Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution: Approaches to Understand the Current Issues and Future-Making by Mahboob A. Khawaj

A Book Review

In a global world fraught with individualistic politics and massive propaganda, increased violence is used as means to enforce change and militarism leading to global disorder. The author initiates a courageous reasoned analysis of the current global affairs to unfold how few strategic and imaginative minds are enforcing new devices, weaponry and technological sophistication focusing on dehumanized fantasies of peace and human security to control the interests and priorities of One Humanity and endangering the futuristic stability.

 

The Universe is engulfed with wrong human thinking, dysfunctional organizations, secret weapons and nuclear disasters and global warming of course is a time bomb in waiting. At a time of hegemonic global politics, hegemonial puzzles are not the workable rational solutions. Leaders like actors pretend to be intelligent mock and reject the voices of reason for peace, global unity and security. The global humanity looks to scholars of new ideas and visions to safeguard the future, logically spells out Dr. Mahboob Khawaja – “Approaches to Understand the Current Issues and Future-Making” – Global Citizenry as the nucleus body of peace and conflict resolution to articulate  a new future.

 

Mahboob A. Khawaja, a distinguished scholar in global affairs shares a deep sense of commitment to foster reality over rhetoric as most often academic model’s theories unfold in classroom discussions. Some may call him a dissident intellectual but he offers a rational framework of wide range of pertinent contemporary issues from the failure of the working of the international institutions and leadership, strategies for conflict assessment and conflict resolution, the East-West clash of civilizations, impacts of the climate change and our future; the war on terrorism, imperatives of human security, violations of international law and justice in conflicts, humanitarian issues in displacement of the refugees and hopes for change and adaptability to the future-making.

 

We the People, We the Men of Humanity are governed by passion and natural instinct. Multifaceted global security, peace and conflicts unravel interconnected and indivisible problems facing Man, Humanity and the Universe in quest of reasoned solutions. The author re-examines the conflicting time zones involved between the warlords and people emanating exponential growth of human insecurity, sectarian wars and refugees, violence, global warming and established generic concepts of conflict resolution by using contemplative approach rather than manipulative approach to focus on the pertinent issues of the 21st century global affairs. Dr. Khawaja analyzes the perpetuated wars and failure of the global leadership and institutions to safeguard the humanity from the scourge of wars and argues the vitality of informed global community to be an enlightenment force for future-making. To connect with One Global Humanity, the author ponders beyond the obvious horizons on major humanitarian and political frontiers and contributes new strategies and clarity of purpose to manage the changing and challenging realities of the 21st century global affairs. Comprehending the universal ideals, the book could constructively aid to articulate a sustainable future and avoid similar fate as it happened during the previous 2WW. We live in a world that was imagined and articulated in history, not the outcome of futuristic intellectuals and their visionary ideals, rational assumptions, mode of thinking, individual and collective perceptions and aspirations of the masses defining the global community inherently as One Mankind.

 

Our inner spirit and belief in One Humanity demand an urgent self-reflection, change and rethinking in our behaviors within a system of global governance.  The book unfolds the importance of this message and it is urgent that we all assume the role of an active participant in crafting a peaceful and sustainable future out of our own intellect, unity of minds and collaborative endeavors for the good of global community. The objective-oriented analytic perspectives contained in many chapters will encourage and inspire you for knowledge-based rational and positive thinking.  Across the globe and in all societies, once people start thinking positively beyond the obvious horizons of violence, manipulation and foreign interventions, they do rescue themselves and move forward positively toward making a promising future. Will you help to make this challenge come into reality of the contemporary world? This book could be instrumental to protect the besieged humanity from the scourge of a Third World War articulating a movement for rational thinking, human unity, peace and universality.

The book contains some of the following chapters representing the minds, souls and aspirations of the global mankind:

  • How to Cope with the Emerging Global Crises?

A Test of Human Ingenuity or a Challenge to Our Intellectual Strength

 

  • Man, Humanity and the Universe in Search of Knowledge, Unity and Peaceful Co-existence

 

  • Challenging the Paradox of Terrorism and Wars against Humanity

 

  • The Arab Refugees – Victims of the Western-Led Militarization and Wars Deserve Humanitarian Compassion – are Not a Challenge To European Cultures and the EU Security

 

  • Climate Change and the Global Humanity: Are We at the Risk of Self-Engineered Extinction Because of Our Ignorance and Arrogance?

 

Sinclair Lewis’ 1935 Novel & Omar El Akkad’s Novel About Next American Civil War of 2074

(Brief Thought by F. Sheikh before the short introduction to Sinclair’s 1935 Novel. 

