Often statists try to color the inhuman governmental wrongs as ‘Humanitarian’ stern acts for the safety and benefit of all.
Can one really justify the Iraq Invasion by US as a Humanitarian act to save the Iraqis from the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein? One may say that Saddam was a real danger for Iraqi people and by overthrowing his regime, US actually served the welfare of Iraqis. They may say that although American Invasion killed Iraqi people, but those deaths were accidental and if Saddam’s regime has continued many people might have suffered death, penury and tortures under his tyranny.
Yet such justifications of foreign invasion is futile because nobody can know, what the future harms Saddam’s tyrannical government could have caused to the innocents or those harms if calculated properly could have been more than the harms and killings the American invasion caused on Iraqis.
That is, there is no actual reasonable way to say that Saddam would have caused any more harm to Iraqis than whatever has been actually caused by American invasion. Since there is no such real way, there can be no moral humanitarian justification for Iraq war. Nor such justification can be put forth to the American Drone invasion on Pakistan territories. Innocents are being attacked and killed in Pakistan. Children, mothers, elders are suffering the attacks. One can never say that had America not attacked Pakistan using drone missiles, Pakistanis might have suffered much more.
Since we cannot calculate about the harms that would have been caused if America had not attacked Iraq or Pakistan, we simply cannot determine the moral proper course of action, yet one thing that we know is, we should not directly murder or harm or injure the innocent, we should not jeopardize their economic and social life.
Yet that is what being done in Iraq or Afghanistan or in Pakistan by the American government, and all this is under the fake mask of Welfare of people, welfare of those people who are under attack, who are innocent and who are being killed regularly.
As a matter of fact, wars can never be justified.
Now a days, American government and media are also trying to paint Iran as a dangerous state under a tyrannical head of government. Every second day media covers an article how Iranians are suffering tyranny under Iranian regime. Will this be any moral base to justify yet another invasion by America?
Bombing civilian places full of innocent people was in no means necessary to oust Saddam, or to end his tyrannical regime. Nor is the use of very high explosives with the unmanned drone fighting planes on Afghanistan-Pakistan border, which every now and than kills the innocent public ‘unintentionally’.
How can the defenders of Iraqis or Pakistanis or Afghans claim that these deaths of Innocent people were accidental? They actually were pre-planned cold blooded murders, meant for the safety and welfare of those who were killed.
The so-called ‘smart weapons’ used by US forces, like Drones, Aerial an artillery bombardment etc failed hugely to defend the innocents, rather they killed the innocents, and are killing.
Doctrine of Double Effect
Again, government supporters claim that US forces did not aim to murder those innocents rather those innocents were unavoidably in the region of attack hence they were killed. This is known as Doctrine of Double Effect. It states that, if the injury to the innocent is controllable and proportionate, than only one can attack the culprit without considering the harm to the innocent. One cannot bombard a cricket stadium full of thirty to forty thousand audiences just because one of those audiences is a supposedly high profile terrorist. That is, just in order to encounter one terrorist or tyrant, one cannot jeopardize the life of whole audience of the cricket stadium. At most, one may try to shoot the terrorist with his gun without fearing that his missed shot may kill an innocent. Yet, in case of Iraq invasion or Drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the killing of innocents is obviously wayward and absurd. Many more innocents were killed without any proper success of actually killing or punishing the terrorists.
Obviously, all such humanitarian grounds in support of US forces invasion on Iraq or Afghanistan and Pakistan are futile. So, was the issue of nuclear warheads with Iraq a proper reason to invade Iraq, or can it be a proper ground to Invade Iran?
We now know that the intelligence reports that suggested that Saddam’s regime had nuke powers were fake and false, yet the Iran is beyond any doubt a Nuke power. Yet, Iran with Nuclear arms is a very minute matter.
USSR had tens of thousands of nuclear warheads and sophisticated delivery vehicles that were always kept in constant readiness. Yet USSR never threatened or ‘Blackmailed’ USA. How can a minute and much weak nuke Iran be of any threatening consideration to USA? Or How could have been Iraq any threat to USA even if Saddam had nuclear power?
