Saturday, 3 January 2004

The Knights of the Oval Office

The Knights of the Oval Office
The quest for the Holy Grail of democracy in the Middle East through pre-emptive wars leading to regime change and eventual self-determination continues apace in Ur of the Chaldees.
Just as we know that the that quest made and destroyed lives of those knights, the ability for history to repeat itself by legend and fable turning into reality is as fearful as thought of the plunder that accompanied the noble acts of the Crusades.
In fact, one can say that those events are acting out of a screenplay that combines the adventures of Robin Hood with the quest of the Knights of the Round Table with the Crusades theme. Call it the Eighth Crusade.
The principals include King Arthur (President George W. Bush), Sir Gawain (Tony Blair), Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad and Lady Guinevere (Condoleeza Rice, but not as we know the lady of the story).
There is no scope for the romantic slant in this vivid dramatisation. However, you are called to view the issues of the day in the light of the presented screenplay.
No doubt, one would expect some human emotion and expression of a humane disposition in deciding who the best actor is.
This is evidently absent when all acts are taken with such Messianic zeal, humans are playing God in action, purpose, determination and execution.
How else does one explain the fact that Iran - a country that has already captured Al-Qaeda suspects and holds them in custody - is now expected to hand over those suspects to the US?
Is the war on terror just about the US and its fears or about the world and its safety? One is not aware of an extradition treaty between the US and Iran. They have had no diplomatic relations for over 20 years.
It ought not to be so, we cannot have a nation state above all states deciding who belongs to the leagues of nations of this world, who rules the peoples of other lands and threatens or uproots governments of other lands with impunity on the premise of pre-emptive strikes.
It is reckless and irresponsible for a state that is in the flux of imperfect democratic processes to advocate any form of democracy in other states. Democracy cannot be imposed on the tips of uranium depleted bombs.
This is evidenced by the insurgencies the occupying forces in Iraq have encountered since the end of hostilities in May 2003.
The myth of a Robin Hood taking the government of the corrupt and tyrannical elite and giving it to the people would have been fine, it were true.
However, the majority of that ruling council constitutes exiles with scores to settle, hurts needing healing and great self-interest non-representative of the people they portend to lead.
Declaring a liberation day in honour of the American liberation or banning alternative news sources that are at variance to the preferred spin do no constitute the priorities of people who have been oppressed for over 35 years.
The faux pas of disbanding the army of the de-Baathification of Iraq is absurd.
For 35 years, people who wanted to live in Iraq and make a living had to be members of the Baath party, just as many had to be members of the Communist Party to gain any privilege or influence in their lives and the lives of others.
They have gotten it all wrong and are not in the frame of getting it right in the near future. We need to rid ourselves of this God-like resolve and consider our humanity, vulnerability and multi-lateral purpose of co-existence.
No matter how bad the Sheriff of Nottingham was, it did not justify the acts of Robin Hood who just happened to be a nice bandit.
The quest of the Crusades has not resolved that self-same problem of the Jews, Arabs and Christian peoples sharing the cradle of the birth of their religions, it did not then and it would not now.
Dialogue, communication, respect for all parties is needed, not belligerent disregard expressed through military might but no transfer of civilised values.
Just because one nation cannot handle the humiliation of being attacked by such low tech methods in view of their sophisticated weapons defence systems, does not mean the whole world now has to adopt policies that Stalin would have considered so radical and authoritarian.
2004 offers ample opportunity to turf these knights out of the Oval Office before the free democratic world has no moral high ground for the suppression of dissent, the propensity of unilateral action and protection of human rights.
All nations need to rise to defeat the new fascism masquerading as the war on terrorism; the world is no safer since this whole debacle started.
Americans need to receive the same treatment they give to others who visit America. Then would the electorate be stimulated to do the right thing and make their votes count.
I rest for now, but the case is in debate.
Addendum
The Crusades
Movie: The Crusades (1935)
The Knights of the Round table
Movie: Knights of the Round Table (1953)
Robin Hood
Movie: Adventures of Robin Hood, The (1938)

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