Azeem Farooki has shared short introduction of a 1935 novel “ It Can Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis and eerily main character of the novel, who is running for President, is a photocopy of Donald Trump.

Few months ago Dr. Shoeb Amin wrote a Book review of “ American Nations” by Colin Woodard. This book basically narrates that North America is inhabited by 11 nations with distinct character and culture that goes beyond State’s boundaries and that character has not changed over centuries despite the influx of new immigrants. This led to conflicts and civil war.We have not fully resolved these conflicts. These conflicts are coming to forefront with full energy. The Author of the book suggests that if disintegration can happen in Russia, it can happen here also. Current situation in Catalonia Spain, which has its own distinct culture, also tells us how unthinkable can become a reality.

This brings us to a novel by Omar El Akkad “American War” written in 2017 but the events take place in the future 2074 when polarized America has sunk into second Civil War. The novel is written through the eyes of six-year-old, Sarat Chestnut who lives in Louisiana when Southern States, (Alabama. Georgia and Mississippi) declare independence. The oil has been banned due to extreme global warming. The Middle East has gotten its act together and has formed new united country “ The Bouazizi Union” which is helping Southern States to gain independence. Sarat Chestnut grows up and becomes a suicidal bomber for the cause of Southern independent State. All this scenario looks preposterous now, but if you have read “ American Nations” by Colin Woodard, it is worth reading riveting novel“ American War” by Omar El Akkad, who was born in Cairo, Egypt, and worked as a journalist for The Globe and The Mail. He covered war in Afghanistan, Guantanamo bay and Arab Spring. He received National Newspaper award in 2006. He lives now in Portland, Oregon.)  

Sinclair Lewiss  1935 novel 
 It’s an election year, in a time of economic uncertainty. Running for president is a ranting populist type who has a bestselling book that is part biography, and part shameless boasting. He promises to “make America a proud, rich land again,” rails against blacks, Jews, and Mexicans, and makes it a point of criticizing the press, whose editors he accuses of “plotting how they can put over their lies, and advance their own positions.”

No, this is not a description of 2016, and the candidate is not [http://www..thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/cheats/2016/11/09/ap-donald-trump-wins-presidency.html]Donald Trump—although you can be excused for thinking so. This is, instead, a character named Berzelius Windrip in Nobel Prize-winning author Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel, It Can’t Happen Here, a cautionary tale about how fascism comes to America. Although published over 80 years ago, Lewis’s novel seems especially relevant in the age of Trump. So relevant, in fact, that it recently became Amazon’s number one bestseller in the Classic American Literature category.

“The thing most resonant about the novel is it identified the conditions that were operative in 1935, and operative in the summer of 2016,” says Susan Medak, managing director of the Berkeley Repertory Theater, which staged a theatrical version of Lewis’s book in September. “What we wanted to share with the audience was there were high stakes in the election,” she adds. “[Trump’s] message of real hatred and bigotry spoke to this particular time again. The issue of gender is even in the original novel. The issues of freedom of the press were powerful. It took little effort to draw those parallels.”

posted by f.sheikh

“Virginia White Supremacist March & American Nations” by F.Sheikh

Recent White Supremacist march in Virginia is not a surprise and most likely it will be repeated more frequently in the future. To understand the core mindset of Deep South and why they want to continue civil war and treat confederate era statues as their shrines, you have to read book by Colin Woodard , American Nations. Dr. Shoeb recently wrote a great book review (http://www.thinkersforumusablog.org/archives/9452/comment-page-1#comment-10549) on our site.

Deep South states, since colonization period, believed that white is a superior race and it is in the best interest of other inferior races, especially blacks, to accept this and white masters can take care of them better than they can do on their own. The Southern Methodist Church sanctified this ideology. They believed in hierarchy, aristocracy and individuality as compared to communal living and common good. These believes were driven by economics interests of racist whites on the backs of free black slave labor. These believes and economic interests were threatened with the election of Abraham Lincoln that led to secession campaign and civil war by Deep South and its allies.

New England states, led by Massachusetts, were colonized by migrants from East England who were mostly educated and believe in community and common good instead of individual interests and good. They built schools, Universities ( Harvard) hospitals, churches and other infrastructure. They were forceful opponent of slavery and advocates of liberal ideas. After American-Mexican War they were joined by California and Western coastal states in advance of this ideology.

Deep South lost the civil war, and later 1960’s civil rights’ success gave another blow to these racists believes. After victory at civil war , New England and their allies were successful in implementing their liberal ideas at federal level but Deep South always resented it and considered it imposed ideology at them and never gave up their core believes.

