Since the tragic attacks on Paris, world leaders, politicians, Presidential Candidates, inexpert experts, and, of course, the mainstream media’s so-called journalists showing once again their ignorance and their utter professional disrespect to pursuing the Truth wherever it may lead, have been flailing incoherently all over our sad planet. Retaliation! Vengeance! Avenging! Bombing! Islamophobia! Immigrant phobia! Punish the bastards! Destroy ISIS – oops, we’re calling them Daesh now, aren’t we?
I’m watching and listening to all this while thinking that I must be in an Alternate Reality. I am sure that I speak for myself as well as for most Arabs and Middle Easterners when I say that. We are in total shock and disbelief in view of these tragic events that are occurring today, and that have been ongoing since the invasion of Afghanistan especially. However, the reality is that we have been in this dismal and despairing situation since the official end of colonialism in our countries and the onset of the unofficial and undeclared colonialism that has been decimating us bit by bit by tragic bit over the past seventy years.
To begin with, we are all saddened and aggrieved by the loss of innocent lives in beautiful Paris. Many of us know this capital very well. Some of us have friends and relatives who live there. France is also right across the Mediterranean from most of our countries. That being said, we do not comprehend why we should be apologizing for the misdeeds of the terrorists as if simply by being Arabs, nationalists, patriots, anti Western foreign policies, anti Israeli Government policies, and anti-war in the Middle East we are, therefore, pro terroristic ideologies. This bigoted, racist equation does not add up.
Moreover, we do not understand how Islam as a religion has been put up for debate after every act of violence and terrorism occurring on Western soil. For all intents and purposes, I am, on official documents, a Christian – non-practicing and agnostic as I am these days – who will stand up for Islam and my Muslim friends anywhere and anytime, and I am bursting with indignation to see some of them agonizing and writhing at the anti-Islam fervor sweeping Europe and the United States. Why should they, why should all Arabs, have to apologize for the few terrorists and criminals amongst us? I have not seen any Westerners falling all over themselves to apologize for the Christian and Jewish radicals amongst them, or for their virulent and poisonous words regarding anything to do with Islam, or Arabs. How can this biased behavior be allowed when it is not merely coming from ignorant imbeciles, but from prominent politicians writing, orating and airing their distorted views on the air, riling up their radical political bases and not even thinking of the possibly disastrous consequences that their words can engender? And disastrous they often are as we have seen from the increase in slurs and hate crimes against innocent Arabs and mistaken-for-Arabs/Muslims throughout the Western world.
Yes, I am OUTRAGED!
However, and to that beautiful young Arab who told me: what can we do? What should we think? I am so very lost and miserable! I am becoming paranoid of even leaving my house! Brace yourself, I say.
Pope Francis said that we are in World War 3. I have said that too, others have also and, I will add, that this is only the beginning, for this event is going to be long, bloody, dangerous and, as of yet, unknown consequences that range from innocents being killed to cyber wars. This is a very different kind of war. The two previous World Wars happened during the first half of the Twentieth Century. We are now in the Twenty-First Century, and Sooooo much has changed since then, and it all happened really too fast. I do not think that our world has adjusted and recalibrated itself yet to the Information Age. Not in our schools and academies, not in the financial world, not where our climate threats are concerned, not socially, not in our relationships, not religiously, not politically, not in any sphere, and our world is going to be in very grave turmoil until that happens – a couple of generations from now maybe? Nevertheless, this war is also different because it is being fought with more lethal and dangerous weapons that are now available to any bunch of criminals who is willing to pay for them. This proliferation of weaponry whether under the command of inept political leaders, or American and other private citizens, deranged individuals, drug gangs, local militias in the US and elsewhere, police forces and everyone and their Mother is a situation that is out of control and dangerous to all of us. During the previous wars, arms and weaponry belonged in the hands of governments and armies. And, yes, I do understand the argument that says that arms at the disposal of governments only could be turned on innocent civilians – and there are enough horrific cases to attest to that – I still don’t understand how having uncontrolled access to weapons can benefit any of us. This is just one of the many grave issues facing us in this century, and one we should address before it gets more out of hand than it already has.
Until the world, and especially political leaders, becomes responsible and conscientious enough to address the important issues and not put personal interests, greed, corruption, bigotry, racism and ignorance above that of ordinary citizens, we are all in for some seriously troubling times.
There is enough blame to go all around for our sorry state of world affairs. However, I have not heard one political leader or anyone else in a position of power, rise above the blame and finger-pointing and serve as a peacemaker and uniting force that can stem the war-mongering and hatred blowing all around us. To the contrary, so many of them are fanning the flames of war and divisiveness rendering our atmosphere murkier and more muddied than ever before. In fact, it seems as if no one is thinking clearly anymore.
They say – those who pretend to know – that it is the Bankers, the Military-Industrial complex, the weapons manufacturers, multi-national corporations, the Conspiracy, Imperial America, the Salafis, the Saudis, the Israelis and heavens knows who or what else. Is it? Is it one, or all, of those? Have things gone so far out of control that no entity or government is being able to stop them?
If that is the case, pour yourself a glass of wine everyone, go about your life, enjoy your day because there is not a damn thing that you, or me, as ordinary individuals can do until everyone comes to their senses or someone decides – mistakenly? deliberately? – to drop a nuclear bomb and, then, it will be goodnight world simply because Reason and Sanity have been trashed. Justice has been mauled beyond recognition. Words have been twisted so much and so often that we cannot find a common language anymore. Self-righteousness has overtaken our responsibility to all the innocent, young and beautiful younger generations. It is beyond unbelievable, irresponsible, immoral and outrageous.
So, yes, I am OUTRAGED!