US army also claims that Pakistani warheads are under threat and Al-Qaida may try to control them, hence they say that it is necessary to attack and end the Taliban and Al-Qaida outfits involved in Pakistan. The thing is, it is sincerely not wrong to try to kill the Taliban or Al-Qaida members, but US government has no authority or right to endanger and actually murder the innocents while trying to notch the terrorists.
Furthermore, can government justify the extremely large military budgets for which the common people are being confiscated of their wealth by means of taxation?
Attacks on our own citizens
It is not that a government can only kill the innocents in other countries. Many a times, government does not even flinch away from the possibility of killing its own citizens and that too for their own welfare.
During the Indira Gandhi regime in 1984, when a handful of terrorists lead by Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale occupied the Golden Temple, Indian government ordered attack and firing on the Golden Temple. That act was named as Operation Blue Star that killed Thousands of Innocent people along with Bhindranwale’s supporters. Those innocent people were simple religious people and Indian government actually was supposed to safeguard them. Similarly, many innocents were killed during the formation of Bangladesh by the Pakistani government.
The programmed massacre of Muslims in Gujarat against Narendra Modi’s state Gujarat government after the Godhra attack is yet to be forgotten. The list of fake encounter cases of central and state government police and special task forces keep on increasing month by month and it is all done under the mask of protecting and providing a secure welfare state for the same innocent citizens who are being butchered.
Conclusion: Just like other social welfare policies of government, the war and conflict safety policy of government also fails absurdly and instead of being a welfare state, a government lead state often turns out to be a warfare state, while wars brings no good for any one ever.
The Ministry of Home affairs, Government of India, is on the way to amend the Arms and ammunitions policy. The document issued by MHA says “Proliferation of arms and ammunition in the country disrupt the social order and development.” How true is it? As in many other issues, the conventional wisdom could be wrong. India has very strict gun control laws. In India, people were prevented from bearing arms by the British under Lord Lytton as Viceroy through the Arms act of 1878 after the mutiny of 1857. Though the Arms act, 1858 was repealed in 1959, Arms Act, 1959 was put in place, supplemented by the Arms Rules, 1962. As a result, there was improvement in several development indicators, after Independence, but crime rates in India have gone up several times, mostly in urban areas.
With all these gun control laws, we were not able to prevent the terrorist attacks in 2008, Mumbai. A reporter in the location was caught saying he wished he had a gun instead of a camera. Only people loyal to the British were allowed to possess arms. Many freedom fighters were opposed to this rule. Even Mahatma Gandhi opined in his Autobiography:”Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of its arms as the blackest. “I do believe that when there is only a choice between cowardice and violence. I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honor than that she should in a cowardly manner become or remain a helpless victim to her own dishonor.”
Proponents of gun control usually argue that gun rights will lead to high crime rates. Firstly, a criminal is a person who violates the law. Is it logical to assume that such a violator will obey gun control laws? A criminal planning to attempt a murder won’t think “Oh, I am sorry. I don’t have a gun. So, I am not going to do this!” In one way or the other, he will get hold of a gun or some other powerful weapon. Vikram Kona writes: “There are around 40 million illegal small arms in circulation in India. Most of them are either illegally smuggled in or manufactured in the illegal cottage industries. Criminals never apply for licenses, nor do they spend a fortune to buy illegal guns. They get them cheaply and easily on the black market, and use them against law abiding citizens with impunity.” Gun control would only disarm innocent, law abiding citizens. Secondly, there is no empirical evidence to prove that gun rights lead to severe crimes. Quite the contrary, in fact! Nations with the highest crime rates are the ones with the strictest gun control laws. The low crime rate of Switzerland is illuminating. Violent crime skyrocketed after gun measures were prohibited in Australia in the last 90’s. When Washington D.C. enacted a ban on handguns, homicide rate rose 200%, while the U.S. rate rose 12%. Often, it is argued that Gun controls are the reason for the low crime rate in UK. There are two points to be noted here. Crime rates were extremely low in UK, even before the hand gun ban. Crime rate rocketed after the ban. As it is said, “Your chances of being mugged in London are now six times greater than in New York.” A study by the US Department of Justice found that there were 40 percent more muggings in England, and burglary rates were almost 100 percent higher than in the United States.
