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When Wrong is right
"People who lose the sense of introspection as individuals and even more so as a society become dangerous to others and eventually to themselves."
"Blame America first" is the retort from those who think all actions, including reactions (defying logic) take place in a historical vacuum. We are right and to accept mistakes is weakness. We are good, evil is what others do. End of discussion.
I have heard adaptations of "Blame ---- first" in many languages. Fill in the blank depending on the country, race or religion. It may be Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, Arabs, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews or whoever.
9/11 elicited thoughtful analysis by some. Their voices were drowned by the instant analysts, on television and added to the popularity of the hate radio. The question was why? The complex nuanced answers were drowned by simplistic explanations. "They" hate us for our goodness, our freedoms. An administration controlled by ideologues, such as Neo-Con pundits and the War preaching, Armageddon seeking wing of Christians, implemented a policy devoid of humane and Christian values. They found it easy to paint a whole people and religion as culprits.
With Blinders on, Bin Ladin and Talibans only saw an increasing support for the expansionist policies of Israel and support of corrupt Arab regimes for Oil by the US administrations. They could not see the democratic and humane facets of America. They did not see the rot in their draconian systems, the stifled education and injustices heaped on their own people and the minorities were the reasons they were open to exploitation.
They had to show that they could hurt a super-power. They did. It mattered little that the turmoil destroyed thousands of innocent lives.
Bin Ladin and his kind gave an unimagined opportunity to the ideologues in America. They used 9/11 for a simplistic propaganda. All liberation movements were painted as terrorism and all terrorism was assigned to Muslims. Basque Nationalists of Spain, Shining path Guerillas in Peru, Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka got a respite. The Christian Serbian genocide of Muslims, the Rwandan genocide lost relevance, and Israeli expansionism celebrated.
The only reality was the attack on 9/11 by Arab Muslims, thus easy to simplify a complex phenomenon.
The attack on Bin Ladin and Talibans in Afghanistan was an opening gambit. The goal was to exploit the current US supremacy in the continuum of history. They left BinLadin on the loose, Afghanistan smoldering. Drunk with power they connived and attacked Iraq. They were salivating at the prospect of attack on Iran, Syria and others being next. Trial balloons by the Pentagon were busted in the Iraqi quagmire.
Ensuing turmoil destroyed tens of thousands of innocent lives and America lost friends. In their boast they coined the term "shock and awe". They managed to awe themselves and shock the world, and Iraq became a quagmire.
People who loose the sense of introspection as individuals and even more so as a society become dangerous to others and eventually to themselves. We learn this lesson again and again and forget it with every generation to relearn it at great cost to humanity
The administration circumvented the Geneva conventions in Guantanamo Bay and prisons in Afghanistan and Iraq. Private contractors were hired to violate the Geneva conventions. Reports were reports rife for a year about the torture chambers then Abu Ghraib seared us with pictures. The photographs of torture, abuses, and humiliations of every sort shocked the decent Americans, but to Iraqis and the world it became the personification of American perfidy.
Shocked decent Americans protested and apologized. Strong articles were written, but the ideologues, who wanted apology from every living, and possibly dead Muslims, justified these actions as no worse than collage pranks, some bad apples. They insisted on suppression of evidence. Administration refused an independent commission lest they connect it directly to the Policy of Bush and Rumsfeld.
The problem with wars is, they are started by a few narrow-minded self-serving ideologues, drunk with myopic power. A small minority that cares about candor, justice and counsels restraint is drowned in propaganda. A majority, consisting of kind and decent people, who try to help the week and needy as individuals are taken in by the nationalistic drums of war. As the ugly rapacious face of wonton death and destruction emerges, they are urged to fall in line lest they be considered week and harm the dubious cause.
The evil instead of being contained is multiplied. The warmongers on all sides control the agenda. The dead and injured innocents are collateral damage. The purported laudable aims give way to half-truths, then victory at any cost. Virtue becomes vice, and wrong becomes right.
by courtesy & © 2004 Mirza A. Beg
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