Arindam Chaudhuri
Gandhism vs cowboy Bush
Gandhism vs greed driven smoke 'em out cowboy capitalism.

The collapse of the twin towers in America almost succeeded in creating a world war like situation. In the pretext of wiping out terrorism from this world Afghanistan or more popularly now known as Pipeline-istan, was bombed to stonage. Of course Osama could not be caught... However, the Texan oil lines are in place and the regime is now being headed by an ex consultant for an American oil company. The country is now well on its way back to anarchy and internal disharmony. Apart from a process of ego satisfaction for an empty head it has served little else. The empty war head (the joke goes that an empty war head has been found in white house - referring to the empty head of George Bush which is full of war ideas) has now turned his sights on Iraq. The world war like situation is back. In today's era where civilization, democracy and concern for human rights seem to have touched their zenith it surprises me no end on how easy it is for us to be influenced by barbaric and uncivilized ideas thrown at us by the spoilt brats of the rich (you guessed it right I am talking about rich America's spoilt George Bush and his gang).

What an irony that the man who doesn't want a war (Saddam) is being termed as a threat to the world while the man who is displaying his cowboy brashness and shouting war at the top of his voice is being termed as the one who wants peace!! Infact surveys in America and Britain are revealing that Americans and British consider George Bush as a bigger threat to the world than Saddam. But does anybody care??? During the entire anti Osama campaign it was clearly revealed to the world that alongwith the twin towers of New York the twin pillars of American democracy - freedom of speech and free market both came crashing down. While the NASDAQ crashed, the government showed its respect for freedom of speech by openly manipulating the print and electronic media. Infact the capitalist owned media blatantly printed press releases of the Pentagon as news items... dictatorially censored any opinion which had any sort of protesting tone and thereby became the pravda of the American government. So much for freedom of speech... and the illusion of democracy.

Under the garb of democracy the dictatorship of the cowboy leader and his gang of capitalist allies continue to threaten world peace. For a while let us go back to September 11th and the days that followed... It is indeed unfortunate that the act of September 11th terrorism took a huge number of lives, created war like destruction (at a couple of selected spots) and ended up becoming a dream attack of spectacular proportions from the terrorist's point of view. However, it also needs to be remembered that if you finance a world class terrorist outfit for years and are ready to give credit to them for the eventual fall of the Soviet empire - if that outfit is of such huge caliber - you should be ready to face a devastating attack when it decides to hit back (all this assuming that Osama and his outfit was behind the attacks). If you create a world class terrorist he creates historical attacks. He was interacting regularly with the FBI and CIA and had a detailed idea of the weak links in the American system. He planned and systematically executed the attacks - something that he had always been taught to master - executional excellence.

Having said that one thing comes out clearly - it is an act of terrorism that hit America on the 11th of September, 2001… similar to many such acts specially the Bombay blasts, which have been committed on our soil. But could we have given those acts of internal terrorism supported by external countries and with roots across pacific the name of a war? Could we have come on CNN or NBC or FOX or for that matter the America inclined BBC and proclaimed with a cowboy accent and facial expression that "this is an act of war committed on India"? It's fascinating how easily one can ascribe new dimensions to similar acts and get away when they own and control the media! Outside five star hotels I have seen drunken rich kids (with the obvious lack of education and culture) shouting at each other "no one hits me and gets away easily"… and I hope it reminds readers of the uncultured outburst of Colin Powell, two days after the attack. I have also heard in the streets of some of the slums of Delhi men shouting "I will find you out from whichever hole you hide in and kill you…" and I am sure readers would remember sentences like "we will smoke them out…" which came out from the president of the world's second largest democracy. I had thought civilization had reached America but I realized that the material dominated cowboy culture of the wild west has a long way to go before the light of civilization shows its total face on them. I had thought that the president of America was supposed to make responsible and politically correct statements like "terrorists have hit America and America will leave no stone unturned to find them out and bring them to justice…" and not "its an act of war committed on America and America will retaliate…".

It seems Americas concerns for human rights crop up only when dealing with oil producing countries like Kuwait and competitive producers capturing their internal markets like China and not tea producing countries like Sri Lanka and economically backward countries like Pakistan… Else how does one explain expressions like retaliation from a country always pretending to show concerns about human rights? How can somebody in today's world of United Nations and civilization and justice and concern for human rights get away by making an irresponsible and unethical statement like "we will make no distinction between terrorists and countries those harbor terrorism"? It seems that we are all too eager to accept that some acts of terrorism are worse than other similar and often larger acts of terrorism... Some innocent lives are more innocent than others (belonging to poorer countries)... Some countries have a greater right to violate UN orders than others and some countries have a greater right of making nuclear weapons for their protection (in the name of world peace they also have a greater right of bombing others) than others, specially if they are not a part of the developed capitalist world.

