Dear lovely friends from the USA and and all over the world,

    By Tarek Ali Hassan
    Sunday, August 29, 2004

 Apology and explanation for long absence and communication to my many loved American and international friends

Dear lovely friends from the USA and and all over the world,

I apologise profusely for my long absence and silence and thank you all for your many messages of support and enquiry. In fact I have been very unwell. I have been very unwell both in body and in heart.

Living in the Middle East, my heart has been heavy with the enormous gulf that exists between the reality of the happenings in the Middle East - Iraq and Palestine- and what you are being told by politicians and mass media exploiting your legitimate anger and panic to the last drop.

The television picture of reality that you are being treated to non-stop has little real relation with reality as experienced by the interactants in that sad drama. As somebody who lives in the Middle East I am exposed to a very different reality and feel that it is your basic rights to be exposed to that reality, to understand it, and to know perfectly well what is being done in your name.

It is your right to ask and to know why many of your fine brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, friends and neighbours are made to risk their lives not for real long term American interests as perceived by the wise but sowing for America and and Americans seeds of resentment, hatred and condemnation believing that you are forcing democracy and freedom on an oppressed people while systematically destroying their infra structure as a nation, echoes of the tragedy and misconceptions of Vietnam. It is so sad when so many of you mean well and believe they are supporting democracy, freedom, human rights, justice and security. It is the whole situation that makes me very sad. So much to say and so little space and time to say it in.

The idea of human rights for all, democracy and freedom is very noble and important indeed. It is doubly important as after WWII these ideas/ideals were cruelly neglected because absolute priority was given to combat communism at all costs even at the cost of crushing human rights of many nations on the way. A bizarre and tragic paradox. We were helping ruthless dictators all over the place if only they stood against communism.

The fine idea of pluralistic democracy as behaviour patterns and practices by government and people in concert, can only be enhanced and sewn by education communication and culture and by water tight mechanisms to keep arms out of the socio-political dialogue

Overwhelmingly superior force of arms will do nothing in this direction except as a counter-productive force creating enemies not allies, defeating its own declared noble aims. I am very surprised that with all the many lessons we have learnt and with all the large numbers of marvelous poets, writers, thinkers, erudite philosophers, long-term strategists, humanists and peace lovers with whom America abounds, there is not a better developed vision for a peaceful pluralistic future where security is insured by justice and multilateral neutral mechanisms for its implementation.

A multilateral pluralistic world is a World in which all the disparate peoples of our globe have an inalienable right to pursue happiness and to express themselves and to transmit their point of view and be seriously listened to. All can then look forward to living together in peace and harmony keeping and maintaining their legitimate interests and able to resolve any and all contradictions via an international system of arbitration.

If we introduce brute “Rambo” force as the arbiter and as the punitive response when we are hurt or angry how can we look forward to a time in the future in which other giant nations are going to develop and grow in economic power and in material power and devastating armaments. The US as World leader has/had a moral responsibility to transcend arms as an instrument of conflict resolutionand to enhance and amplify the power and authority of the UN. The US in her extreme responsibility as the leading super power needs to help the World transcend arms as a means of conflict resolution for its own long term interest if not for the rest of the world.

As we neglect the difficult but necessary goal of pluralistic interactive peace based on justice and communication ensured by a strengthened and balanced UN, are we then falling into the trap of buying the satisfaction of sweet revenge and a shallow sense of security at the defeat and humiliation of our enemies culpable and innocent bundled together at the price of terrible Wars and brewing conflicts to come? Exactly like the big powers did in Versailles1918.

It is very shortsighted for the US to emerge from isolationism and a largely non-colonial history into unilateralism and colonialism without persisting in the the difficult but vital path to peace through dialogue and multilateralism.

There is no valid inroad to World peace and security if we do not change our posture of believing in, and practicing the power of devastating arms in conflict resolution. Modern life and technological advances make us more and more vulnerable in parallel with the exponential development of our technology and our dependence on it.

