By Isis Win
I always advocate for learning what is necessary to have any kind of judgment about . . . whatever! But at times, we hear and read information that perhaps is reliable but never complete. That cannot lead to educated judgment but to assumptions that mostly fall in the domain of pure ignorance and projections of all kinds. The word moves around and as it grows becomes an exaggeration of what possibly was no more than an important issue. After all, the media constantly competes to be on top of everything for the sake or ratings. Nothing new about that. But bad or incomplete information at times in the hands of people with unlimited access to the media can become quite convoluted and make matters worse. For instance, during Republican campaigning, the media has constantly been accusing Obama of being responsible for the actual status of the nation, which we all know is not good, regardless of any progress reported by the same media or the executive branch. It is rather dismaying to realize that a presidential candidate would be making accusations that have no foundation in truth, that are, in other words, plain lies. The New York Times published an interesting discussion about lies in the political world. The discussion doesn’t really help any reader to figure out one or another thing except that lying is a fact of life; it has been that way for a long time and likely will not change.
On that note, I wonder about the lack of attention to the issues going on in most of the Middle East countries that represent not only lack of stability in the region but as well to the world. After all, we can’t ignore the fact that the world depends on the production and sales of petroleum products. Instead, we only have sketches about what’s going on and, from time to time, that news in the hands of the Arabs who fight the US, is used in the very same way that media portrays Obama to persuade their people to join the hate against this country. We have video of soldiers desecrating the bodies of some rebels and of cases of civilian casualties. Clearly, propaganda of that kind will not help any attempt to push any of those countries into diplomatic negotiations.
Perhaps my uneducated mind is more concerned than it should be or than is justified, but for years I’ve been afraid of what some analysts recently have been talking about: the possibility of a Middle East war. For starters a few analysts are concerned about too many loose cannons that can trigger one. If that happens to be the case, the world, including the US, is at peril. The US cannot afford another economic blow due to hostilities of any sort in the region. However, can the US stay out of it, particularly if Israel acts, provoked by the threats from neighboring countries?
I prefer much more to assume that this just another crisis that the world has to face as in the past, that it won’t escalate as in the past. But it is clear that just the threat of such a crisis will cause serious turmoil in most countries. And there are too many reasons to suspect a serious international issue is at stake at this moment. There are too many countries demonstrating antagonism toward the US, and no one can escape the idea that instead of fighting Big Brother in the war field, imposing financial distress can do the job. That was one of the aims of Al-Qaeda when it attacked the Twin Towers. It was not just to cause panic, fear, and loss of life. Regardless of how prepared any nation could be for the possibility of attacks in their own land, Al-Qaeda proved that even the most powerful nation in the world is at risk in the hands of terrorists groups.
I have no doubts the US can “bite the bullet” and overcome anything. The resilience of the American people has been proven over and over, but whether this is the case or not, this something that no one wants to see and deal with. As well, it is unlikely that the world would sit back observing a conflict. The alliance will join efforts to fight any country that disrupts the well-being of an allied nation. But we need warring of any kind, not even diplomatic warfare, as has been happening with Iran. However, we know little about what is happening with other nations that “claim” to be friends of the US. We have Afghanistan and Pakistan, and lately Turkey has been mentioned, as countries that possibly have hidden agendas with the US. And there is no doubt in my mind that petrol-producing nations have one of the “aces” in their hands. We know Saudi Arabia is somehow on our side, but we can’t ignore that it is an Arab nation and threatening countries are its neighbors. All this, while we already are sorting out an unemployment problem that represents a level of economic stagnation that is not exclusive of the political situation that we’ve been witnessing now for years.
Although most scholars and analysts I’ve heard don’t directly state the reason for the actual state of affairs with the Arab Nations, they are not slow to suggest more than one or twice that the lack of stability in the Middle East is collateral damage due to the poor management of Saddam Hussein’s removal. I recall before the pre-emptive attack against Iraq, academics warned the White House of the possible consequences. Iraq was the glue at the time that maintained stability in the region which was the reason the US supported that nation before the threat that it possibly was supporting al-Qaeda and had weapons of mass destruction. This by the way, showed either poor intelligence-gathering by the US or simply that we were deceived by the American government. There are plenty of people out there now suggesting conspiracies and that corporate interests curiously formed a nexus with our executive figures during the previous years. The ultimate fact is that whether we don’t know any better because the true knowledge is of National Security importance or the truth is manipulated back and forth, we have serious reasons to fear a longer period of chaos in the world. Of course, crisis like this had been seen a few times before, such as the case of the ballistic missile build up in Cuba by the Soviets. I recall the newspaper headlines pointing to a possible WW III. Thank goodness nothing happened because those missiles were removed. But the fear was there, even for myself, a young person incapable of reasoning the possible outcome.
As was lightly mentioned in the “Lies” discussion by the New York Times, one of the problems about manipulation, half-truths and lies in the political arena, is that the American people just read and hear them and go on. However, considering the radical split the American people have been facing so far, the same that will render its outcome this coming November, such lies are creating a wave of sentiment that all should avoid. During WW II, and the Great Depression, the American people joined hands to overcome the crises that threatened this great nation, and as anyone can see, the US came out gloriously and achieved a predominant place in the world. We are not even close to losing our place in the world as long the US dollar continues being the currency of trade, but this is something that we cannot afford to allow to change because of events in the Middle East. We all must be together, put aside our differences, and work towards bringing the nation to where we were before Iraq, Afghanistan and the mortgage crisis. Although I didn’t feel Obama’s State of the Union speech was of historic caliber, what he said is nothing else but the truth in regards to what must be addressed in the upcoming years. I am not fully convinced he can deliver his agenda due to the orchestrated obstruction by the Republicans; however, it is a matter of common sense to allow his initiatives to happen, even if they believed to be prone to failure, instead of simply freezing everything and getting nothing done. The entire executive and legislative branches should as well put aside their differences and sit down to negotiate whatever it takes for the sake of moving the country forward. Otherwise, even if the Republicans win the upcoming election, the damage could be too large for them to pull the country of danger, just like the scenario that Obama faced right after becoming elected. Our reality of today is not a partisan or philosophical issue. It is a matter of the well-being of the country and everyone in it because after all, if we end up with an empty basket, everyone, including the 1% will suffer serious consequences. It is a luxury we cannot afford.