Curses are like young chicken: they always come home to roost. The notion of the evil that men create returns to their own door. The fallout of the 'Obama Cairo speech' comes to a full circle. Obama's intrinsic desire to make everyone happy makes no one happy. President Drone needs to tackle the bull of 'Political Islam' ravaging in the global china shop within the crescent of instability from Maghreb to Malaysia. The message of reason, global toleration and rationalism needs to be repeated and medievalism openly condemned. No double speak here a la Cairo please. It needs to be tackled by the horns not appeasement a la Neville Chamberlain.
The pleas of the President are a far cry from the short circuit historical exuberance of Cairo. President Barrack Obama pressed leaders of the Muslim world to help ensure security for Americans in their countries after a wave of violence against U.S. diplomatic compounds."The message we have to send to the Muslim world is we expect you to work with us to keep our people safe."
The American President may not know it, but his 'Muslim world' is split by a war of ideas; Obama generalizations in Cairo were 'music' to create mass euphoria and may help build bridges with the Islamic disgruntled street, but scratch the surface a little and one finds that he could have addressed the real cause of the decline of Islamic nations in the past mainly due to victory of dogma over logic and rationalism, and overreliance on predestination and will of Allah. He runs with the hare and hunts with the hounds, and that is what is worrisome. Obama's approach is "evasive" and devoid of any real policy prescriptions. This very dichotomy and double speak has made him popular with the rainbow coalition liberals as well as a well known trigger-happy Mr. Drone. If one speech in Cairo could have resolved the problems of the world on its own merit this should have been it. In my opinion it opened new avenues of conflict as the moderate guys ‘who live and sleep’ to know the ‘cause’ that triggers a suicide bomber mind will justifiably claim radical actions as legitimate to express injustice.
President Obama is inexperienced in his approach towards Middle East. President Obama is eloquent, no doubt about that. What's scary to me is the increasing evidence that maybe that's all there is: eloquent talk. In my mind, that nagging possibility started becoming a probability when I read what a few people close to him had to say about his eloquence, and matched that with what's been happening so far in his presidency. Here are a few excerpts from Dan Heninger's article (WSJ, 4/30/09):
Harvard Law Prof. Charles Ogletree told how Mr. Obama spoke on one contentious issue at the law school, and each side thought he was endorsing their view. Mr. Ogletree said: "Everyone was nodding, Oh, he agrees with me." The reason I have never forgotten this article is its last sentence, in which Al Gore's former chief of staff Ron Klain, also of Harvard Law, reflects on the Obama sensation: "The interesting caveat is that is a style of leadership more effective running a law review than running a country."
Obama, of course, has known about his biggest asset for a long time: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid... tells of congratulating freshman Sen. Obama on a phenomenal speech. Without a hint of conceit, Mr. Obama replied, "Harry, I have a gift."
Aryan said and I concur that 'I am surprised by his exuberance in dealing with international relations, he is boldly defining new frontiers of global diplomacy, one day he is admonishing Israelis for their expansionist policies and the next day he is with survivor Elie Wiesel visiting the sites of the holocaust.' He kept the Muslims happy and keeps the Jews happy too, a nice diversity of an Obama technique of creating new global rainbow coalition. By admitting intervention in Iran in early 50's and denouncing US excesses once again, one thing is certain: the noisy public opinion, that of hatred of America, is softening on the Arab street. Yet, it is hard to claim what tangible gains we shall attain on dismantling Global Terror Inc.
The urge of Political Islam to triumph over the world is so robust, it is all about implementing 'archaic desert age antiquity' in the minds of free man of today. Shari'a the sacred law of Islam is extremely important for regions under Islam. The urge to 'export the law' and impose on others is a part of the history of conquests, it is the narrative of Islamic civilization. Law and subjugation under Shari'a is more important in the religion of Islam than is theology.
I wrote in an article after Cairo speech that will Obama’s obvious gentleness in Cairo be repaid by the likes of Iranian clergy on nuclear issues is one big challenge, if overtures are returned and Iran joins the global community as a full active member, I would think that Obama did the job. If Iran goes on NK’s nuke path and detonates a nuke device in the next four years, I would presume that will stamp a failure on his soft global approach. The jury is out. One Ummah 'Obama' refers to only exists in the minds of Hizb ul Thareer or the ultimate faithful; otherwise there are 1000 divides within the Islamic world. The mother of them all is the Shiite-Sunni divide that extends to in the shape of two camps - the Iranian and Saudi (a 700 million/300 million divide on global Islamic populations basis); next, the Sunni internal divide between Wahabbi hardliners and Wahabbi softliners, this sits above the divide between Hanifites and Malikis that extends between sub-continent Muslims. The terror prone Asir region is cast solidly in the first divide whereas Taliban are the product of desert Islam with connections to the hardest of the ideological schools under Salafis.
