Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, November 2013
America's Intelligence Spying Scandal Draws Global Outrage
By Mahboob A Khawaja
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, November 5, 2013
From George Bush onward to President Obama, the sadistic politics of the few flourishes in darkness being unable to know the difference between the foes and friends, fair and foul. The draconian mindsets try to envisage the unknown - the distant future out of the perpetuated animosity if missing dots and codes and secret voices could usher something useful to protect the solidarity of the few warmongers. They have not learned any lessons from the living history to be compatible with the civilized norms of the contemporary relationships. Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald are blamed for much of the uproar coming out of the disclosures of secretive American spying networks, yet, both are taken seriously by the global community and appear to have earned moral and intellectual credibility as responsible citizens of the global mankind. President Obama and others need to work hard to earn respect, not claim it. In the 21st century knowledge-based rational culture of global thinking and relationships most nations have one image, one face to be recognized with in international affairs, but America has many and conflicting ones unknown to the informed global community. Its policies and practices have generated worldwide reactions coupled with resentment and interwoven emotions of fear and hatred. Its most reliable allies and ethnically trusted friends are questioning its sincerity and intents of collaborative relationships. America’s individualistic absolute rulers and politicians are not deterred but appear out of touch to defend their conspired onslaught on the friendly European and other nations by the on-going illegal spying networks conducted by the NSA- the federal agency under scrutiny.
Top notch American politicians are hiding behind shadowy trail of irrational opinions and fake threats of post 9/11 security and global terrorism as if these were the real stakes for the American political lifelines. Opinions are individuals, not the facts of politics, and unfolding facts of the spying scandals appear convincing to all rational observers. Across the political Pandora box, nobody seems to know where the problem lies, be it the President of the US or the activities of the embittered NSA claiming to be protecting the security of the USA and its people. There are multiple willing suspicion of the unknown, at least in images to respond to the global calls for change and accountability of these nasty adventures of intrigues and wickedness against its own loyal and committed friends. The known facts disclosed by former NSA worker Edward Snowden and reputable international reporter Glen Greenwald (Guardian, London) clearly warrant an open dialogue as to why the US and its national intelligence agencies are engaged in such dirty work which were the hallmark of the former East German Staci and Russian KGB. In all of the Western liberal democracies, intelligence apparatus hold most secretive powers to conduct business and unchallengeable influential hub to manage the official policies and practices. To ordinary American folks, it overshadows the knowledge-based societal claim and image that America is a free nation and that American political identity is defined by its deep historical roots of freedom, liberty and justice. Is America really a free nation? Since when the human slavery ended to be subservient to the ruling Masters? The institutionalized system of institutions and governance seem to have outlived its scope and usefulness. It is becoming increasingly questionable if history is any more a logical reference point for the work of contemporary American politicians.
Overwhelmed with their materialistic wealth and political power, American leaders seem to be too proud to acknowledge of any wrongdoings against themselves and their best friends. History speaks loud and clear, often nations and leaders obsessed with power and belligerency against others end up in self-annihilation by their own designs. Today, America is operating from a position of weakness, not strength because of the warmongering of its military-industrial complex. American policy makers appear to have lost the sense of rational thinking in international and appear indifferent to their follies and oversight against friends except in passing remarks, escaping sketchy irrational overtures and political jokes on the screen. But the prevalent known facts of tangible secretive and planned violations of the mutual trust and bonds of global friendship do warrant rethinking and grievances to be heard openly in a court of public opinions and accountability. After the recent shutdown of the US Government, American masses seem outraged as to why the NSA should conduct spying on friends and allies. Even President Obama failed to offer any rational answer or intellectual security to the concerned citizens. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor is no stranger to the American people, and she is not a terrorist either if this is the absurd rationale apologetic minds have come out to console the informed citizens of the advanced American political culture. German media tells that Obama knew since 2010 that NSA was listening to Merkel’s personal phone but now Obama is dodging the issue of accountability. In situations of crisis and unusual emergencies, intelligent and competent leaders try to assure the public of utmost security and safeguards by the official think-tanks and senior administrators. Not so, America appears on a slope toward moral and intellectual decadence and so is the most of Western industrialized civilizations. Professor Samuel Huntington (The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World, 1995) pointed out the current decay and possible extinction of intellectual and moral culture of the American society. Huntington was alarmed to discover that Western civilization is continuously decadent and warned that a “a new age of disharmony is dawning.” He noted that “the West’s victory in the Cold War has produced not triumph but exhaustion”…we have lost not only our self confidence but also our will to dominate. Huntington thought that America has lost the sense of coherent purpose and is in big trouble “because after the flabbergasting disappearance of the Soviet Union, we lack a sustaining and ennobling enmity.” It is reasonable to assume that both George Bush and now President Obama have re-enacted the Huntington theory to enjoin ennobling animosity to further the US global domination agenda. Perhaps, both of these leaders were and are wrong people, embedded with wrong thinking and doing the wrong things. There is no “ennobling animosity” in the European political minds and there is no “terrorism” breeding across the Muslim world to undermine the US security.
