Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, March 2017
Leaders in Global Lens
The 21st century global politics is fraught with conflicts, deaths and destruction of human lives, indifference to the vital problem of global warming and climate change and leadership failure to resolve the issues via peaceful dialogue. Those claiming to be the leaders of the elected masses, discard people’s voices of reason and accountability. Most leaders act in disconnect to the Nature of Things in which we breath and enjoin life - all fragmented by design or by the emerging crises, the so called leaders have failed to bridge the gaps of moral and intellectual decadence and human predictability. The reason being that global politics is not about the humanity’s mirror of the Nature reflecting ethical or spiritual bonds which are common across the global mankind, and therefore, humanity views the deliberate division as formidable blocks stalling its ideas and ideals for global change, progress and unity of the mankind. One of the major deficient appears to be the missing Reality of global consciousness as seen and observed by the citizenry of the humanity. The global affairs are led by mediocre leaders lacking rational vision and thinking for the unity of mankind but focused on egoistic ambitions of power and politics to dominate societies and people of the globe by means of lies, deceptions, militarization and political hegemonic control over others.
How to find a rational culture of holistic thinking encompassing peaceful dialogue and co-existence in global affairs? The response to this vital question has great deal to do with the thinking, role and policy behaviors of the contemporary political leaders holding positions of power and influence in making the global politics. In this evolutionary conjecture, individualistic thinking and animosity play significant part to determine the leadership attributes and competitive role-play. There are no visible characteristics of moral and intellectual traits which govern the global political affairs. Do most of the powerful leaders possess formidable mental microscope to scan the experiential observations for making favorable policies and practices in international affairs? Leadership effectiveness must embody ethical values and learning aptitude to relate to the voices of the people. At times, you may find many morally and intellectually abhorrent people assuming leadership role to invite hollow laughters from political opponents.
This is the forbidden reality of the 21st century political world in which we try to cherish civic values, honesty and moral accountability from elected leaders. Today, in a Washington congressional hearing, the FBI Director and the NSA Chief denied President Trump’s claim that President Obama wiretapped his movements during the elections. But Mr. Trump and his press secretary continues to insist that it did happen. Could President Trump be using a strategy of distraction to divert attention from other critical issues facing his hurriedly done executive orders? The critical lens has another angle that many European, Russian and others are concerned about what unscheduled political developments are taking shape and form in America with immense implications for global economic and political affairs. Comparatively, American politics is geared towards blame game on Russia for alleged election interference – the issue is disputed and still under scrutiny by the US agencies. Often, it is convenient to blame others for your own errors of thinking, intellectual weaknesses and vocal judgment when facts fail to support the end-game.
The US political media accuses Russia of cyber incursion and interference in the presidential election system. This is a challenging new scenario in US-Russia relations. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and President Putin denied Moscow’s alleged meddling in the US election. Under Obama , all the IMF financial commitments to Russian projects were stopped. The wishful political metaphor is not the outcome of the history, ideology, knowledge or mythology but specific ideas aimed at degeneration of the civilized world. The masked agenda unfolds motives, phobias, fears and prejudices towards each other political culture and human values. Most often such framework ushers dereliction, unknown fear, and transfers chaos and uncertainty as new normal in global relations. You will imagine that all elected politicians are mature and accountable in their thoughts and behaviors. Not so, as you could analyze the recent war torn stories of George W. Bush, Tony Blair and many others, how they victimized the mankind.
The West and Russia on a Collision Course
Formal foreign policies and practices are not abrupt but highly thoughtful course of actions often with available alternatives and deliberate pauses for reactionary behavior. The Russian stance on Ukraine and its overwhelming powerful cultural-political relations with the eastern broken parts of Ukraine are point of great anxiety and political reaction across the Western hemisphere. NATO is search of new animosities has worsened the geo-politics of the region. Russia is under economic embargo by the EU and America. Who suffered most, not Russia but the farmers and agricultural exports of Italy, Spain, Portugal and perhaps Greece? The EU-US economic embargo against Russia did not seem to work to change the status-quo of problematic situations in eastern Ukraine to anybody’s favor. What if all the leaders were at one table and some intellectual like Immanuel Kant would have told them that all of you are immature and emotionally unbalanced to use economic embargo as a reactionary remedy when it really hurts the common masses, not the political elite making the decisions on vital issues.
What if you will prefer a leadership dialogue on equal terms while sitting face to face – without agreeing or disagreeing, just listening to each other’s contentious claims? Listen fellows, your claims and counter-claims do not open-up the wonderlands of any plausible futuristic probabilities of peace and human understanding. There is tension between your ego and authority to face the facts of human life. You desperately need an intellectual and leadership advisory from an impartial scholar of global affairs. You are engaged in penalizing the humanity in a useless game, wasting time and opportunities for change and new thinking to cope with wrongful human policies and practices. All of you appear to be on a wrong path of moral and intellectual pursuits. Your individuality and sense of belligerency is the cause of troubles that you seem to cherish the form and forgot the essence of collegiality and human excellence in bridging the invisible gaps by human communication. None of you will ever win-win but lose-lose in all humanitarian corridors of accountability.
