By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD
The Arabs, once pioneer of knowledge-based advanced civilization lasting for 800 years – the longest period in human history, are the victims of a delusional oil-pumping economic prosperity imported for marriage of convenience forged between the tribal Arab rulers and the Western industrialized world. Throughout the 20th century and well into the 21st century, the oil richness failed to deal with emerging social, moral, intellectual and political problems. Instead, increasing bloodbaths depicts a havoc political spectrum. Islam enriched the Arabs to become global leaders of a progressive civilization, but the oil enhanced prosperity transformed them into ‘camel jockeys’ and object of hallow laughters after dinner jokes across the Western culture. Money cannot buy wisdom, honor and human integrity. The bogus “war on terrorism” could not have happened if the Arab leaders – the front line bogyman of the US Empire had useful mind, intellectual capacity and integrity to challenge the most irrational and cruel act in human history. Under George Bush and continued with President Obama’s agenda, the oil exporting Arab leaders became the submissive ‘yes man’ to offer logistic support to US planned aggression against the innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan and now in Waziristan, Northwest Pakistan. An estimated 3 million people were massacred in Iraqi genocide and millions more lost life and habitats in Afghanistan and now in Pakistan.
The War on Terrorism was planned by the US politicians long before the attacks of 9/11 in September 2001. Its ultimate aims were to occupy and control the natural resources of the Muslim world. The mindless oil producing Arab leaders were willing complacent in this wicked strategic game for purely individual survival and nothing else. If the Arab leaders had any knowledge, understanding and sense of responsibility of the future and of the devastating short and long terms impacts of the bogus war, they should have challenged the American policy or sought advice from Muslim intellectuals and scholars to assess the crisis situation for reasonable alternatives. There are many Western scholars and politicians who oppose the Bush led warmongering against Islam and the Muslims and took moral and legal steps to question the US administration.
The World War Tribunal held in Istanbul, 2005, had articulated this conclusion. The jury Declaration of Conscience included this general language:
"The invasion and occupation of Iraq was and is illegal. The reasons given by the US and UK governments for the invasion and occupation of Iraq in March 2003 have proven to be false. Much evidence supports the conclusion that a major motive for the war was to control and dominate the Middle East and its vast reserves of oil as a part of the US drive for global hegemony… In pursuit of their agenda of empire, the Bush and Blair governments blatantly ignored the massive opposition to the war expressed by millions of people around the world. They embarked upon one of the most unjust, immoral, and cowardly wars in history."
Francis Boyle (“Bush, Blair Wanted for Crimes against Humanity”: ICH, October 21, 2012), an eminent international jurist and Professor of International Law, University of Illinois, led the prosecution team in November 2011 at the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, and convicted Bush and Blair of crimes against peace and humanity, and genocide over their roles in the Iraq war.
Professor Boyle said in a press interview that “We got them both convicted of a Nuremberg crime against peace,” he added while referring to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the principles of international law recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal.
According to Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances are crimes “punishable” under international law. Professor Boyle took note of the Israeli atrocities against the occupied Palestinian population in Gaza and condemned the Israeli leaders for “inflicting outright genocide on the Palestinians in Gaza,”
Throughout the Arab world, the contemporary rulers have turned out to be complacent in the US –Israeli designs for the future of the Middle East. Ironically, it is hard to imagine if the prosperous Arab rules have any consciousness of the real world affairs in their own backyards. Most rulers appear to be missing the essential human conscience – the hub of Islamic characteristics of human beings to see the unfolding political and economic realities on the ground. None of the leaders have ever come out to represent the public conscience on the issue of Palestine and the establishment of an independent homeland for the people of Palestine. With exception of Egypt, the Arab world is devoid of critical THINKING, reasoning and proactive leadership or leadership of any kind to make the presence felt in the global political arena.
The world is changing but not fast enough for the authoritarian Arab rulers – fattish fed by the oil revenues and stupid and mindless in thoughts and behaviors if you view them in the real world of political actions and prevalent deplorable atrocities imposed on the Arab people. The affluent and oil enriched indulged in conspiracy to assume power and institutionalize corruption simply to maintain few tribal powerhouses favored by the ex-colonial masters managing the power centers from distance. They build sky high towers, mountain high palaces and used 747 equipped with swimming pools while the people begged for bread and butter and freedom to speak and be recognized as human beings. Now, the Arab people have hpw awakened after long slumber of complacency and disorder. The problem was well defined centuries earlier by Shakespeare “the destiny of peoples coincided with the destiny of their monarch and nobles.”
