By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD : –
There are no declared wars and no known initiatives to conflict management but the Arab Middle East is the theatre of absurdity – petty ideological rivalries, bloody authoritarianism enforcing daily sectarian warfare and unending brutality for the innocent people trying to escape the prevalent insanity. No carefully reasoned and politically verifiable analysis can predict how and where the entire Arab-Muslim region will escape from the amassed misfortunes. The emerging humanitarian expulsion of people has articulated a tangible challenge to few of the EU members. The Arab Middle East is a galvanized region, too dangerous to be ignored for the ultimate global consequences. Rationality begs to ask what are the Arabs-Muslim leaders fighting for and why? Simply put, Arab and Muslim societies are not conscious of moral and intellectual accountability and have no leaders to lead or people of futuristic imagination to make navigational change in situations of imperiled crisis. At a glance, the Arab-Muslim world appears to be devoid of conscience and urgency of time to rethink of the future. The question is who will gain from its insane conclusion? In crisis management, sober and proactive thinking makes less emotion-laden moments to raise tensions and societal conflicts. Nobody questions why millions are displaced from homes to obscurity and self annihilation out of the barbarity of the few authoritarian leaders clicking to power for ages. Were there no places in the Arab landscape to bury the dead corps of the Arab migrants at European shores escaping wars and human cruelty? Weekend reports indicate that 950 migrants were lost in the Mediterranean Sea wanting to reach the Italian shores.
Millions more are eager to take the journey to Western Europe away from the horrible crimes of the few Arab-Muslim dictators, not willing to relinquish power. Wars are the problem, and nobody wants to face the impending reality to stop the human exodus. Life is more than miserable in economic survival, unbearable and unending in sorrows and tormenting anguish as is. Augusta and Canatia- Sicly and Lampudesa, Greece resort center and Malta’s beech extended cemeteries, one after another are fast becoming the unmarked graveyards of Arab-Muslims seeking refuge away from the tyranny of few authoritarian leaders. The names could well include many currently in power and actively supported by the Western leaders with warmongering and continuing killing agendas of the innocents. It seems nobody learned what end was in-waiting for Saddam Hussein, Qadafi, Hosni Mubarak and Abdullah Salah – all monsters of history killed and replaced by their own masters. Be it Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, the whole region is fast becoming bloody killing fields of innocent civilians caught in between the complacent failure of the global community to rescue them and their own ambitions for a safe sanctuary to breath in peace. At the outset, failure of the international institutions is clearly visible to protect the victims of the man-made wars against humanity. No law and no protection seems to safeguard the civilians caught in combating zones of the few warlords.
What Do the Neo-Colonial Arab Leaders and the European Imperialists Have in Common?
Both contemporary political entities are afraid of history. Fear and hatred marred the convergence of relationship between the victims of the European empires and the Master of colonization scheme of things. When global politics was the name of power politics, West Europeans conquered and occupied the entire Arab-Muslim world by ruthless force and against the wishes of the subjected people. They build empires on stolen time, resources and opportunities that should have been utilized for change and human development. The colonizers viewed the people just in numbers, digits and not worthy human beings to exercise the rights at the ballot box. No wonder, why so many Arabs and Asian and African are rushing to imaginary lands of European freedom and systematic liberal democracy that is shutting the entry points for humanitarian displaced migrants. The migrants are oppressed and abused people and do not know that world is changing as it should be. Europeans are no longer the invincible global force in world affairs but merely politically entertaining states making the EU institution. Raging conflicts displace people in thousands and millions. American and West Europeans are instinctively engaged to conflict-making and conflict-keeping in the broader Middle East Peninsula. All of the conflicts do involve America-European thinking and strategists at the current warring theatres. Yet, none would dare any solid plans to stop the on-going wars in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Egypt and elsewhere in the spill-over effects dominating the whole Arabian region. To America and European economies, war is a good business and the oil-producing Arab clients are the favourite end-users of the war machines and economies.