It follows from the philosophy of self-ownership and the right to own property that people have the right to defend their lives and property- If necessary, by force. If so, people should have the right to bear arms. It goes without saying that people should be held accountable for their actions too. But, it makes no sense to punish a person before the criminal act is performed. It is absurd to prevent some people from being armed simply because there are people who use guns for wrong purposes. Why should ones rights be determined by the actions of others? Should a person be prevented from driving an automobile as others drive recklessly? (People killed by their own guns are an extremely rare minority) Charles Reese perceptively noted: “To believe that guns cause crime is as stupid as believing that hammers and saws cause houses. Cars and doctors kill a lot more people than firearms, but nobody wants to ban them.” There is even an NRA slogan: “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
Not for a single moment am I saying that gun rights will prevent crimes. But, people will have a more chance of protecting themselves if they are free to defend themselves. Murderers, thieves and terrorists would think twice before attacking their victims if there is a chance that they are armed. Women and physically weak people could be made strong only through gun rights. It’s ridiculous to expect policemen to be omnipresent. Defending oneself is a skill which anyone can acquire.
It should also be said that a ban of guns won’t eliminate guns from the society. There will always be people who get hold of guns, just like people have access to drugs despite of strict penalty. Such laws can only be enforced selectively. Almost always, people who are not in good terms with the authorities will be punished. The real intention of the people in power is to increase their power through disarming people. Gun control is the greatest threat to individual liberty.
War has a Role in Peace1
While accepting “Noble Peace Prize” at Oslo, Obama did not forget to mention his recent decision to escalate conflict in Afghanistan soil. He further argued that his decision to increase 30,000 some more US troops in Afghanistan is justified to protect the world from terrorism and extremism and to maintain peace.
In short, Obama declared that wars are essential for the establishment of peace. He also paid his tribute to his “Heroes” Mahatma Gandhi and civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
Some will say that Obama wrongly mentioned Mahatma Gandhi as his ideal; Mahatma Gandhi obviously is known as apostle of peace and pacifism. How could a Gandhian support wars? Could Gandhi be a supporter of wars? Are not wars the ultimate and most excruciating form of violence?
It is a well known fact that wars ultimately causes violence, wastage and poverty. Yet, if some nation is all set to attack you and threat other nation, than the nation under the threat of attack would presumably try to defend itself. Self-defence is a natural right, no one can argue against it. Self-defence cannot be termed as violence. Yet, what about pre-emptive wars?
Is it right to attack a nation just because it may or may not attack you in future?
Does self-defence includes pre-emptive wars to be staged in order to dishevel and destroy the other nations. Is it necessary to destroy and defeat all in order to establish peace? Are wars necessary to sustain peace?
Mahatma Gandhi on Wars
As Obama reverberates himself as being a disciple of Gandhi, we should look at Gandhi’s attitude about Wars. Gandhi ji was obviously against staging any war, he was a supporter of Non-violence, yet there was not a war that he did not support. He supported all the wars in his life time. The apostle of peace Gandhi himself supported British in the Boer War, Zulu War, WW1, WW2.
In 1914, Gandhi himself joined British army as volunteer for the Ambulance corp. to serve the injured Indian and British soldiers at Zulu war. One may understand his compassion for the suffering of soldiers; he was not taking part in active violence.
Yet, in April 1918, Mahatma Gandhi urged Indian youth to take part in British army as war recruits. Perhaps to show his support for the Empire and help his case for India’s independence, he deemed it necessary to take part in the war.2 He might have considered it as pacifist way of non-violence, that is rather than fighting against the British rulers, let the Indian youth fight for the British Empire and in turn demand or beg independence as reward. It should be mentioned that while he openly demanded Indian youths to help British army in World War1, he felt aghast when some Indian youth tried to protest against British brutality on Indians “violently” and because of that, he took his Non-cooperation movement back in 1922.3 Obviously, Gandhi was strictly against any form of violence against British Empire by Indians, yet he was ready to recruit Indian youths to kill enemies of British empire, including the Zulu protesters. For Gandhi, the most necessary peace was, peace of Indians against British Empire.