This week, the impacts of the SANDY super storm and its resulting loss of human lives and vast destructions of the habitats should have reminded the people in America, what it is like to be victims of the US led wars in other lands. The devastation clearly resembled to war zones but it was caused by natural disaster. An honest reflection will help America to RETHINK of its futuristic policies and practices. Michael Hampton asks “Do American Approve Mass Murder” (Information Clearing House: 6/14/2012). When humanity is transformed into statistic and is presented by the leading US opinion polls, it does not include the human aspects of the real story. Across the United States, common folks lack the reality check. The NY Times reported (May 29, 2012) that President Obama maintains a ‘kill list’ and personally reviews it to issue the strike order, when and where. Hampton notes that “The reality, widely reported worldwide but rarely in U.S. media, is that all too often these strikes kill innocent civilians in addition to, or even instead of, the intended targets.” In some instances, the US drone attacks do hit the militants fighting against the war on terror but overwhelmingly, the global consensus indicate that these attacks are resulting in more reactionary animosity against the US warmongers. Hampton offers a context to the civilian tragedies: “But by killing the innocent, the strikes themselves are manufacturing more enemies. Haykal Bafana, a lawyer in Yemen, writes on Twitter, “Dear Obama, when a US drone missile kills a child in Yemen, the father will go to war with you, guaranteed. Nothing to do with Al Qaeda.
Do American public care about the on-going massacres of civilians in other lands? Hampton observes: “So we come full circle. Only a minority of people show any concern over Obama’s killing of innocent people abroad in the name of the war on terror (oops, we aren’t supposed to say that anymore). Perhaps the people who approve of the drone strikes simply don’t know. Or perhaps, like Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), they don’t care. “I am not concerned,” he said.”
America is in a grip of crises, one after another as legal and political repercussions of the continued wars against Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The war mentality has not changed under Obama’s presidency and much intended political stunt “Yes We Can.” America is bankrupt in moral, financial, political and intellectual domains. Over the centuries what was evolved and built by its historical thinkers, philosophers and political leaders, has been undermined and destroyed by George W. Bush and Barrack Obama just in a decade.
Dirk Adriansens (“Crimes against Humanity: Iraq’s Mass Graves”, Global Research, October 23, 2012), points out how the US occupation forces planned and trained the Iraqi police to kidnap, torture and kill the civilians.
“US Occupation authorities: guilty. They created, trained and armed the National Police and controlled the Ministry of Interior, responsible for death squad policies.
Maliki government: guilty. They acted as local US stooges. They carried out the US counterinsurgency strategy, protected the kidnappers and prevented an investigation.
UN Human Rights Bodies: guilty by negligence. They refused to nominate a special Human Rights rapporteur for Iraq. They refused to investigate this crime against humanity.”
Michael Hampton (“Do American Approve Mass Murder”) warns:
“Let’s be perfectly clear. Killing an innocent person is wrong, whether you’re the lowest criminal or the highest .. excuse me, president of the United States. What should worry you even more than that, though, is that in a few years, those drones and their missiles are coming home, and they will be used here in the U.S. against Americans. Police chiefs all over the country are drooling at the prospect of getting hold of their own drones — to be used only for aerial surveillance, of course, and not to kill people by remote control. At least not right away. That part comes later, after you all are accustomed to seeing the things flying around.”
How should the world view the contemporary Arab societies living under willing conspiracies of power and corruption of the authoritarianism for over half a century? What happened to their Islamic culture, values and glorious civilization? Was the petrodollar a conspiracy (“fitna”) to disconnect the Arab people with the Islamic civilization? Ironically, how the few tribal leaders could have managed the time and history on their own unless large segments of the masses were complacent in making the tragedy?
In view of the unstoppable cycle of political killings and daily bloodbaths in so many Arab states – Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain and spill-over to other oil producing Arab nations – and reactionary militancy against the authoritarian rule and dismantling of the socio-economic infrastructures – is the Arab world coming to its own end because of the sadistic dictators? The Arab rulers and the masses live and breathe in conflicting time zones being unable to see the rationality of people-oriented Islamic governance, the worst is yet to come, surrender to foreign forces as there are no leaders to think of the future or the Arab armies to defend the people. Are the foreign dictated rulers and their armies – the bloody killers – the only task they are accustomed to do? The question is how to decode treachery, greed, incompetence and dead conscience to tell the world – the real story of the Arab ruler’s self-inflicted defeat and decline.