Authoritarianism is sustained by militarization, mostly furnished by America and West European to the client Arab dictators. Should the Arab-Muslim leaders not have a priority to provide humanitarian security and shelters to the victims of their own generated wars? Should it not the top priority to ensure a safe and harmonious environment where civilians could live away from the warmongering of the few sadistic leaders? Do the Arab-Muslim leaders know what their moral strengths and political weaknesses are? Do they have any sense of political accountability? Across the Arab-Muslim world, public institutions and systematic support does not exist to ensure assistance to humanitarian survival. If not all, many conflicts originating in the legacy of the European imperialism that dominated the entire Arab-Muslim people for centuries. When European colonizers rampaged the Arab-Muslim countries, they instigated sectarian divisions, divided people of faith and values into small segments – easy to break, easy to broil for all illegitimate governance. They used colonized masses as raw material- their resources, time and opportunities to build their own European empires to lost for ever. The so called national freedom was simply a twisted logic to the continuity of neo-colonialism. The Arab migrants are the flashpoint of the day of West European political and economic thinking. The humanitarian disasters are happening at the doors steps of Europeans not the Arab nations living in painful disgust of their own choice. Some critics could well spell out the historic contrasts of religious battles between Christianity and Islam. That was history not the fault lines of the 21st century geopolitical challenges.
Could The Europeans Alone Manage the Humanitarian Migrant Crises?
Most West European countries are immersed in their own national political tragedies. France after the January attack on Charlie Ebdo cartoon paper depicts anti-migrant and anti- Islam posture. Germany is obsessed with weekly anti-immigration public demonstrations and more so anti-Islam fear mongering slogans. UK is ready for another election and there is plenty of anti-Islamic agenda in the making. Where would the unwelcoming migrants go and settle in Europe? The front line European states are increasingly becoming nationalistic in political overtures. Today’s EU or its members do not wish to see the colored Arab or African migrating in large numbers to their heartland. The nationalistic and ethnic sensitivities are built-in to the European culture of time and history. Why should the Europeans care to invest in search and rescue missions for those who are unwelcome and undesirable under the present economic austerity and political affairs? There is growing trend that the EU could resort to military actions against some of the Arab countries – the places dispatching the migrant boats to Europe. French President Holland has made the formal proposal to go to the UN for military action in Libya. The current crises manifest multifold dimension and hardly anyone could grasp what kind of future is waiting for peaceful conflict management and reversal to humanitarian migration towards Western Europe. The EU or its concerned leaders are suddenly alarmed by the massive numbers of living and dead Arab-Muslim illegal migrants ending-up at their shores and how to tackle the influx of unwanted economic migrants. Their plans envisage stopping the migrant boats at their point of origin and dismantling the smuggling traffickers.
There is a mix of large Arab-African ethnicity amongst the migrants trying to escape authoritarian political brutality and poverty and starvation. Facts are known, fantasy is beside the human imagination when you see thousands and thousands coming on board of unworthy sea boats often capsizing without proper protection and promise of a viable future in Europe. European cultural formulation and ethnic values often are at crossroads to what Arabs and Muslim think in societal behaviours. Often repulsive to European identity, how do varied Arabs and Muslims could adjust into the making of the European cultural norms and societal stability without fear of political extremism and “terrorism” alleged by European political psyche? How should responsible thinkers and political minds across the Arab-Muslim world view this alarming and highly challenging humanitarian crisis happening without any intervention to halt the exodus? If stalled or ignored, it could stir multiple harmful outcomes for the entire Arab-Muslim region. It could unleash further warmongering and continuous military actions against the Arab-Muslim countries whose citizens might threaten the present economic austerity and political stability of the EU member states.
To restore normalcy and stop the raging wars, the Arab-Muslim leaders must have an inward eye and vision of the future away from the wars and borrowed killing machines being used by the authoritarian leaders – an eye not merely on the self-geared interest but on the clarity of purpose and instinctive recognition that illegal migrants must be stopped in their home countries and rehabilitated peacefully within the Arab-Muslim region. To stop the exodus, political conflicts must be resolved and dictators replaced by people of moral and intellectual credibility. This transformation policy must be practiced craving a durable approach to crises management and long terms sustainable solution of the dire humanitarian quagmire.