For Gandhi, the pacifist form of war in order to establish and sustain peace was non-violent, hence although he urged Indian youths to fight and die in battle grounds for British Empire, he also maintained that Indian youths must not fight against British rulers in India, because that would be direct violence, and that was not acceptable to Gandhi. Why was Gandhi ready to recruit Indian youths to “co-operate” with British Army in Imperial wars, while he himself was launching the Non-cooperation movement?
During the WW2 again, Pacifist Mahatma Gandhi again favored offering Indian moral support to British army in 1939 when Nazi Germany invaded Poland. Obviously, it seemed right decision as Nazi Germany obviously was violent. Yet, when other leaders of India objected Indian youth’s inclusion in British war, Gandhi declared that India could not be party to a war ostensibly being fought for democratic freedom, while that freedom was denied to India itself. As the war progressed, Gandhi drafted a resolution demanding for British to Quit India. Obviously, his pacifist support for British army during the wars became the saddle of deal for Indian independence. Gandhi realized that British Empire would be exhausted after the two consecutive world wars and hence he declared that even if some Indians directly fight violently against British Empire, he would not take his Quit India demand this time as he did after the World War1.4
He knew it was the ripe time to force exhausted British Empire to Quit India.
Thus, it can be seen that if Obama mentions that he took his inspirations from Mahatma Gandhi, he does not sound hypocrite or wrong.
Changing standards of Noble peace prize community
Mahatma Gandhi was nominated for Noble Peace prize many a times, but he was rejected every time. The last time Gandhi was nominated, the Noble prize committee rejected Gandhi because of his known support for Indo-Pak war.
Based on a telegram from Reuters, The Times, on September 27, 1947, under the headline “Mr. Gandhi on ‘war’ with Pakistan” reported:
“Mr. Gandhi told his prayer meeting to-night that, though he had always opposed all warfare, if there was no other way of securing justice from Pakistan and if Pakistan persistently refused to see its proved error and continued to minimise it, the Indian Union Government would have to go to war against it. No one wanted war, but he could never advise anyone to put up with injustice. If all Hindus were annihilated for a just cause, he would not mind. If there was war, the Hindus in Pakistan could not be fifth columnists. If their loyalty lay not with Pakistan, they should leave it. Similarly Muslims whose loyalty was with Pakistan should not stay in the Indian Union.”5
That became the reason for Gandhi’s rejection for Noble price of peace.
Yet now, when every body is familiar with Obama’s support for Afghanistan war, when Obama himself argues and justifies his decision to escalate combat against Afghanistan on the platform while receiving the Noble price, nobody really think that he should not get a Noble because his support to wars.
Maybe now, the Noble Committee agrees that War is necessary for maintaining peace and that preventive war are a part of establishment of peace. Obviously, this is a change in the attitude. Gandhi was rejected the Noble for his support to war against Pakistan in order to keep peace, while Obama has been given Noble despite of his support to war at Afghanistan to keep peace.
How Gandhian Idea would help Afghanistan Situation?
Pacifism of Gandhi suggest that the native Afghans should openly help US troops in order to fight against Taliban and Osama Bin Laden and after the end of Taliban and Osama Bin Laden, the Afghans should peaceful demand evacuation of US troops from Afghanistan. That is the appropriate way and it will ensure the non-violence of Afghans supporting US army against Taliban. Gandhi might have urged Afghan youth to recruit themselves along with US troops to fight against Taliban. A Gandhian may request Indian government too, to help US army to fight against Taliban as a “pre-emptive non-violent measure to maintain peace.”
Libertarian Idea on Pre-emptive Wars
Unlike Pacifists, a libertarian does not believe in preventive wars. A libertarian cannot support an attack on a nation or a person on the name of defensive necessity. The right to self-defense does not mean to attack first in order to remove any chances of being under attack. Libertarian sense of Self-Defense necessarily means No use of Violence at first but full right to defend yourself within your limits if you are being attacked. An Indian libertarian might not have thought of fighting for British Empire and than to argue for his own independence. Rather he would have preferred to fight against the British Empire, as they were the invaders, attackers because self-defense is not a right, it is basically a duty of a freedom lover, a Libertarian, or a Libertarian might have simply adopted non-cooperation in all accounts, including no-operation for British Empire in their wars too.
