By Abdul Basit – Kuwait
New Year Greetings and resolutions have become a meaningless custom of lip service while with every passing year the condition of humanity deteriorates from bad to worse. The international community has become insensitive to the sufferings of the downtrodden and have taken for granted the repetitive brutality and oppression conducted by certain regimes year after year on the innocent populace around the world.
2008 has been one of the worst years in the recent history. Compared to the previous years, it saw many new issues coming to the forefront. 2008 saw the collapse of the global financial system and food crises after many decades of superficial stability, which has resulted in globalization of hunger and poverty that was earlier limited to some regions of Africa, Asia and South America. The growing unemployment, corruption, bankruptcy, conflicts and terrorist attacks created great deal of instability and uncertainty about the future. According to some financial and economic pundits the worst of the financial crises is not yet over and when that happens, it might result in social and economic breakdown thus forecasting a nightmarish scenario for 2009.
2008 also saw the election of Barack Obama who campaigned on the platform of change, as the first black President of United States of America. The great expectations of the International community for the new President elect who will takeover the presidency on January 20th 2009, seems to decline due to the inclusion in his cabinet of the members of the same establishment he opposed during his election campaign. The important question of 2009 is whether he will be able to implement the changes he promised or whether he is just a Trojan horse of the old corrupted establishment.
Due to overwhelming financial and political crises, the climate change and environmental issues were left abandoned after a very lively year of awareness in 2007. This is despite the persistent warnings of rising CO2 and resulting tragic consequences including melting of Artic and rising sea level that will be major concerns for humanity in the coming years. However, the slowdown of the capitalist economies due to the financial and economic collapse is in fact a blessing in disguise and an opportunity to implement eco-friendly and sustainable system of economic development and way of life with equitable distribution of wealth and resources.
The 2009 will also see the carryover of unresolved issues like the Iran nuclear issue and probable confrontation between Iran and Israel. The other probable flash point of the 2009 is the possibility of frightening nuclear showdown between India and Pakistan as result of the Mumbai attack.
Gaza and the World
Beyond the above mentioned reasons, the root cause of all crises and calamity human race is facing is due to the Palestinian problem and the sufferings of the Palestinian people in general and the people of Gaza in particular due to the oppression of the Zionist regime that has been continuing their brutality as a ritual for the past sixty years. The gruesome massacre of innocents in Gaza by the Israeli Zionist regime and the impotent reaction of the International community in general and the Arab leaders in particular have only proved the futility of expecting unrealistic optimism about 2009. This massacre and the simultaneous slow death imposed on the people of Gaza by the unilateral sanctions imposed on them by the Zionist regime with the silent approval of the International community will have global repercussions.
For many decades, the Zionist nation has been hijacking the world nations to ransom with its undue control over the political and military establishments, media and the financial sectors. No power on earth has the strength to take action against this nation for its arrogant policies. Even the sole superpower that prides itself as the apostle of freedom and human rights seems to be powerless and weak to point their finger at this Zionist regime and instead find comfort by supporting their inhuman acts as their right of self defense and blaming the democratically elected Hamas government for the attacks. It is irrational to expect change in policy on this issue from the new president Barack Obama from that of his predecessors, especially while pro Zionist agents like Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel remains besides him and Hillary Clinton is in control of the foreign affairs.
If the world community continues to remain silent and insensitive about the massacre, brutality and injustice that are imposed on the people of Palestine, humanity as a whole will have to face the consequences of this brutality. This holy land that is sacred and important for all the three major Semitic religions and its followers globally has greatly influenced the events around the world throughout history. The divine intervention to brutality shown to the people of Gaza was evident in 2008 when the world economies especially western economies suffered the worst economic crises in decades and poverty and hunger spread throughout the world including many new regions that are hitherto abundant with natural resources. The United States itself became a victim of terrorism and financial collapse due to the policies it pursued towards the Palestinian people and unwarranted support to the Zionist regime. Beyond analyzing the reasons for financial collapse, growing poverty and hunger, we must have to amend ourselves and take corrective steps by reacting to the injustice and oppression, in order to attain a peaceful and bright future for humanity as a whole.
Lack of Global Leadership
The major shortcoming the world community is facing in tackling the problems is the lack of global visionaries and leaders who are able to visualize and comprehend the problems faced by the Global Community in totality, above the confines of national, religious and racial interests and thus provide solutions accordingly. Instead, we have leaders like George Bush, Olmert and Livini, who are by-products of the arrogant nationalistic and religious bigotry, influencing the global politics and decision-making. We cannot expect any solution to the global issues from the current world leaders as they are either part of the military and corporate establishment or have reached the top echelons of power at the mercy of these lobbyists.
This lack of a global leadership has resulted in the failure in resolving major conflicts and finding solution to burning issues like financial crises and climate change. The International Organizations like UN who depends on these powers for financial and logistic support cannot take a neutral and justified stand that is essential for solving the conflicts.
For a Happy and Prosperous New Era
Instead of wishing unrealistic New Year greetings while millions of our cohabitants are suffering from hunger, poverty and conflicts, the global community must counter the threats of evil forces and unite to work to realize the vision of a better world. Otherwise, only difference for the New Year will be a change of digits in the calendar along with increasing number of the victims of these conflicts and brutality.
The beginning for the struggle to create a better world must start from Gaza and in countering the Israeli aggression as world peace and stability depends upon the solution of the Palestinian problem and attaining their self-determination. It is essential that 1.5 million population of Gaza gets access to the basic amenities and leads a life of safety and security as the basic precondition for the commencement of any negotiation between varying factions for a lasting solution to this crisis. If Gaza suffers the world will suffer and if Gaza prospers the world will prosper.
Everything else including the threat of terrorism, conflicts, social chaos, economic collapse, financial crises and climate change can be easily resolved when the question of Palestine gets resolved, as the efforts and resources spent for these conflicts can be redirected in eradicating poverty and improving the living standards of the world community and addressing the issues of climate change. Once the Palestinian issue is resolved, the invasion in Iraq and Afghanistan end and the persecution and the economic exploitation of the third world countries stop: it will result in the disappearance of all forms of terrorism that are nourished on these issues.
When the world realizes the importance of unity and eradicating fragmentation, exploitation and hatred, when the followers of different nations and religions believe that their safety and security are mutually linked and when the world realizes that their destinies are interconnected, and consequently work together to built a better world, than we can truly wish the world from bottom of our heart and tears of fulfillment in our eyes "A happy and prosperous new year and a new era".
-Abdul Basit is Indian expatriate working in Kuwait. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.