Obama’s attempts to sew a rainbow of all under one tabernacle is far bigger and much more complex a challenge. The political demands at the seams of Islamic majorities are clear; in Palestine the Hamas wants no Israel, in Saudi Osama wants no Sauds, in Hijaz they want no Sauds, in Iran they want the promised one to conquer regions for which they have been promised by Allah and restore the Ahl-e-Bait, that is the house of Banu Hashim, to its equitable place. The nuke option for Iran is no way acceptable to Saudis as well as Osama. Khomeini's Islam is a far away call from Islam that Abdul Wahab practiced. Iraq has its own sectarian problems alongside the Kurdish issue.
Now to portray Darfur and Bosnia in one line in Cairo was great acrobatics, yet a poor one. In Darfur, Arab descended Sudan's Al-Bashir is behind the ruthless murder of his own black indigenous Muslims; in Bosnia it was strife between Serbs and Muslims, both Slavs but ideology divided them. The revenge of Ottoman rule was taken from the rich farmers and land owners who historically benefited from the Ottoman rule. Pakistan suffers with its own identity; five nations made into 'one' under the name of Islam, but other 53 exist because Islam alone is not the healer. Cairo speech that covered it all and depicted Muslims as victims of great conspiracies camouflaged the fact that Muslims as the rulers of this region of sub-continent and Mesopotamia are having a difficult time adjusting as minority. Palestine issue, the Kashmir issue, Taliban rule of Afghanistan, Somalian warlords and combined dictatorships of Assad's, Qaddafi's and Mubarak's all add up to problems that the speech never addressed. Yes, a great workout to shove it all under a carpet.
The downside of all this is that the policies being followed overlook massive carnage amongst Islam. In Iraq-Iran war, a million were vanquished; in present Taliban infestation, collateral damage of any Muslim is a sacrifice that is acceptable. The policy is to eliminate them with drones but when Obama words will be corroborated with his action he will be considered as a man who understands and apologises but cannot act; a new conspiracy theory will be woven, new victims will emerge; new martyrs from those who listen to these half cooked facts will be far greatly hardened. OIC-based polio elimination is a great idea yet Taliban consider this immunisation as an act of faithlessness. Change of syllabus, reality check of the 'enemy within' is the right speech that was forlornly omitted.
The interaction of cultures and minds sans ideological dogma shall result in oneness of mankind; we cannot have sectarianism, tribalism and botulism as the cornerstone policy in an age of micro-processors and mass connectivity. This is the age of enlightenment and knowledge; you either are a part of the universal system of knowledge or a defunct Stone Age mindset. It is not mere chance that wherever ‘freedom’ flourishes the regions innovate, whereas the regions where 'ideological fixation' is prime, minds and creativity degenerates.
In this civilizational cesspool, i.e., the Middle East, also known as the cradle of civilization, the schisms of centuries cannot be dealt with rainbow Mayor Daley-like coalitions. By raising expectations of people with politicisation of slogans who want nothing but extension of fanaticism and their ideologies is a little naïve in my humble opinion. You got to tell them the truth, and the truth is that they got to change, by assuming full responsibility for all crimes committed; one cannot overlook the fact that Moguls and Ottomans were not a democracy neither were Assassins, Ayubis, Abbasids, and Umayyads. Political Islam cannot coexist with each other in majority, see OBL or Taliban and Shiite, neither can it coexist in minority like Kashmir or Moro in the Philippines. Or demands of Sharia laws in UK. It is exertive in its approach and needs a true resurgence. Fringes where political Islam wants freedom from the shackles of new 'masters' are areas where political Islam conquered the local populace as masters and were later driven out.
The issue is whether democratic secular world can co-exist with the political Islam. In Obama’s opinion yes, but appeasing political Islam will only strengthen the strain not sway them on the side of tolerance and logic. Islam today needs integration with the world, Islam needs to realise that days where 'Moguls and Ottomans' could rule the world in the name of Allah are gone. Islamic majorities are simmering with ravaging conflicts trapped between wars to impose dogmatic 'back-to-basics Allah-ordained constitution' or western-based secularism, the hearts of the faithful are with Allah, but their economies are tied with the world. This dichotomy makes them quite unsure as the road they need to take.