Unlike a pacifist Gandhian, a libertarian will oppose Obama’s decision to increase troops in Afghanistan and will demand a sudden end to all war fronts, just like Ron Paul did during his famous Libertarian speech “What If” in assembly–
- Obama :War has a role in Peace, Times of India [↩]
- Role of Mahatma Gandhi in WW1, Wikipedia [↩]
- Mahatma Gandhi, Non-cooperation, Wikipedia [↩]
- World War2 and Quit India, Wikipedia [↩]
- Mahatma Gandhi, the Missing Laureate, Nobleprize.org [↩]
Long ago at the shores of Indian Ocean, there used to be a country. It was an officially democratic nation whose ruler caste (whom we now a days know as Politicians) were very happy and prosperous. As the nation was officially Democratic, no one was actually puzzled against the extreme prosperity of the politicians, the rulers of that nation. The general population was also presumably satisfied at their standards.
Many people were happy because they could get the rationed LPG fuel cylinder while standing in the queue, while some others were happy because they could get the Gas cylinder easily at a little higher price through black marketing. Most of the people were happy because they could earn two-time bread for their living and could arrange a little bit of clothing. It was a god blessed nation and as it was a secular democratic state, every religion held specific importance; the populace was religiously superstitious and god-fearing. Nobody used to believe that they are the soul earner of their living, rather they considered it as God’s blessing, and hence there were seldom any agitation for individual rights. Religion became the very power of politicians to proclaim there right to rule over the populace.
Gradually, the ruler started feeling that the “religion” is loosing its effect in the nation and that became the cause of worry for the politicians. As all “religions” were equally important tools for the politicians to rule, they realized that if the religions loose their glory, people might start feeling agitated, demanding and querying. Thus it seemed necessary for the politicians to plan and act to ascertain the importance of religion, they sincerely wanted to establish the ruling power of that nation as the protector of all religions. The think-tank of politicians was engrossed to plan the possible ways to reassert the sanctity of religion.
At last, the think-tank of ministers conjectured the importance of a very old building situated at a historical town (Ajodhya) of the country. The building was hugely dilapidated and nobody used to care to visit it. It was in a sense, unimportant for the present populace with no significance. It was believed that once upon a time, that building was a great temple, a religious place. Once, an infiltrator came and attacked that religious temple, destroying it, he ensued to make a new religious building, a Minaret and named it after his own name (Babri Masjid).
The general population was indifferent about that historically disputed religious place. There were already plentiful religious temples, minarets, gurudwaras and churches. Yet, a section of the ruler caste (the politicians) determined to make a new temple at the place of that dilapidated worthless minaret. They thought, it would bring huge applause and happiness in the masses and that will again establish a religiously sanctimonious rule over the nation. The other section of the ruler caste (politicians) used the opportunity to overplay the tool of other religion, debated about saving the already dilapidated Minaret, and proposed of renewing it. The debate grew gross and took the form of agitation accompanied with violence. Consequentially, the common men of the nation found themselves divided over the issue of religions and that became a further triumph of the politicians. At last, the old ramshackle building was attacked and destroyed. Nobody could say if the common men felt any happiness or satisfaction at the destruction, yet all sections of ruler cast (the politicians) were exuberant about the instruction, it provided them a further cause to establish their power to rule.
Thus, the ramshackle of a building that was generally of no importance for the common people of the nation suddenly became the most important issue for the public. Everyone was forced to think about it. The issue of making a temple became the hottest debate. Some people were sad for the destruction of a meagre minaret, some were happy for the hope of making of already redundant temple. The division of public grew angry and caused huge bloodshed. Women were raped, children were butchered, villages were burnt, and people were murdered. The religions were reclaiming their glory at the expense of blood of common men.
The prime ruler of the nation established a Commission1 to examine the destruction of the minaret. The building was no longer of no importance; it suddenly became the potent farm of political ventures and profitable vote banks.