To cover up their secretive and unhealthy minds, the US policy makers continue to lie and deceive the well informed global conscience. Societies evolve and progress when they are open to rational communications and enjoin cooperation and mutual respects, not conflicts and illegal and immoral intelligence spying as stumbling blocks. Is “America a country at war with an Illusion” (Information Clearing House: 8/19/2013) asks William Boardman:
“We are waging war on terrorism even as we embody terrorism. No wonder we seem sometimes to be at war with ourselves, and have been for most of the 21st century….. No American under 12 Has Lived in a Country at Peace…whatever the U.S. government knows, or thinks it knows, is not widely shared with most of its citizens….. The American Enemies List Is Decided Anonymously and Secretly.”
Arguably conflicts generate mistrust and drain out all positive human energies and thinking for peaceful change, transformation to sustainable future and productivity. Is it hard to comprehend by the Obama administration and for that matter to the NSA Chief to understand this truth? Bill Moyers and Michael Winship (“The Lies that will Kill America” Information Clearing House: 10/28/2013) know well there are more dangerous enemies within America than elsewhere and do not pretend to act like politicians in Washington:
Such ignorance will kill democracy as surely as the big money that funds and encourages the media outlets, parties and individuals who spew the lies and hate. The ground is all too fertile for those who will only believe whatever best fits their resentment or particular brand of paranoia. It is, as an old song lyric goes, “the self-deception that believes the lie.” The truth will set us free; the lie will make prisoners of us all.
From George Bush to Barrack Obama, the American policies are dictated by the fear of “terrorism” allegedly originating from the Islamic world. On the operational map, all countries of Islamic religion are subservient allies to the US foreign policies and dictates In fact; many oil producing Arab countries are managed by the CIA and other US enterprises. Based on the prevalent facts, some will argue that America and European are the ones generating secretive scheme of terrorism to dominate the natural resources of the Muslim world. The bogus war on Iraq, Afghanistan and the strategic control of the oil producing Arab nations clearly speaks a different language of contrast and defiance. American policies are a problem, not solution to growing reactionary terrorism because of the US led fake Wars on Terrorism. The global mankind is conscientiously active in its search for peace, co-existence and broader understanding of trustworthy relationships amongst all the societies and nations. Whether America claims to be a superpower or a nation in historical change process, it will not bankrupt the global mankind of its rational thinking power and outcomes from the contemporary political lies and deceptions. But all of this could degrade in its outlook and drown the American Empire along with all of its historical manipulative possessions, maneuvers and aspirations to dominate the minds of the global humanity.
Rob Kall, the Executive Editor and Publisher of OPEdNews (“Lying General Keith Alexander- Bad for America.” OPEdNews: 10/29/2013), quotes one of the most reputable journalists Glenn Greenwald in British Guardian newspaper:
"...how are American and British officials, in light of their conduct in all of this, going to maintain the pretense that they are defenders of press freedoms and are in a position to lecture and condemn others for violations? In what might be the most explicit hostility to such freedoms yet -- as well as the most unmistakable evidence of rampant panic -- the NSA's director, General Keith Alexander, actually demanded Thursday that the reporting being done by newspapers around the world on this secret surveillance system be halted .
Rob Kall spells out clearly that: “The people of the world love and hate America. They love us for our American dream, for our freedoms, particularly our freedom of the press, and for our arts-- movies, music and culture. …. Greenwald indicts General Alexander quite effectively. But there's more. Alexander is clearly a threat and danger to first amendment freedoms in the US. But his behavior and words are hurting the soft power and reputation of the United States AND democracy AND the idea of freedom of the press…..Every time a high level official within the US government does something like Alexander has done, it hurts the reputation of America-- the soft power that keeps the rest of the world maintaining a balance of love with the hate that so many feel, as this WaPo map of love and hate of the US shows.