Aaron David Miller (“Where Have all the Arab States Gone” Foreign Policy: 4/14/2015) asks directly: “The Arab world’s a mess and its leaders don’t appear ready to assume much responsibility for fixing it. Maybe it’s time for the rest of us to start demanding they step up.” If there were legitimate Arab leaders, should they not be accountable for the misfortunes of the suffering masses? Miller wants to know why the Arab leaders are indifferent to pursuing a policy of normalization for peace in the region.
The Arab word’s a veritable mess. The cosmic leadership deficit, the absence of legitimate institutions, the lack of transparency, disrespect for human rights, abysmal regard for gender equality, and too much conspiratorial thinking make it impossible to come to terms with the magnitude of the problems. In short, this region will remain broken, angry, and dysfunctional until the leaders who purport to take responsibility for governing these unhappy lands get their proverbial acts together. And that’s … well, a generational enterprise at best, and I suspect something that will take a good deal longer.
Where Would the Dead Conscience of Arab Leaders Find a Resting Place?
Do the Arab-Muslim societies have the will and strategic capacity to exercise political maneuverability and reverse the course of the present crises in their own backyards? If the societies and system of political governance are redundant today, how could they be operative for the challenges of tomorrow? If the Arab-Muslim leaders are unmindful of the present and do nothing, do they know where would they be buried: will it be at the Italian beeches, Greece, French resorts or Malta’s extended graveyards?
Surely, the Arab-Muslim world needs gigantic new initiatives other than the contemporary leaders to change the societal thinking in some unrealistic endeavour and restore some sense of normalcy to the highly decadent culture of wars, killings and inhuman destructions of the environment. Wars do not restore peace or human values; they destroy what is built by generations. There is no moral in fighting wars as most Europeans and Americans must have discovered during the Two WW. Western powers are simply interested in extracting oil and leaving behind a legacy of authoritarian-geared wars, systematic intelligence units of planned torture, destabilized and broken geo-political infrastructures for new quotations to be sought by Halliburton under Dick Cheney and to rebuild the war torn Middle East and destroy it later.
The Arab-Muslim leaders do not appear to have the moral and intellectual capacity to deal with crisis management. Ostensibly, political crises are left to be endured by the masses while leaders try to get away as if wars were meant for the innocent people to be sent abroad to unknown beech cemeteries somewhere in Italy, Malta, France, Germany, UK and Greece as is the case on the daily television screen. Time and history shall hold the inept and indifferent Arab-Muslim leaders for moral and political accountability. History shall judge them by their actions, not by their claims. This author offered the following analysis in “Who are Real Barbarians- The West or Muslims?” (Information Clearing House: 3/24/2015):
Incapacity joined by insane egoism makes complacent oil producing Arab rulers to follow the Western dictates despite internal challenges and intrigues of their governance ….Morally indifferent and intellectually exhausted and incapacitated as they look, Arab and Muslim leaders are waiting and waiting to see what happens next, missing initiative and new imagination to the world of reason and prevalent reality
– planned violence and resulting cruelty are becoming the societal hallmark across the Arab-Muslim world…..The Arab and Muslim world is turning into complete political cruelty and quagmire. Man killing fellow man, all killing all, and reason not to be questioned. The leaders and people appear to be on the same page of bloodbath, insecurity and breathing oxygen in a conflicting time zone falling apart into the unknown. They believe in nothing as if the Earth was dormant, as if there is no God and life ceases to have a noble purpose of peace, harmony and co-existence. Western war strategists are a crucial factor in bringing them to this perverted status-quo of moral and human equilibrium. In an advanced 21st century of knowledge, wisdom and information, man remains ignorant and arrogant of his wrong thinking. Arab-Muslim authoritarianism enforced by the self-image to commit planned violence and aggression against the revolutionary masses is radiating across Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Bahrain. After five years, the global community is just a symbolic spectator watching the heinous crimes of the few against many.
(Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany, May 2012).