When America Leads From Behind

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After a long busy day, many people search the web or switch on their cable television to know what is happening in this uncertain world. On every international news channel and portal website, they see guiltless people are being deliberately harmed, tortured or killed every day. Around the world, from the Americas to Europe throughout Asia to Africa, traumatic reports and shocking footages of deadly explosions, mass murders and war casualties continue to come along very often.

Noticeably, the larger part of that savagery and bloodshed are taking place in Asia and Africa, where the dogma of “armed resistance is the solution” is fathered, in the turbulent Middle East, North Africa, and southwestern Asia zones, in particular. Day to day, hundreds of innocent men and women, adolescents and children are falling dead or incapacitated here and there in many African countries as in Mali, Nigeria, Algeria, Tunis, Libya, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan, for instance; and throughout most of Asia like in Chechnya, China, Tibet, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Bahrain, Yemen, Palestinian territories, Iraq, Syria, and to a lesser extent Lebanon.

Political analysts, think tanks, and nonaligned intellectuals are in search to identify the root causes of such upheaval and atrocities. They seek to find out what is in common among all those upset people, communities, and nations; and how to put an end to these terrible misfortunes and human sufferings.

For the most part, this worldwide havoc arrived as a result of many open issues, such as spread of poverty, corruption and misgoverning, lack of human development, interest-driven alliances with undemocratic regimes, cold-shouldering of peoples’ political drive and civil strives, underestimation of the effects of suppression and sectarian bias, and disengagement in resolving territorial conflicts, and regional disputes.

When America leads from behind

The “tuning out” of these crucial problems has paved the way for the rise of armed religious extremism, expansion of theoterrorism, sectarian partisanship and sectionalism, monomania for developing nuclear weapons, usage of chemical weapons, wild uprisings, and bloody showdowns with autocratic regimes, or a mixture of some of these lethal issues.

Unfortunately, the prime visible common element among most of those rebellious instances is the engagement of Muslim people and Islamic fundamentalist groups through which they seek to change the political and socioeconomic situations of their countries—and around as viable. Yet, the most common and correlative components among all cases are poverty, lack of human development and socioeconomic policies, the presence of corrupted governments, the absence of real civil liberties, and the prolonged oppressive rule of parasitic autocracies.

The best mirror image that resembles those compound adversities is the ongoing Syrian tragedy, which is by all odds the most awful catastrophe of the 21st century. Alas, the intensity and frequency of atrocities in Syria are unprecedented in the modern history of domestic armed conflicts and civil wars. Nevertheless, international organizations, like the so-called League of Arab States (LAS), the alleged Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the United Nations (UN) and its irresponsible Security Council (SC), the U.S. tuned North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the disconcerted European Union(UN), and the current U.S Administration have proved to be ineffective and unreliable to deliver peace and security to this world.

On March 28, 2011, in his address to the nation on Libya, U.S. President, Barack Obama, was quoted as saying:

“For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and as an advocate for human freedom.  Mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world’s many challenges.  But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act.  That’s what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks…”

He added:

“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and — more profoundly — our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are.  Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries.  The United States of America is different.  And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.” — U.S. President, Barack Obama

Yet, when it comes to a non-oil-rich country, like Syria, the undeniable fact is that two years of slaughter, massacres, mass graves, and the frequent use of chemical weapons are sidelined so that to coordinate a halfway political solution with a crueler dictator than Qaddafi, Mubarak, and Ben Ali. Given Obama’s self-proclamation and rationales, it is reasonable enough to the Arab world and many other nations to lose confidence in President Obama and deplore his foreign policy, not to mention the double standard practices of his administration.

Putin and Obama-photo source Carolyn Kaster/AP

Steering away from discussing, here and now, the reincarnation of the old communist Russian standoff policy and the Iranian regime scheming and its militarized intervention in the Arab world, most of which cranked out because of the weakness of Arab League, the absence of leadership of the European Union and, above all the retracting role of Obama’s Administration and his wimp concept of “leading from behind”. The fact remains that the leader-nation of the free world and its European and Arab allies are just chiming in condemnation announcements and false promises or busy in redrawing their changeable redlines.

For that, the world of the free still remembers Bill Clinton, a former U.S. president, who put an end to the massacres of Srebrenica and Zepa in Bosnia. And so, they wonder what Mr. Clinton would have done to stop the current Syrian bloodbath if it were to happen at his time in office. Not like Obama, for certain.

Meanwhile, the effete Arab League and the abeyant international community and its international organizations are abandoning the least of their duties and principles. Since they had failed to provide adequate humanitarian aid to more than 5 million Syrian refugees and vagabonds; and fell short to deliver vital medical supplies to more than two hundred thousand maimed and injured people—not to mention their role in shelving the slain of more than 90,000 innocent lives.

Needless to note that our world is neither living in peace nor running in order at all levels, whether on the political, socio-economic, or security level. The causes and effects of that disorder are largely brought forth as a result of some misconceptions, ill decisions, and malpractices made by one’s own community, government, or nation. The bigger the role people and nations claim, the bigger the responsibilities they should hold.

To live in peace, the world needs wise liberal leadership and a potent leading group of nations (like the G-20, or G-#, instead of the veto-paralyzed Security Council) that uphold one universal strategy and criterion built on rendering liberty, justice, and equality to all. Considering the past several decades of malfunction and misgoverning of the UN, SC, WB, IMF, LAS, OIC and others, the world needs now more than ever a new-structured international organization and several fully annexed regional leagues that can enforce peace and security to all.

Otherwise, the rolling havoc in the Middle East will spread in all directions.

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