RAIS AHMAD KHAN
A new player has entered the world stage, but his nemesis has been around for quite a while. Who dominates the news from now on, remains to be seen. But one thing is clear – the contest henceforth will not only be confined to brute force on the battlegrounds, but also as a moral dilemma confounding the hearts and minds of people around the globe.
The choice between forces of good and evil was not so blurred during the Bush era, but now the moral equilibrium has made it more difficult to choose between the two sides. The newcomer on the world scene carried with him an aura of sincerity and ethical integrity that was conspicuously absent at the time of his predecessor. So now people have to take the USA’s pronouncements more seriously and weigh carefully.
Let’s hope Mr Osama also feels in a similar vein and can find some arguments to come to terms with his adversary, enough to dispel the erroneous notion that considers the Muslim world as an unmitigated source of evil by all the non-Muslim world, and even maligns the Islamic religion as well. While not a single Muslim nation in today’s world can claim to be perfect, there is every reason to believe that collectively Muslims as a whole behave more righteously and in a broader forthright manner than their accusers.
The bad press that Osama routinely gets has so brain-washed the people that they fail to see the root causes of that mindset – the havoc played and still being actively cast around the globe by Israel and its backers – USA and the West, particularly the UK – who have declared an open war on Muslims everywhere.
Although, in the present milieu, parental faith and beliefs do not count much (if at all) in a person’s own creed and criteria, the fact of Obama’s father being a Kenyan Muslim, and hence Barack’s middle name (Hussein) cannot be entirely discounted. So it is not unreasonable to hope that Obama will not brush aside Muslim people everywhere as an undesirable lot of trouble-makers or Islam as a philosophy that breeds ‘militarism’.
As a very conscientious Christian, his sense of Christian virtues will now allow his views of the plight of Palestinians to be clouded by Zionist propaganda or Kashmiris sufferings by Indian obfuscation. Same goes for other world-views of Pentagon – like Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran or Pakistan among other Muslim lands more or less similarly afflicted (like Sudan, Somalia, Kosovo, Cyprus, etc).
If it is possible for Barack Obama to rationally analyse the root-causes of dissent in Muslim lands and people in particular, and the third world in general, he will see abject poverty, lack of opportunities, deprivation, illiteracy and poor health, topped by political, economic and military subjugation by external forces directly or through their surrogates, as the basic breeding grounds for utter misery and desperation that leads to terror as the weapon in the hands of the downtrodden.
Add to that lethal brew a few more toxic ingredients like Zionist expansionism, colonial exploitation and hegemony, quest for basic resources – particularly oil and gas, search for captive markets, and above all financial squeeze through the creations of Bretton Woods – and you get the foreground of Armegeddon that nothing short of an all-out nuclear war can wipe out from the planet earth.
Osama, right or wrong, thinks of avenging or altering this iniquity. With limited resources and pitted against the combined might of the entire world community, he is waging a losing war to annihilation. Unless he is persuaded to abjure armed conflict and sit across a negotiating table, the whittling ‘war against terror’ will last forever.
Future generations of humanity will never forgive this ‘last’ and ‘lost’ opportunity to set things right. Can Mr Obama and Mr Osama be man enough to own and discard the folly of their ways and come to a relief of the human race? One can only hope and pray!