I am neither a Marxist nor a Socialist. I couldn’t be an Anarchist because I believe there is plenty of good in having an orderly hierarchical society where authority and boundaries are respected. I work for Capitalists (and to a large extent, I am one), and enjoy what I do. Couldn’t dream of doing anything else. I entertain monarchist sympathies, but I don’t always agree with their take on life. Nor their antics, some of which have been entertaining, severely miscalculated, and inhumane.
While there is plenty of evidence to suggest that every society is better if there is some kind of leadership (whether religious, elected or traditional) , sometimes decisions and convictions of our leaders (and those they surround themselves with) let us down, again and again, and simply do not add up. When this cycle of lies, politicking, [_ _ ]mongering, and plain incredulity continues for long enough, there comes a point when a society rises up against its officials, and orchestrates an uprising, a proletariat revolution, demanding change. And this is by no means limited to political leadership. It affects almost all types of leaders, so much so that even the Dalai Lama has pockets of dissent within his own people.
But there has to be a spark. And that spark has to be attractive enough to convince scores of people to support the cause, which is never made easy if a regime’s militarily is well armed, and well looked after.
In recent times another crisis has been brewing. As if the loss of life in Afghanistan, the conflict in Iraq, as if the deaths of thousands in Syria and Libya, and in other unrests around the world were not enough, the rhetoric coming out of Jerusalem is suggesting there is an unresolvable state of affairs that calls for a military confrontation? Have they not learnt from history? Surely, the proponents of war need to talk to people who have lost loved ones in past conflicts. People like this lady who are all too aware of how devastating the consequences can be. Would Ahmadinejad or Netanyahu go to war, if their own sons / daughters had been killed in previous military conflicts? Would they not put more effort into negotiations, perhaps like Ariel Sharon often did? Surely, as someone who lost his own brother during an armed conflict, Netanyahu should have the compassion from first hand experience with loss and pain from war.
I know one Iranian national. Just one. His parents live in Tehran and they run a cafe/coffee shop. About 8 months ago, his parents came for a holiday here in the Uk, to visit him. I got to meet them. Once. Like all parents they have concerns for their son, regarding his studies, lifestyle, his security, and his future. They also worry about their business back in Tehran, they worry about the downturn in world economics, and how there are many people having financial difficulties everywhere. Although they are devout muslims, they didn’t appear to object to the fact that their son has a good friend in a non-muslim. Also, I didn’t ask them what they thought of the Islamic Republic. It wasn’t my business to learn their political views, although thinking about it again now, I wish I had, because if there was a war between Israel and Iran, these are the people who would probably be most severely affected. Displaced, hurt, probably even killed. In discussions with my Iranian friend, he has always been adamant that Ahmadinejad doesn’t have the support of the whole Iranian population regarding his stance on Israel, and the west would be ill advised to go into Iran guns blazing expecting an enemy, when the majority of Iranians don’t want war with Israel. According to him, atmost less than 10% of Iranians somewhat entertain Ahmadinejad’s extremist views, and far less would openly support those views. Further, apparently the number of brainwashed hardliners who will stop at nothing less than extermination of ‘Islam’s enemies’ is far overstated. Even within the Revolutionary Guards Corps, whom apparently Ahmadinejad is supposed to be attempting to appease when he speaks all those radicall words, even they wouldn’t be fully comfortable with an outright attack of Israel.
So, where then is the problem besides the opaque ramblings of the Iranian president?
Well, the religious fanatics preaching death to the west are largely to blame for planting false ideological seeds in the minds of people who would probably otherwise remain peace-loving. Surely, they should know from the various religious texts that no deity has ever needed man to do his work. What God would take pleasure in destroying scores of people? Its heresy and if they don’t know that then they definitely shouldn’t be leaders, because as a religious leader, minimally, I’d think you must advocate peace.
This religious extremism is not only apparent among Islamist leaders, even Jewish Rabbis have to shoulder part of the blame. Apparently, according to an entry on Wikipedia, between 16 and 30 August 2005, when Ariel Sharon controversially expelled over 9,400 Jewish settlers from 21 settlements in Gaza and four settlements in the northern West Bank, a group of conservative Rabbis, led by Rabbi Yosef Dayan, placed an ancient curse on him known as the Pulsa diNura, calling on the Angel of Death to intervene and kill Sharon. Irrespective of whether you are superstitious or not, how could they do that when their religious text, the Torah clearly forbids praying that something bad should happen to another person?
