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Middle East and the Rest of the World, Any Hope?


Photo shows Screenshot of an ISIS video encouraging attacks in France

The ugly events in Paris France is the most current reminder that nobody is safe anywhere in the world; that death lurks in football stadia, hides in bar, is not far from any street corner; or even in the market. About 15 years ago, we discovered that doing business in such high business address as the World Trade Center in New York does not provide any security guarantees.

In trying to find a solution to the security issues, each country that has been attacked went after the perpetrators of the recent crimes. US led the West to now 15 year war with Iraq and Afghanistan. France in the last few days has increased its presence in Syrian war and is bombing and destroying what is called ISIS infrastructure. 

President Obama is under pressure to put back “booths on the ground.” It is important to note the words used: “Booths OnThe Ground.” This is another case of giving a dog a bad name in order to kill it. The booths are our sons and daughters who should be put in a war zone to be shot at and killed, and who would shoot and kill Middle Easterners. By sanitizing the words it makes it easier to lead our youths to the slaughter or to turn them into butchers.

Last night I was watching a basketball between Cleveland and Milwaukee. I notice the strong presence of police officers in uniform and who knows how many of the ones in plain clothes. It was my first witness of such a presence in a sporting event. I asked why the presence and was quickly reminded of the events in Paris. Instead of feeling safe I became afraid. 

Going to a sports event is no longer safe. I was not reassured by the presence of security officers but was realizing the possibility that I could be killed here. I was in a dangerous place. I go to sporting events to relax; to cheer; to drink beer; to be with my buddies; to forget everything but enjoy the game. But alas I could now be shaking hands with the evil one.

People usually are not asked or urged to go to bars. They go on their own. Actors, celebrities, even writers have signed a petition urging, pushing, pleading with Parisians to fill the clubs of France; to go to theaters; to relax and other do normal things. It reminds me of the book 1984. George Orwell used the book to portray what happens when a government takes over all aspects of our lives and starts giving us orders on what to eat, when to rise, what to do, etc. 

The government lets us know that we live in wild, wild world, as there are constant wars with countries that keep changing alliances; sometimes our friends; at other times our enemies. Can we not see this scenario playing out in the world? US/Iran/Russia fighting ISIS as allies; US and West fighting Iran’s desire to get nuclear weapons as enemies

 The world is very complex.

With the wars going on in so many countries there are millions of people fleeing the war-turn areas and creating unbelievable hardships. Europe was initially a choice destination for refugees from Middle East, and EU opened the welcome mat for refugees, mainly widows and orphans. USA offered to take thousands to help alleviate the suffering. 

The Statue of Liberty which welcomes the tired and suffering, and the symbol of USA was beckoning the Arabs to her shores. But that was a long time ago (a week ago) but not now. The mood is: send them all back, the widows and orphans included. 

For the more “humane” politicians, the slogan is accept only the Christians, and Jews but throw the rest into the hottest parts of hell. There has to be a religious test in accepting the tired and suffering. To some others build a wall, a tall wall that would ensure that Mexicans and Hispanic people are forbidden from entering. Even though they may pass the religious test.

The world is very complex.

Can we kill all Middle Easterners, by bombs and rockets or by starvation and homelessness? Is there a solution or solutions?

No we cannot. Yes there are solutions.

1.   Stop the wars, by removing all the obstacles that produce the never ending wars. The West should abandon the “Regime Change” doctrine. If a people do not want a dictator, let them find a local solution. The West or Russia should not dictate whether Assad or Khadafy or Saddam should rule. Each time this doctrine is imposed and the ruler is replaced the end results has been war and instability in the country.

2.   The idea that more booths on the ground (more of our children) would be sacrificed to achieve our economic or political goals, does nothing but promote more anger and hatred. The more wars we have and the longer they last the more population dislocation we have and the more crowded our cities become and the less resources are devoted to basic necessities. If we stop expending resources on arms and armaments and using the savings help the weak and hungry, the safer we will be.

3.   The use of language that divides us such as Islamic terrorists, Jihadists, rats, etc., colors how we see others and makes it easy to do harm to them. Our soldiers as not booths on the ground. They are our boys and girls. The enemies they kill are other people’s boys and girls. God created Muslims and Christians and loves both. Dividing us will make both sides worse off.

4.   Politicians and leaders need to show more courage than they are showing. Pandering to the worst in us will create just losers on both sides of the divide. It may help one win the immediate election but would make governing after impossible. More bombing, more killing, forsaking the Weak and Hungary will make them weaker and hungrier and hence angrier and more dangerous. A hungry man is an angry man. Man’s inhumanity to man should cease.

It will be a painful slow process and would involve all the world leaders not just Pope Francis.

Is anybody listening? Anybody paying attention?

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba, Boston, Massachusetts

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