and anguish, but not telling the truth that American forces and NATO are not their ‘invited guests’ but uninvited ‘aggressive occupiers’ with an established pattern of behavior to kill civilians and destroy their habitats for more fun and enjoyment. In his prompt follow-up phone call, President Obama made his” saddened” impressions known to Hamad Karazi - the US installed puppet president of Afghanistan. Nonsense, in situations of adversity and crisis, competent and intelligent leaders show no feelings on the war fronts nor a Commander–in-Chief (though legal and paper-based) of the biggest armies in the world, would spell out emotions as war code dictates “do or die” and nothing in between. Obama appears smart and tactful at least in his outlook, fighting and killing people from his drawing room thousands of miles away without any repercussion to the self- his inner soul and human conscience. Under the NATO, the Western allied nations use media as a weapon to manage innovative battlefield and defeat the perceived enemies in lands far away that the US military leaders could not understand - its people, their psychology or cultural identity. One of the biggest stonewalling that American strategists face is that they are disconnected and ignorant of the social, moral and civilizational culture of Afghanistan and Iraq, and failed to comprehend its vitality in fighting successfully. To put a pattern to the context, first it was the US marines photos of pissing on the dead Afghani corps, then the unknowing burning of the Muslim Holy Book Qura’an, and now the added new massacres of the innocent civilians. The American history shows that Thomas Jefferson, the architect of the American Constitution, had three volumes of the Holy Al-Qura’an in his library that he used to devise the legal, moral and ethical stipulations for the American Constitution. Does it mean that the American populace is not aware of their own history? The US armed forces are trained and represent the US culture of thinking, sense of freedom and liberty and justice, moral values and political indoctrination, strangely, why should the Commander-in-Chief be ‘saddened’ for these latest atrocities against the people who never harmed nor threatened the US national interests. Does hypocrisy and cynicism have another name? Officially, the White House is the reference point for statements but a concrete building built by the black slaves, and its new occupier happened to be the first President of African origin– the elected President is the voice of the nation, out of voiceless stones and deafening silent shame. The informed and conscientious global community wonders, when rationality would replace the drudgery, hypocrisy of wars and killings of the innocent people?
To invest in favorite perversion, torture, corruption and massacre of innocent people can become the hallmarks of the contemporary sadistic political governance, and the world can watch the bloody atrocities with deafening silence and inhuman complacency but what kind of glorification would it produce for the generations to come to understand the norms of humanity? Looking at the Nature of Things, the universe encompasses challenging opposites - time, space, sun, moon, gravitational rotation of the earth, fire, water, sand, wind, floods, earthquakes, tsunami, disasters, explosions, wars, destructions, bombing and all that can be viewed to extinct 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? Not so, culture and environment and societal indoctrinations frame and shape that mindset. To Societal Thinkers and Reformers there is an insurmountable challenge in every age and time to cope with.
Obsessed with man-made system of ideologies, communism, fascism and capitalism and individualistic absolutism and unthinking of the traditional values of the American progressive history, both Obama and George Bush ignored the imperatives of change and peacemaking and miserably failed to foresee the much deserving prospects for diplomacy and concerted global interactive communication for peace and conflict management. George Bush lost a decade in self-geared cruelty of wars triggered by his sadistic perceptions and with the active support of the military-industrial complex. The ultimate aim was militarization of the globe and American hegemony over oil and gas resources of the Arab-Muslim regions. There is growing trend of “Big Thinking” in American politics that often overwhelms the powerful nation to drain out its abilities to see the mirror for a critical self-analysis and reconstruction of policy and strategic behavior in a situation of primary crisis management conflict resolution. Throughout its two centuries of evolving history, the US government has been continuously engaged in more than 220 wars. What a tragedy and loss to human thinking, intellect and values - Immanuel Kant, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Shakespeare and Bertrand Russell and their souls put to tormenting torture – the treatment they did not deserve from George Bush, Barrack Obama, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld and so many others full of embittered conscious and cancerous ego to annihilate the mankind.