We must not forget in the West that it was we who introduced weapons of mass destruction chemical, biological or atomic. It was we who had no compunctions about using many of them on innocent civilians. This is a bit of history that demands resolution if we are truly seeking peace, security and an end to terrorism. We are a leading example for the rest of the world. The US , the West the Judeo-Christian world in general are the leaders and teachers into patterns of peace or into patterns of war and violence

We should therefore start by ourselves and at least for the present, refrain from the use of force as our chosen response to challenge. As we affirm war and force of overwhelming arms as the paths for conflict resolution, we are affirming and amplifying the pattern of the 20th century which we all know was disastrous to mind boggling proportions. Are we just unable to learn from history? Listen to the words of Wilfred Owen great English War poet:

“now people will go content with what we spoilt
or discontent boil bloody and be spilt”

Is all human ingenuity unable to find a way out of this terrible circle throughout the ages? I believe there are paths to resolution of violence and paths to resolution of terror but they are very diffirent and terribly under-researched.

We are led to believe that it was our formidable weapons and our weapons of mass destruction that kept the peace and won the war against communism and the Soviet Union. This is the typical telescopic thinking of the militarily, the weapons industry and the secret services not of historians, philosophers ans social scientists. The wider view will show that the real failure and collapse of the soviet union arose from the failures of the system from within. The prosperity, freedom, cultural richness and success of West Germany next to East Germany and of Austria next to Czechoslovakia was a much more powerful weapon than any atomic or hydrogen bomb. The war was won on the cultural, economic, social and political fields. Our many unnecessary wars were not the factor that contained and defeated communism. It was our economic prosperity our presentation of a palpable alternative more humane example of life and of society which is freer, tolerant of dissidence and pluralism, more respectful of human rights and involving participatory democracy that persistently undermined the system and the ideology of our adversaries. It is all very obvious from a bird's eye view. Yet very few people realise the importance of the cultural, social and alternative example front. It was eventually the front upon which the struggle was won.

There are parallels in the fields of medicine and health where the pharmaceutical industry has had us all pawns to a monumental brain wash that the marvelous improvements in the health of people and the rising longevity of humans is due to their wonderous drugs. This is not the place to present an exposure of this monumental brain washing to which most of us have fallen victim but the evidence is presented in many fine studies and in some of my papers on demand.

What we have been witnessing over a period of nearly 15 years is a systematic destruction of Iraq, a third world nation with great potential ostensibly because they had fallen prey to an evil dictator whom we helped to power in the first place. Iraq was a nation with the potential and resources to break out of the Third World economic, then social and cultural quagmire and thus activate the internal mechanisms to this nasty nidus just like pus out of an unwelcome abcess, then join the community of nations with internally generated freedom and a real interest in peace and stability. Will the US and the West ever tolerate a truly strong middle eastern country other than Israel? A tragic but understandable formula up to the point when Egypt took the quantum leap towards initiating and concluding peace with Israel, beyond this point the formula of ensuring military superiority over all Arab and middle eastern nations becomes unforgivable and deeply counterproductive whether adopted by the Israeli or the US policy makers. We have managed to dislodge awful entrenched dictators in Poland, in Romania, and the Philippines etc. why are we unable to dislodge the dictatorships in the middle east? Is there a hidden agenda that is kept secret from the American people?

Iraq had had a long and complex history. Along its rivers some of the greatest civilisations in human social evolution were born. Why and how has our ingenuity failed to show us together the path to dislodge a dictator without destroying a promising nation with a sophisticated and promising infrastructure?

One of the finer aspects of US policy has been sincere international development initiatives for peace. Is the US to set all that important philosophy aside and slide into the quick sand of peace enforced through overwhelming and massive weapons? Which thinker or policy maker thought out that “bombing countries back to the stone age” is the path to democracy and peace? Who ever is responsible for evolving that concept has a lot to answer for to the American people and eventually to the rest of the world.

My heart goes out to the many potentially lovely and loving young people who are being made to risk their lives by forces beyond their control and being told they are transmitting democracy and freedom or defending lofty ideas and ideals. We have seen all these potentially lovely and loving young people taken to an inimical environment, put in confrontational situations where instead of communication and dialogue and mutual support, they have to face many potentially loving young people as enemies and each shoot at each side both believing that they are serving a noble cause. A tragic extrapolation of the scene between Papageno and Monostatos in the first act of Mozart’s Magic flute.

Once again a thousands thanks and in deep appreciation of the many lovely friends who asked during my long absence.


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