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Are We, the People and Global Leaders at a Crossroads?

To manifest global peace and human security, We the People of conscience ask for a reasoned dialogue for peace between the warring parties. There is no place for complicity to be indifferent to atrocities and emerging calamities or acrimonious spate of violence and madness on the other side. Superiority of intellect and information are simply imperatives of necessity, not the soul of human compassion and universal kindness. Cynicism about politicians is endemic. Mikhail Gorbachev died recently but his legacy is not absent to offer opportunities of political openness to change in Russia if collective efforts are implied to rebuild the trust between the contemporarily belligerent actors. Chernobyl nuclear meltdown is not forgotten or forbidden from fresh memory as were the nuclear incidents in Japan and the Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania. We the People of the world witnessed the unthinkable consequences of human fatalities and environmental impacts for ages to come. Scientists and engineers specializing in nuclear reactor technology must have imagined theoretical and conceptual perfection of security and peace on this planet. Not so at Zaporizhzhia (Ukraine) nuclear station under Russian control, posing a critically ferocious problem according to the IAEA team that visited the site, calling that ‘the security and integrity of the plant was violated’. Its volatility is a serious concern to all; if another meltdown happens, the competing forces would start the blame game while the human peace and security would be at a crossroads.

It is repulsive to suppose that universal harmony can be enhanced by profligacy, malevolence and horrors, and miseries of unthinkable multitudes. The IAEA team took more than two weeks just to visit the epicenter of the alleged nuclear disaster. How could the United Nations or any of its agencies assure the global humanity of its safety and survival in a nuclear meltdown? The current global institutions have a serious problem of integrity, relevance and effectiveness. Why did the UN Security Council fail to convene an emergency session and designate the nuclear establishments as ‘safe zones’, and ‘out of bound’ for all military engagements? The people around Zaporizhzhia breathe fear and sleep with invisible horrors of radiation and nuclear meltdown. The infested fear could dehumanize people all over the globe.

Despite the reality of catastrophic events of the World War II, most global leaders claiming greatness of minds and visions have lost the moral and intellectual path of political farsightedness and accountability. The EU and NATO, and their regionalized and ethno-nationalistic propositions are fast becoming contentious issues of peace and security between the Russian Federation and the Western nations. People of knowledge and wisdom cannot make animosity a trade to endanger our future.

NATO and the EU are regionalized organizations and their advisors lack imagination of global peace and security. We the People witness a present devoid of reason and rationality, often fearing the coming of a mythological ending of a completely decadent human civilization. Some mythologists as the World Economic Forum advisor Yuval Noah Harari, explains Emily Mangiaracina in her piece “World Economic Forum Adviser Claims the Planet No Longer Needs the ‘Vast Majority’ of the Population,” argue beyond the capacity of human nature: that the world does not “need the vast majority” of the current population due to technological advances. Harari made the bold declaration in an interview with Chris Anderson, head of the popular TED media group, echoing past predictions of a “useless class” of “unemployable” humans.
To this author, a cataclysmic nature of human intellect is unleashing a highly irrational and unthinkable world of complexity to come to our consciousness, destroying all progress and achievements of any human civilization on this planet. Most human intellect knows the basic imperative: “if you think intelligently, you could find workable remedies to human problems.”

Global leaders must THINK of effective communication to resolve the emerging problems
Despite the leaders of Iran and Turkey having a working progress with President Putin for the supply of grain via Black Sea – and prospects of meetings for peace talks – no Western leaders took initiatives to break the deafening silence and come out of the box to articulate a new vision for political change, and start talking to Russian and Ukrainian leaders for an immediate ceasefire and peace process. All parties could well use the common phenomenon and threat of nuclear arsenals/hydrogen bombs or mother of all bombs to annihilate human beings and habitats in a few seconds, if not minutes.

The failure of the global leadership and institutions – more so of the UN – signals dubious conceptions of right and wrong, good and evil in problem-solving. Ukraine, Russia, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Kashmir and Palestine are the outcomes of consequential military invasions and aggression that kill people and destroy the Earth. History illustrates when a nation or its leaders challenge the limits of the laws of God and approach to the near end of their lifespan, insanity takes over commonsense and they tend to ignore warnings and reject all voices of reason.