Likewise, none of the superpowers have capacity to strike peace or resolve political issues at a global scale. It is clearly demonstrable from their behaviors at the UN Security Council. What did Europeans achieve in the scourge of the Two World Wars except killings several millions of innocent people on all the fronts. The Earth and environmental devastations have not fully recovered from the wrongful human belligerency of the Two WW. Are you forging a Third World War as another option against the humanity? If so, it will leave nothing in tact except inhumanity of the human follies. There are inborn illusions and intellectual contrasts still governing the world politics. Sochi Winter Olympics had not started yet, but the Western political media campaigns were in progress to zero-in on insults against President Putin and mental reservation against the functionality of successful Sochi games. None of the prominent Western leaders went to see the Sochi games. Then Russian engagements in Ukraine were the center piece of political rebuttal. What if all these issues were part of an agenda for face to face continuous dialogue for political resolution in Ukraine and the Middle East? In all earnest, many such problems could have been resolved without much bloodshed, be it Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and /or NATO military exercises or Russian inroads into Ukraine.
Late Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr- Nobel Address, December 11, 1964 (“The Quest for Peace and Justice”) tried to put the same essence of his message into a rational context:
Every man lives in two realms, the internal and the external. The internal is that realm of spiritual ends expressed in art, literature, morals, and religion. The external is that complex of devices, techniques, mechanisms, and instrumentalities by means of which we live. Our problem today is that we have allowed the internal to become lost in the external. …. This is the serious predicament, the deep and haunting problem confronting modern man. If we are to survive today, our moral and spiritual "lag" must be eliminated. Enlarged material powers spell enlarged peril if there is not proportionate growth of the soul. When the "without" of man's nature subjugates the "within", dark storm clouds begin to form in the world.
Global Leaders to Rethink about a Navigational Change
America and its politics envisage a global outlook and influential power. Its leadership is in desperate need of change and realignment to the global perspectives of Human Reality for a sustainable future. The 9/11 attacks on America have transformed the country into a disjointed incrementalism, not knowing how to cope with challenges of the future. John W. Whitehead (“The Tyranny of 9/11-The Building Blocks of the American Police State from A-Z” www. Rutherford.com: 9/06/2016), is an American Attorney in Constitutional Law and Human rights and President of Rutherford Institute. He points out that “These past 15 years have indeed been an unbearable, choking hell…..The citizenry’s unquestioning acquiescence to anything the government wants to do in exchange for the phantom promise of safety and security has resulted in a society where the nation is being locked down into a militarized, mechanized, hypersensitive, legalistic, self-righteous, goose-stepping antithesis of every principle upon which this nation was founded. This is not freedom. This is a jail cell….Since the towers fell on 9/11, the American people have been treated like enemy combatants, to be spied on, tracked, scanned, frisked, searched, subjected to all manner of intrusions, intimidated, invaded, raided, manhandled, censored, silenced, shot at, locked up, and denied due process….In allowing ourselves to be distracted by terror drills, foreign wars, color-coded warnings, underwear bombers and other carefully constructed exercises in propaganda, sleight of hand, and obfuscation, we failed to recognize that the true enemy to freedom was lurking among us all the while.
If time and history are a reference point, we the global humanity stand at a critical juncture of our own complicity to have allowed ignorance, hatred, fear, failure and animosity to destroy our life, culture and existence. How should we think of making a navigational change? The informed global humanity no longer believes in the usefulness of international institutions, classic leadership of the few, economic advancement for the 99% of the masses in democracies or in the sufficiency of redistributive social programs, equality, law and justice? How can global institutions, people-oriented and accountable system of governance, responsible leadership and result-oriented policies and practices be reconstructed to suit the progressive goals of the 21st century mankind? Global humanity looks for rational attitudes and realistic rethinking to deal with sensitive issues of humanitarian concerns. While Europeans and the US have imposed economic embargo and cultural boycott of Russia, it has no meaningful impact except evolution of more discards and animosity when human communication is deliberately neglected. The similar problems of imbued animosity and hatred persist across the Middle East.
Foreign interventions and killing machines are destroying the ancient lands of human culture and civilizations. To destroy the Arab people, they are collaborating in military interventions. Wars suck out positive human thinking and creative energies to articulate a sustainable human future. Arab leaders are entangled willfully in catastrophic and bloody sectarian warfare. They have consciously put on hold the focal issue of the Middle East - that is, Palestine and normalization of relations with the State of Israel. They appear to have lost the sense of strategic and moral direction to restore normalcy in thinking and policy behavior. Leaders of America, Europe and Russia need to rethink, how they could facilitate a peaceful ending of the sectarian cruelty rather than taking sides and bombing the innocent civilians and causing destruction of the human habitats.
How should the global humanity view the contemporary Arab societies, their war-torn bloody cultures operated by foreign mercenaries and few egoistic authoritarian leaders? Every day is a killing day in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere. What kind of message of civility, moral and intellectual values do they convey to the watchful eyes of the global observers?
Leadership is an art, it can be improved if leaders are open to listening, flexible and adaptable to the challenging facts of human affairs and have passion for facts, not fantasy. The informed and spirited global humanity could help the entrenched leaders to make a navigational change for global peace and One Humanity.
Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in international relations-global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Germany, May, 2012). His next publication is entitled: One Humanity and the Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution.
***Share the link of this article with your facebook friends
firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com