Peace and Conflict Resolution
Beyond the Lens of Rationality
Leaders speak words written by specialists but see no irony in their own actions
The United Nations was evolved to act as a tangible force for change and future-making to ensure the systematic safeguard of humanity from the “scourge of wars,” global peace, human security and a sustainable future for all on this planet. Not so, you watched the leaders speaking from the UN General Assembly podium uttering third-party written words of wisdom and forbearance with overweening pride and prejudice in their own agenda. More often when they claim honour and achievements, they dip into crass materialism, ignorance, violations of basic human rights, disregard of peace and security of mankind, inherent economic greed and perpetuated violence against the vulnerable and innocent inhabitants of this Earth.
Our contemporary acclaimed political morality, if there is any, to a critical perceptive eye, leans toward degeneration of the humanity, and leadership claims and counter-claims sound irrational and deceptive in pursuit of unbridled egoism and political power to deny reason and logic for transformation of much-needed change and a peaceful future. We the People of the globe must realize the truth and urgency at a time of challenging transformation and our sensual abilities for survival under circumstances of extreme geo-political problems — continuous wars, Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and violations of human rights, as well as dangers of insane cruelty in policies and practices to endanger our own future on this planet. The global institutions do not operate on human morality and intellect. The disclosure of ‘Pandora Papers’ reflects that reality.
The current global systems of political governance and leadership are overwhelmingly elite-oriented, and all global institutions are operated by pre-screened elite leaders who are disconnected to any relationship ‘to the people, by the people and for the people’ norm. In a rational sense, We the People of the planet have become lifeless digits, numbers and seamless legal entities to be used when needed at the ballot box, and nothing else. What has changed from the authoritarianism of Hitler, Mussolini and the European-engineered two world wars killing millions and millions for their own ideas and ideas of political governance? One wonders if the advanced and secretive space weapons will be the “weapons of mass destruction” in a next overdue war or would it take the much-possessed nuclear arsenals to extinguish life from this planet? It appears contentious to predict science- and technology-based criteria to illustrate a logical definition of the endgame between the conventional age of life and the beginning of an unknown new age of something beyond human imagination and history.
Contemporary global affairs under rational lens and beyond
Looking at the contemporary world of acclaimed democracies, peace and national security of the states, almost everywhere frustration, cynicism and political endemic persist. Political reasoning, enforced by unilateral elite judgements, views humanity just in a passing phrase for noble ideals of democracy and systems of governance devoid of legitimacy and public interest. Global leaders speak loud as actors at the UN General Assembly but lack knowledge and wisdom to understand the pains and anguish of the victimized humanity. George Floyd continues to echo his voice across the US mainstream political activism:
“I can’t breathe … I can’t breathe.”
George Floyd is not dead; he is living in the living conscience and soul of the masses all over the world. You know that Black Lives Matter is not a political slogan but a reality and demand of human conscience. Imagine how 10 million people of Kashmir must be breathing under locked-up, forcible occupation by Indian occupying forces. You won’t hear their desperate voices because of continuous lockdowns under the guise of democracy, security and bogus ‘terrorism’. Pakistanis watch them as spectators without any moral leadership. Syria, Yemen and Iraq are bombed and masses are crushed every day — what happened to the UN peace and conflict management responsibility? The new Arab pharaohs kept in bondage by the America-Europe alliances offer no hope of freedom and peace to the masses. Palestinians are flogged mentally and physically by Israeli security strategies to disrupt their freedom and national identity. They are without any proactive or intelligent leadership to escape out of the box of inhumanity. Almost one million Rohingya refugees ask patiently why they were evicted forcibly from their homes in Myanmar. Do the world leaders care about the real human sufferings?
It is awful and a tragedy of conscience to be speaking of politics when mankind urgently needs an effective cure for the Covid-19 pandemic. We are One Humanity; natural disasters and fatalities know not any borders, flags and nationalities but surge like wildfires as being witnessed in the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide. Not so, America and the EU, still buried in the past, would not consider Russian Covid-19 vaccine – already prepared and administered – or Chinese vaccine because they are manufactured by the politically opposing sides. Again political absolutism heightens animosity and hatred rather than human understanding and cooperation for a precious cause of saving the lives on Earth. To save life of one human being is to safeguard the whole of humanity. We are all born equal One Humanity – the Divine Message of Al-Qur’an clarifies the truth:
“Proclaim in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created, created man (human being) out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood. Proclaim, and thy Lord is Most Bountiful, He Who taught (the use of) the Pen. Taught man (human being) that which he knew not.”
Leaders at the annual UNGA session compete for fame and honour but share no creative or practical ideas and workable ideals to protect the rights of humanity. Are we living and witnessing another world of global redundancy and foolishness where survival of the fittest is granted but masses are denied the reasoned and legitimate proposition of a sustainable future? Were these not the historic factors leading to the two World Wars?
Are we witnessing a decadent culture of human morality and intelligence?
We the People must be conscientious and attentive to a moral and intellectual compass of global political governance. We are moral human beings – a Creation of God created for a purpose in human life, enriched with intellect and wisdom much different than other animals moving on this earth. Our life, our rights, our dignity, our peace and security, our planet and our future cannot be traded in at the UN forum. It is obvious that facts and truths vary in time and space, human destiny and casualty but human consciousness is waking up to the challenges of the 21st century, defining the world of destiny and pulsation and the world of global conflicts and tensions – the world as we see it linking us all into the nature of things of which we are an essential part; We the People at the heart of the God-given universe, must seek our unity in changing fortunes of time and space or we could be destroyed by our obsessed ignorance and arrogance governing the global politics and human affairs. Leaders failed to lead us to any viable destiny for future-making. We must use an inward moral, intellectual and spiritual eye as being the Chief Creation of God to articulate a new culture of human communication to resolve problems across all the people and lands and to accord equal rights, peace and security to all, not the few, arbitrarily conducting the UN’s speaking forums.
Recall that during the two World Wars across Europe, millions and millions of innocent civilians perished in aerial bombings, political tyranny and forcible displacements. History is living, not dead. We the 21st-century conscientious and informed citizens must realize to eliminate insanity, tyranny of destruction, violations of human rights, ethnic conflicts and religious bigotry. Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (PBUH) preached the unity of mankind, respect and tolerance in adversity. None of the Messengers of God taught evil, intolerance and disrespect against the people. If we are witnessing it in the 21st-century liberal democracies and immature leadership, it cannot flatten the moral, intellectual and political landscape as “No Man’s land” of any superpower(s) or elsewhere. Violence, killings and maltreatment of the citizens cannot be transformed into virtue of democracy or clash of fanaticism disguised in any political ideals of the individuals, political agendas or so-called leaders.
Late Professor Howard Zinn envisaged the future of mankind in the following words of wisdom:
“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage and kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places – and there are so many – where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.”
Dr. Mahboob Khawaja specializes in international affairs-global security, peace and conflict-resolution with keen interest in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations. He is the author of several publications including the latest: One Humanity and the Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution. Lambert Academic Publications, Germany.