Somebody perhaps needs to tell Mr. Bush that, my dear cowboy, you are absolutely unfit to be the president of the world's most powerful country… Let me tell you that no country harbors terrorism. Infact you could be in trouble on the same charge as well. A country is made of thousands and millions of innocent and simple people (who incidentally also happen to enjoy human rights) as well as often of a group of wrong thinking political mafia - which harbors terrorism. Thus, there is a big difference between people who harbor terrorism and countries who harbor terrorism. No country harbors terrorism. Its few people who do that and your statement can have catastrophical outcomes… It can take thousands of innocent lives because of your typical rich kid ego.

And cultured and educated people of your own country would explain to you that no war can finish terrorism because every innocent victims son is tomorrows potential terrorist. I know your land was not blessed with Gandhi but atleast your key man Powell could do well teaching you a few lessons from the messiah of the blacks & exploited - Martin Luther King. You want to end terrorism so do millions in Palestine, Israel, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia etc. Don't forget the existence of United Nations. Bring UN ground forces into the countries where terrorism exists and find out the terrorist individually and bring them to justice. I know its tough for you since UN forces would have American's as well and - looking back at the ruthless devastation that American's opted for in the case of Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan by going in for air attacks instead of ground attacks - American people would refuse to take body bags. But you want peace in this world? You want to eradicate the negative forces to whose creation even you contributed? Then be prepared to loose the lives of a few soldiers in a world class attack against terrorism through a lawful and civilized manner. After all those who join the army do it voluntarily and are supposed to be ready to give their lives for a greater cause. Give peace a chance…

And finally let me say that the Asian and the Middle Eastern problem of terrorism has finally shown its horrible face in the land of plenty. In a world of lop sided development and increasing gaps between the haves and the have nots, isn't it an expected outcome ? The idea of peace will always remain illusory between greedy nations and nations which do not give equal rights and dignified existence to its people. Isn't it most logical that the people who are being marginalized in the gold rush would one day feel like becoming suicide bombers - in any case they are not living a life of dignity. If there is any lesson to learn - then let us unite and fight against discrimination of man by man and exploitation of man by man and let's give peace and civilized coexistence its rightful chance. And also let us not try to brain wash the whole civilization against any community, religion, country or region. Let us call an act of terrorism an act of terrorism and not an act of war. War is between two different countries and let us keep the definition same. And yes, media is a powerful tool and let us not misutilize the same because we happen to own it. Recently, I heard of rumours that CNN used the same pictures that were shown during the gulf war to the world to show that Palestinians were celebrating the death of innocent people. If this is true then its the biggest shame.

Let us also understand human psychology. If a country exists with a tendency to show off and win more enemies than friends then at times some human beings will celebrate such occasions. Infact of late I have a growing feeling that more people are directly or indirectly happy at the September 11th attacks on the US and the existence of countries like North Korea who can openly challenge American dictats... (the front page of a financial daily in India on September 11th infact carried a heading like "now they will see our point of view", a similar article was carried the very next day in the front page of another leading Indian daily and many such articles came out all over the world). I have reasons to believe that these are all intellectual ways of showing atleast mild satisfaction at the attacks. Let's keep natural human tendencies out of matters of far more serious nature. These human tendencies cannot be sighted as reasons for explaining anger against an entire community. It is high time the world looks to Indian philosophy of non-violence as an answer to the greed driven acts of terrorism - carried out at times by individual outfits and at times by individual nations. Millions of people are today coming out on the streets clearly shouting that they do not want war for oil... and let us admit that the Texan oil mafia backed up by the Texan cowboy president of America is all ready to fight a war for oil. It is the capitalist greed that is spreading violence in the world. 20 times more wars have been fought just within the last decade than during the entire non capitalist dominated cold war era! Let us admit that terrorism is a result of the uncontrolled efforts to globalise the free market system of no ethics and governance. In the free market everything is available for profits and every dream can be chased for greed... Everyone is free to think that it is moral to be selfish and individual comes before the society and therefore it harbors people who think that they have the right to violence too - being free individuals. It is thus time to stop the mad belief in the free market as a way out for a better world because a system driven by profits and greed can never offer peace to the world. And finally, it is high time that we look to the Gandhian philosophy of non-violence for a solution to this mad carnage.