Late Chalmers Johnson (“Three Good Reasons to Liquidate Our Empire
: and Ten Steps to Take to Do So”) noted that “these massive concentrations of American military power outside the United States are not needed for our defense. They are, if anything, a prime contributor to our numerous conflicts with other countries….. According to the 2008 official Pentagon inventory of our military bases around the world, our empire consists of 865 facilities in more than 40 countries and overseas U.S. territories. We deploy over 190,000 troops in 46 countries and territories. …….We are like the British at the end of World War II: desperately trying to shore up an empire that we never needed and can no longer afford, using methods that often resemble those of failed empires of the past -- including the Axis powers of World War II and the former Soviet Union.”
Deceit and dishonesty of the Bush manufactured War on Terrorism and its short-long terms crippling impacts on the present and future of the mankind will continue to hold the future generations hostage for change and peaceful co-existence. Individually paranoid and intellectually insane, the men who are universally hated and feared cannot be source of hope and positive thinking to envision change and promising future for the humanity. After the short run of the Iraq invasion in 2003, George Bush called it “mission accomplished.” Not knowing the unforeseen consequences of the Iraq war could dismantle the American Empire and turn it into a morally, financially and politically bankrupt nation. Was the US Congress complacent with the Bush presidency to subjugate America to a catastrophic future? To his proud profile, George Bush was hit by shoes by an Iraqi Journalist making history. America appears at a crossroads being unable to ward off the crucial challenge of history that it will no longer be seen as a reliable superpower and more susceptible to change and to be replaced by another nation or group of new emerging Asian nations of economic and political leadership as the next power (s) of the 21st century and new global age of politics, human integrity and peaceful co-existence. America is skeptical being unable to command the ethical and intellectual spirited power of the global echelon to be a great nation of the world. President Obama claimed “Yes We Can” to America’s change phenomena but political cynicism and lack of proactive commitment stumbled his convenient political slogan for personal survival. On wishful thinking, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded to Obama the Nobel Peace prize but now the people across the globe are questioning and Nobel Committee is reviewing it consideration if the Obama award should be recalled. That should send a strong message to President Obama to rethink if he is a suitable candidate for the presidential re-election in 2012.
Paul J. Balles (“The World’s Sickest Warrior State”, March 8, 2010, ICH) exposes the prevalent truth often denied by the mainstream US news media:
”It's past time for humanitarians to reject the double standards set by warmongers and supported by arms-makers and the mainstream media…..We have now reached a stage where our extreme horrors of brutality and cruelty have exceeded our past records. We no longer have the rationale of moral righteousness of the earlier wars. There were no excuses for Abu-Ghraib, but our interest in that inhuman travesty dried up and blew away. We have little concern about our violations of human rights in Guantanamo…..But the most extremes - the real horrors - of this war come with the primitive killer mentality developed in our youth. I've now seen a half dozen documentary films and read eyewitness accounts that reveal troops or pilots gloating over the massacres of civilians who just happened to be available targets.”
Undoubtedly, looking at the past decade old record of the American led unwanted and aggressive wars around the globe, it is becoming clear that the US strategies are increasingly becoming self-defeating and its imperial designs are crippling in its own yard. Robert Pape, Professor, University of Chicago's, and author of the Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, 2005, explains:
"America is in unprecedented decline. The self-inflicted wounds of the Iraq war, growing government debt, increasingly negative current-account balances and other internal economic weaknesses have cost the United States real power in today's world of rapidly spreading knowledge and technology. If present trends continue, we will look back on the Bush years as the death knell of American hegemony."
Chalmers Johns (Dismantling the Empire) warned:
“We Are Going to Lose the War in Afghanistan and it Will Help Bankrupt Us. One of our major strategic blunders in Afghanistan was not to have recognized that both Great Britain and the Soviet Union attempted to pacify Afghanistan using the same military methods as ours and failed disastrously. We seem to have learned nothing from Afghanistan's modern history -- to the extent that we even know what it is. Between 1849 and 1947…..”
General Stanley McChrystal, the US Commander in Afghanistan differed with Obama’s policy orientation, he was immediately recalled and replaced with cronies and obedient followers of the US powerful Military-Industrial complex based in Washington, the War regardless of its favorable outcome must continue. It is General Petreaus and Mr. Panelta, the Defense Secretary working for the White House.
Twenty years after the forces of the Red Army withdrew from Afghanistan in disgrace, points out Chalmers Johnson, that the last Russian general to command them, Gen. Boris Gromov, issued his own prediction: Disaster, he insisted, will come to the thousands of new forces Obama is sending there, just as it did to the Soviet Union's, which lost some 15,000 soldiers in its own Afghan war. We should recognize that we are wasting time, lives, and resources in an area where we have never understood the political dynamics and continue to make the wrong choices.