Secondly, the course of history has been acutely divisive. When Hitler decreed that hundreds of thousands upon hundreds of thousands of Jews were to be sent to the gas chambers, its doubtful he knew that in that very instant of demonic decree, instigating an unforgivable crime, a crime against humanity, he had indirectly just determined the grand scheme of foreign policy for more than one country, and for the next hundreds/ possibly thousands of years to come:-
If the fascist (or neo-fascist) elected leader of the dominant population of the country in which you are an immigrant came and took thousands upon thousands of your own Peoples, blamed them for crimes (fueled by economic jealousy) they hadn’t committed/ weren’t guilty of, and sent them to armed prisons, to which thousands upon thousands, were subjected to a horrendous ordeal, tortured, daughters and mothers raped in front of their families, and mercilessly slaughtered in gas chamber…those that were fortunate to survive such a gruesome atrocity would be severely traumatized. The line of trauma would run so deep, so real, and so long that next time anybody else even begins to suggest the slightest neo-fascism, you would be greatly alarmed, and you would have to obliterate it, before it has the slightest chance of catching on. Before it gets to you and your kin; And if in 60 years from that atrocity, it is the case that you now have your own Country, are armed to teeth with hi-tech military equipment provided by your allies (many of whom have your sons in high public office); If by this time you appear not to publicly exalt the infinite strength and protection of the true God of your fathers, to do battle on your behalf,complete with supernatural acts, as He did with your forefathersover 2000 years before; if you are rumoured to have nukes, and you know that your arch-enemy definitely doesn’t own nukes, the balance of power changes completely to that of the time when you were in captivity, harassed and victims of a holocaust; And in such state of affairs, it becomes easier for others (including lobbyists, war-mongers, clerics, right-wing sycophants), to take advantage of the situation (especially if they happen to finance your political party) and use the noble lessons from your bloodied past to paint a picture where it is alleged that you would be wiser to attack your enemy before its armies acquire nukes and are strong enough to destroy you.
Thirdly, Misinformation & Propaganda. How many Iranians can we honestly say are materially affected by Israel’s existence today? As in genuinely affected, unrelated to US led sanctions? Further, how many Israelis are materially affected by Iran’s existence? How many Israelis favour the view that Israel should attack Iran and why? How many Iranians want Iran to attack Israel and why? Are they absolutely sure about the reasons behind their answers? Could they be wrong? If they are wrong, and innocent people die as a result of their support/ lack of support, can they live with that guilt? Would they accept it, if it were done to a member of their family, and they had to live with the loss? Do they have evidence, separate from what their politicians are telling them (which may be flawed, if history is anything to go by)?
As you can see, far too many potential grey areas on both sides, and in my view it looks increasingly like paranoid leaders (not the people) are the ones fanning the embers of military conflict based on very weak evidence. Wouldn’t it be a lot wiser to have dialogue rather than rush into war?
Then, there are those who continue to incite violence. Why make a film or publish offensive cartoons when past events have shown that there is a likelihood of militant reaction to such? There are too many ‘provocation artists’ (including militant christians) erroneously leading others in the name of freedom of speech, who shouldn’t be allowed to publish anything.
Add to this is the ramblings of the Israeli leadership. Apparently, Netanyahu has been trying to convince the Americans that an attack on Iran was not just necessary, buyt absolutely essential. Isn’t this the same guy who claimed that Iraq had WMD? Israel’s leadership is missing the opportunity. They would have played the victim card here, staying put and speaking gently to leaders across the world at how the rhetoric coming out of Iran was worrying. Let them make the Iranian leadership look bad, which it is, not attempt to bully their way to get what they want.
Good leadership calls for wisdom, calls for calm and excellent judgement, calls for decisiveness and a sensitivity towards the needs of others.
Fourthly, Double Standards and Hypocrisy. You support one leader, but denounce another, even when both leaders are corrupt, and have blood on their hands. Why not withdraw from both and come clean?
If you study the course of your history, you will see that gone are the days when a leader would do what was right because they genuinely believed in it, and because it was ethically and morally right to do so. Nowadays, leaders are all too often embroidered in scandals because it fits some distorted ideological theory whose basis is extremely doubtful and which is irrelevant in a modern world.