The on-going revelations by Edward Snowdon have created a culture of anti-American feelings and emotional outburst to challenge the American superpower stance. The US agencies are alleged to have spied not just on Chancellor Merkel and her personal life, French President, UNO Chief, Spain, Mexican leaders but on millions of North American people, on visible racial and ethnic minorities, citizens of France, Brazil, Spain, Mexico and so on. Despite all of this, American masses fear and hate their politicians, not the people of other nations. During the Shutdown of the Government, according to one of the CNN polls, 86% American disapprove the working of the Congress. Undeniably, all politics and politicians are presumptuous, individualistic and follow egoistic agenda of self-centered thoughts and actions. In election campaigns, they hire educated and intelligent consultants to advise them on how to win the elections but not run the governance, if they are successful. Once on the real political stage, they are dumb, absurd and heavily opinionated without any rational support to think intelligently and to do the right things for the interests of the people who elected them. Professor P.L Thomas (Furman University, South Carolina) speaks out loud and clear (“Obama's Failed Hope and Change: "Forget the Politicians. They are Irrelevant.” Speak Out: 9/04/2013):
Forget the politicians. They are irrelevant. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice! You have owners! They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear….They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want: They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests.
What is the cure to raging indifference and cruelty to the interests of the people of the United States and for that matter the whole of the mankind? America is not isolated but part of the living global community on Earth. Americans politicians and leaders appear to be devoid of true knowledge and intellectual capacity to foresee the future. Advanced technology or spying on others cannot tell them what is in waiting for them. Just like Pharaoh chasing Moses and his people had no knowledge what was there waiting for him at the Red Sea except deaths and destruction. Pharaoh is quoted (al-Qura’an) that “a handful of people have annoyed us and we are the most powerful nation on earth and must stand on guard to protect ourselves.” But there was no threat or sign of it from Moses or his beleaguered people. Is this not the same that George Bush paraphrased it “either you are with us or against us”, and President Obama continued to follow the same mind and dictum. Today, America is alone and under fire from friends not foes, and Obama has no face to offer any rational explanation to the visiting Europeans demanding a rational answer to the alleged spying on friends. America should not be excluded nor dumped aside from its search of being an active member of the civilized and informed entity of the global humanity. Is it possible for President Obama and General Keith Alexander, Chief of the NSA to come out clean to the global community and apologize for their secretive misdeeds and evil-mongering against their own friends and the global community? Would President Obama demonstrate courage and conviction that America has done wrong and will not repeat the follies against others? If the leaders of a powerful country like the US are not flexible and intelligent enough to realize the attributes of the 21st century effective leadership and be able to know and manage their strengths and weaknesses and make a Navigational Change when facts of life warrant an immediate Change, how could they be able to deal with the futuristic global challenges given a morally, intellectually and politically stranded America, disconnected with the rest of the informed and civilized world? Would the sky fall upon Washington or the NSA Headquarters or the planet will dwindle if both of these characters speak out the truth that the informed global humanity already knows well, perhaps rationality will outcast the prevalent political nuisance.
Tom Ingelhardt (“The 12th Anniversary of American Cowardice What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You.” Information Clearing House: 3.28.2013), sums up the paradox of contemporary American politics - if the history will judge the warmongers by their actions or claims:
“We should already know more than enough to be horrified by the state of our American world. It should disturb us deeply that a government of, by, and for the war-makers, intelligence operatives, bureaucrats, privatizing mercenary corporations, surveillers, torturers, and assassins is thriving in Washington. As for the people -- that’s us -- in these last years, we largely weren’t there, even as the very idea of a government of, by, and for us bit the dust, and our leaders felt increasingly unconstrained when committing acts of shame in our name. So perhaps the last overlooked anniversary of these years might be the 12th anniversary of American cowardice. You can choose the exact date yourself; anytime this fall will do. At that moment, Americans should feel free to celebrate a time when, for our “safety,” and in a state of anger and paralyzing fear, we gave up the democratic ghost. Among the many truths in that still-to-be-written secret history of our American world would be this: we the people have no idea just how, in these years, we’ve hurt ourselves.”
(Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution, and comparative Western-Islamic cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest one: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany, May 2012)
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