Are we a ruthless and most feared nation in the world, ask curious Chalmers Johnson:
Either we have an absentee landlord in the White House, one who has permitted the Pentagon to determine our foreign policies and create a reign of aggression internationally, or we have a closet warrior in the White House, one who has consciously called for all-out war against many of the world’s people. In either case, the Pentagon’s actions have decimated our own economy as well as that of many other nations, and have transformed this country into one of the most despised, feared and ruthless nations, perhaps, in the history of the world…….
Obama has elevated war crimes to the status of American-established foreign policy. His use of Drones, mercenaries, hidden assassination squads, the slaughtering of civilians -- all have been sanctioned by the President of the United States.
According to the American Constitution, War without the consent of the People and Congress is “treason.” The Sorrows of Empire offers a powerful indictment of current U.S. military and foreign policy. The costs of the Empire are our sorrows, not rejoice able accomplishments, noted Chalmers Johnson:
“President Bush unilaterally declared a long war against terrorism. …..a White House spokesman at the time remarked that the president "considers any opposition to his policies to be no less than an act of treason." Treason?” In his campaign, Bush joked in October 2000, "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." After Sept. 11, he told a reporter: "I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation." So much for James Madison.”
To change the world, it is incumbent upon the intellectuals, academics, visionaries, poets, philosophers and the thinking people 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. Thus facilitating opportunities for dialogue and reason to deal with issues of primary national conflicts, competing economic and political discords, freedom, justice, human rights, and to invent new terminologies of diplomacy, peacemaking and co-existence between Man, the Humanity and the encompassed Universe. Peace and global security are not the properties or legal tenders of any superpowers, UNO or the Security Council or corporate entity. The global mankind enjoins rational optimism to see the ideas and ideals of peace and human security as its own collectively, not of the few.
Leaders create leaders. The single most problem stalling the progressive movement of the global community that it does not have proactive, visionary and competent leaders to lead. Those lacking imagination and full of failing record and indicted war criminals against the humanity cannot be resourceful persons for future-making - George Bush and Tony Blair deserve a mention. Both wrote memoirs - the record of their accumulated war cruelty and insanity to sell to the masses to make money - a double digit punishment to the people of the world. The Mankind looks to the Thinking People of new ideas, imagination and commitment to transform the helpless and degenerated present unto hall marks of positive hope and plausible future for all the humanity living on One Planet. But the raging wars and new emerging conflicts are undermining the future of the mankind. The global community views the current US- Israel warmongering against Iran with great dismay and active disapproval. The US and Israel are isolated and even Europeans appear reluctant to offer enthusiastic support for the Iran attack.
Time and encompassing opportunities warrant New Thinking, New Leaders and New Visions for change and the future-making. But change and creativity and new visions will not emerge from the obsolete, redundant and failed authoritarianism of the few insane leaders. None have the understanding of neither peace nor respect for human life and co-existence in a splendid Universe. To challenge the deafening silence of the US and Europeans for global peace and security, the humanity must find ways and means to look beyond the obvious and troublesome horizons dominated by the few warlords and continued to be plagued with massacres, barbarity against human culture and civilizations, destruction of the habitats and natural environment as if there were no rational being and people of REASON populating the God-given Universe. The March 2011 Japan’s natural disasters - tsunami, earthquakes and nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima have further heightened the tormenting uneasiness, pain and anguish of the mankind across the globe. Environmental experts, technology inventors and nuclear scientists seem to invent things but failed to manage the operational outcomes and accidents, essentially signaling major flaws between what is thinkable for the good of human change, progress and advancements and the divide between what could purge the human existence because of the human intransigence, warmongering and inconsistency and confrontations with the Nature of Things.
“If the human nature is in part wicked and in part foolish, how can human beings be prevented from suffering from the result of their wickedness and folly?” C.E.M. Joad (Guide to Modern Wickedness), the 20th century proactive thinker offers a rational context to the prevalent facts of life:
“Men simply do not see that war is foolish and useless and wicked. They think on occasion that it is necessary and wise and honourable, for war is not the work of bad men knowing themselves to be wrong, but of good men passionately convinced that they are right.”