Since the independence, there is continuous struggle between two competing groups (Deep South and its Allies Vs New England and its allies) that is trying to control Federal resources to advance their agenda.

Mr. Woodard explains in his book that there are overall eleven different nations in USA and their core thinking has not changed since colonization despite more immigration in those areas. Other nations end up supporting either Deep South or New England group at federal level depending on their own interests.

Polarization between these two groups is increasing and it is not farfetched that in the future it may come to a head and lead to a disintegration- especially if there are increasing numbers of angry economically depressed middle-class ready to be exploited and always quick to blame the other group for their ills. As Dr, Shoeb also writes in his review, that if it can happen in Soviet Union, it can happen in North America. If that happens, I think you are better off living in one of the New England and its allies states than in Deep South.

 

 

The Plague of War: Athens, Sparta, and the Struggle for Ancient Greece

( Worth reading short history lesson of land that gave birth to Western civilization)
By Jennifer T. Roberts

Oxford University Press, 2017

Two and a half millennia ago, on the tiny Greek island of Sphacteria, something unthinkable happened. In the spring of 425 B.C., a small garrison of Athenian hoplites (heavily-armored spearmen who provided the staple of Greek fighting forces) landed on the sandy promontory of Pylos in the southern Peloponnese, and promptly began setting up camp for a long-term occupation. Their objective was to build a raiding base against the mighty Peloponnesian city of Sparta, against whom the Athenians had been waging war for six consecutive years, but the presence of an Athenian army within arm’s length of the Spartan homeland drew a swift response. Soon, a Spartan army was marching out to lay siege to Pylos. To block the entrance to the harbor, and prevent food and supplies from reaching the beleaguered fort, 420 Spartans took up position on the wooded island of Sphacteria just offshore. As Athenian stomachs grumbled, the Spartans settled in for certain victory.

But the they had made a dreadful miscalculation. The Athenians were the mightiest sea power of the ancient world, with a vastly larger and more experienced navy than the landlubbing Peloponnesians. Within days, a fleet of Athenian triremes had seized control of the harbor and encircled the tiny force of soldiers on Sphacteria. Now it was the Spartans’ turn to starve. For several weeks, intrepid smugglers supplied the stranded Sphacteria with food and water, tying waterproof sacks to the backs of helot slaves, who darted between Athenian patrol ships. But they could only buy so much time, and when a freak forest fire cleared the island of foliage and revealed clearly the position of the Spartans, it was the Athenians’ cue to launch an all-out assault on the haggard troops. True to form, the Spartans fought bravely, attempting to bring their enemy into open combat. But the Athenians were wily, sending archers and rock-throwers against the Spartans’ flanks, dodging into the hills when chased, steadily and painfully pressing the Spartans closer to the shore. At last, the jig was up: the Spartan commander sent a message to the capital, begging instruction or relief. The unhelpful answer returned: “The Spartans order you to make your own decision about yourselves, so long as you do nothing dishonourable.” And so, the hungry soldiers of Sphacteria did something that no Spartan army had done in living memory: they surrendered themselves alive.

That story, told in the ancient account of the writer and general Thucydides, has provided a perfect set piece for historians ever since, not only for its dramatic twists, but because it seemed to embody the very spirit of two diametrically opposed antagonists. Here were the Spartans — brave, hardy, immune to complaint in their suffering, but also a bit dense and hidebound in their ways — brought to heel by the crafty, scheming men of Athens. These were no mere cities, but the yin and yang of Greek society, each representing the antithesis of the other: no wonder, Thucydides implies, they were destined to wage an epic war that would bring the Greek world crashing down around them.

That grueling conflict is the subject of Jennifer T. Roberts’ gripping, concise, and effortlessly readable account, The Plague of War: Athens, Sparta, and the Struggle for Ancient Greece. Roberts sees the battle between Athens and Sparta as the great crux of classical Greek history, and her narrative encompasses not only the catastrophic, 27-year Peloponnesian War (the subject of Thucydides’ account), but an entire century and a half of warfare, rival alliances, and diplomatic backbiting that would eventually drag an entire political system into catastrophe.

The long book review end with following paragraph

“Jennifer Roberts surely did not intend to write a parable for the modern age, having begun her book some time before America unhappily made way for a Critias of its own. Nevertheless, in telling a story of men who uprooted a vibrant and dynamic society, and of norms and institutions that were ultimately powerless to stop them, that is precisely what she has done. Time and again, Roberts argues against a deterministic theory of history: the notion that wars and coups were all necessitated by the forces of history. Rather, she reminds us, it was the choices of individual actors that made the difference.”

Read more

posted by f.sheikh