Also, if some countries own nukes, giving them a superior military advantage; and if those countries are not a party to nuclear non-proliferation treaties, why shouldn’t Iran, Libya, Egypt, Venezuela or indeed South Africa be allowed to own nukes? We may not trust them, but surely as citizens of the world, they have a right to pursue them if they want to? If you were a national of Egypt or Venezuela, how would you view the US’s objection to your country’s nuclear energy policy? Isn’t this ammo that can feed the distorted minds of Al Qaeda, violent and militant groups such as Hezbollah, Palestinian militants, etc. In any case, if Iran tried to attack another country, with missile defense shields being common place these days, what are the chances of such an attack hitting any city? Its true that it could cause a massive radiation leak that could have far reaching effects, and damage in the skies, but surely, it wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near its target. Further, how would the world treat Iran after that? Their leaders would be finished, that wouyld be the end of the Islamic Republic. Suicide, without a doubt.
But there is another aspect: Iran’s conduct itself. Tell me something, if you are really not doing anything wrong, why would you refuse to openly prove it to the world? Why not ask observers to come in, and see for themselves? Why do things in secret?
Aside, this is probably why organisations such as Wikileaks must be supported, as they show the ordinary people the mischief perpetrated by those elected.
Fifthly, Economics. Why wasn’t anyone in America punished for causing the world economic crisis, even when almost all fingers were squarely pointed to the perpetrators?
There walks some amongst us who believe, for all sorts of reasons, that they deserve a greater share of the world’s resources. Who believe they can con the rest, and get away with it. To take the words of George Orwell in Animal Farm “…but some animals are more equal than others.”
This line of thinking is discriminatory, evil, breeds discontentment, is unsustainable, and has done too much damage to humanity over the last 300 – 550 years. These are the kind of people who would have supported Slavery, who exploit others for personal or religious gain, who would have opposed universal suffrage and who rigidly believe in “castes” in society, or “classes”. People such as those neatly chronicled here. It gets a lot worse, in the form of policies such as oil for food which depicted the US and its allies in a less than admirable light. Quotes of American bankers. Quotes of British Politicians. Suspicious pre-war events. Unfair policies of West towards East, or West towards South. Funding of terror organisations, etc
Sixth.The people themselves. Why can’t Iranians gather and voice their concerns against their government? Not to topple it, but to ask it to stop inciting hate. They elected it, didn’t they? Are they afraid? Post Arab spring, surely the vibe / balance of power in the air is in the favour of the people? Or what about the citizens in Israel themselves? Are they not being complacent? Do most secretly support military confrontation wth Iran? Will they be branded passive activists, who because they stayed silent, hundreds of thousands of innocent people died?
Seventh, China & Russia: If only these two would show genuine concern over and above their immediate economic desires and political aspirations.
While some of the above may be subjective and justifiable, all most of these actions do is breed worry, suspicions and hatred, and increasingly support the notion that some of our elected leaders are out of touch with the people they represent. Acting for their own selfish, egoistical ends, and against the good and wellbeing of their electors, which begs the question, why have them at all?? So, in a world as well-connected as we live in, where Twitter and Facebook revolutions can happen, surely it must be possible for the people to take their leaders to task, to ask them to refrain from all this unjustifiable warmongering, or else. To stop spending billions on arms when ordinary people are living in abject economic conditions all over the world. To STOP inciting WAR and all the radical nonsense, and pursue PEACE. Personally, I’d be more in favor of such a campaign, than supporting say a MAKE POVERTY HISTORY campaign, because the subject of the former is the root of the problem, whereas that of the latter is merely a shoot, which if cut today, can easily regrow tommorrow.
- After Ahmadinejad, it may actually get worse for Iran (timesofisrael.com)
- Rabbi Warns Of Similarities Between Ahmadinejad And Hitler (raptureimminent.wordpress.com)
- Ahmadinejad: US leaders realize Israel is ‘no longer beneficial’ (timesofisrael.com)
- Russia may bring peace between Israel and Iran (english.ruvr.ru)
- Netanyahu – Liar, Fraud, Cheney Mini-me
- Top Israeli Official Talks Iran With Senior Rabbi (abcnews.go.com)
- Israel urges world boycott of Ahmadinejad speech to the UN (timesofisrael.com)
- ‘Tumour’ of Israel will soon be destroyed: Ahmadinejad (dailystar.com.lb)
- Iran: Going the “Military Inc.” Way? (iransouthasiaproject.com)
- Iran election buzz flirts with Rafsanjani return (cnsnews.com)