The planet Earth is not a dead orbiting object, but a living entity, providing continuous nourishment to human life, and existence to all other living beings. When nations and leaders subscribing to political absolutism start acting like God and challenge the sanctity and limits of the laws of God; historically speaking, they become an object of unthinkable natural calamities – earthquakes, wildfires, floods and death and destruction. The divine revelations (The Quran: 40:64), remind us, who we are and what relationship do we enjoin to Earth and its sustenance that supports our life and existence:

“It is Allah Who made the earth a place of settlement for you and the sky a canopy. He shaped you ˹in the womb˺, perfecting your form. And He has provided you with what is good and lawful. That is Allah—your Lord. So Blessed is Allah, Lord of all worlds.”

Global humanity rejects military conquests and demands peace, security and co-existence
Sanctity of human life is grounded in realization of peace, dialogue and coexistence. The ongoing onslaught between Russia and Ukraine and the West makes no sense to rational thinking and political accountability. Appearing more like spectators, American, European and NATO leaders and their lip service to aid Ukraine is merely a repetitive cry for public consumption.

If time and history are a reference point to avoid any conflict between man and the nature of things, we must comprehend how the planet Earth exists and moves at its axis and rotates at 1675 km per hour or 465 metres per second, that is, 1,040 miles per hour. The Earth’s circumference at the equator is 40,075 km. And the length of time the Earth takes to complete one full turn on its axis is 23.93 hours. And how all the living beings get lifelong nourishment within this splendid universe? The need is urgent to understand the natural equilibrium of relationship between man, life and God – given the living universe in which we all coexist harmoniously. Modern wars represent sadistic minds to undermine and destroy all that is built over the ages that we call human cultures and civilizations. All of the monolithic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) reveal the truth of “Trust” – human beings took to be responsible and be at peace with the Nature of Things – the living Planet Earth. This TRUST and its reminder are explicitly mentioned in (The Qur’an, Chapter 33:72): “Indeed, We offered the trust to the heavens and the Earth and the mountains, but they ˹all˺ declined to bear it, being fearful of it. But humanity assumed it, ˹for˺ they are truly wrongful ˹to themselves˺ and ignorant ˹of the consequences˺.”

German philosopher Immanuel Kant (“Perpetual Peace”, 1795), was more proactive and realist when he noted: “Intellectuals must be seated in chosen assemblies and systems of public governance to overt individualistic insanity against the people.” Viewing the perpetuated chaos and nationalistic ideals of the few, no matter how time exists in a frozen leadership intellect, this author recently proposed a strategy of communication to global leaders to resolve the conflict on both sides of the iron curtain: “To stop the war in Ukraine, the US, the EU, NATO should have a direct, face-to-face communication with President Putin. … It is logical when people of diversity and opposing ideals come to talk directly, tensions and evil mongering is reduced to reason and mutual interest. This has not happened except military options for weapon supplies and enlargement of the scope of regional conflict. Time and history will not forgive nor forget any of the leaders if they failed to agree to an immediate ceasefire and peace deal. “

Can we think to be human first in all of our moral, political and intellectual endeavours?
Can we look at the mirror and critically see ourselves – who we are and why have we become so stagnated in moral, spiritual and intellectual values to destroy our own existence by our own complicity? Can we see the mirror with a collective conscience and realize as if there were no people of reason and accountability populating the planet Earth? What kind of nuisance discovery it could be if other intelligent species from outer space (as indeed there are living beings in other planets) come to visit our Earth and its advanced knowledge-based species and their AI weapons, visual constructs and magic of conquests claiming to be the master of their destiny and sustainable future, and given the sophisticated missiles, nuclear arsenals and mother of all bombs so well placed comfortably that nothing could disrupt their lifelines except animosities, wars and wickedness to destroy their own existence on this Earth.

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in international affairs-global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: One Humanity and the Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution. Germany.

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