Gradually, the issue of the destruction of minaret started fading. People again found themselves busy for living their own life peacefully, trying to improve their living standards and finding ways of prosperity. They again started seeking for their happiness. The issue of temple and minaret again became obsolete. Yet, the rulers felt that it is not good and they should try to venture at the use of the tool of religion to reclaim their right to rule. Thus, they remembered about the Commission and the report of the Commission over the destruction of that minaret that was Commissioned decades ago.2
The report was announced publicly in the biggest house of public representatives (Sansad Bhawan) openly. At the report 3, the different sectors of the ruling caste (the politicians) again started debating to show how much they care for the general public and how happy the common men would be about there representatives fighting for their religious sanctity. Yet, the public was further smart this time. Common men saved themselves from the trap of the ruling caste (the politicians) to divide and rule the public. The common men already had found ways to prosperity and happiness elsewhere. The public was religious even then and used to pray every morning, but they were smart enough to ignore any debate over the obsolete dilapidated building any further. Thus, the ramshackle of that building, which was forced to be the reason of violence and agitation within the populace, again became unconcerned, unnoticed and unable to divide the public and cause further violence and bloodshed.
- Liberhan Commission, wikipedia [↩]
- Babri Demolition meticulously planned: Liberhan Commission, Indian express [↩]
- Liberhan Commission report, PDF file [↩]
Pakistan is an Islamic nation, the Pakistan government and judiciary follows Islamic laws, they ban and censor things as per Islam.
Tourism is one of the major sources of income for Pakistan but because of all those raucous of terrorism and military rule and wars, tourism is deeply hurt.
In order to revamp the tourism industry, a Senate panel has asked the government to send the newly-inducted Tourism Minister, Maulana Attaur Rehman, on a visit to verdant beaches in South France and Switzerland to get modern ideas of promoting tourism industry that contributes immensely to Pakistan’s economy.
The thing to be mentioned is, beaches of France and Switzerland are famous for the topless and one-piece bikinis. The exhibitionism and freedom of expression on those beaches is at extreme peaks, and that is one of the main reasons for the success of those beaches as the major tourist attraction whole round the world.
Pakistan also has a huge shoreline, so can Pakistan ministry adopt the “modern” and innovative ways to strengthen tourism and give any sort of competition?
Exhibitionism is almost impossible in Pakistan especially under those Islamic laws.
Moreover, Islam prohibits Liquor, thus alcohol is completely banned in all governmental resorts and hotels.
The new Tourism Minister Maulana Rehman recently decided to ban the sale of liquor to foreigners in government-owned hotels and motels because according to him, it is immoral. How will he get the idea of exhibitionism on beaches?
According to the Pakistan law, Muslims cannot buy liquor, but government had issued license for Non-Muslims to buy alcohol if they want. Yet with the new decisions of Tourism Minister Rehman, no government hotel or motel can sell alcohol anymore. In addition to that, Maulana Rehman wants to restrict private hotels too and apply ban on alcohol thoroughly.
As per Rehman, no religion allows the consumption of alcohol, hence even foreigners has no religious sanction to buy alcohol. I am sure he is completely aware of the term Atheist. As Pakistan is an Islamic republic, Rehman stresses that they cannot allow consumption of Liquor, although he agrees that he cannot restrict five star hotels, but he enjoys that idea too.
Other ministers of Pakistan does not agree with Mr Rehman though,
“Sir, you need to immediately visit St-Tropez and beaches in France as Pakistan has coastal areas that could be built on similar lines to attract foreign tourists,” Senator Enver Baig advised the minister. The proposal was readily endorsed by other participants of the meeting held on Wednesday.1
The Minister believes that visiting foreign beaches will broaden Mr Rehman’s “intellectual” horizon.
Obviously, peeping on topless beach-goers will certainly increase the “intellect”.
Anyways, what do you think about the ban of alcohol in Gujarat?
Gujarat also has a big shoreline that can easily be converted to well-maintained private or government supported tourist line.
Recently after the Mumbai terrorist attack, Indian Intelligence pointed out the doubt that terrorist might have entered Indian coastal lines through Gujarat sea area.2
If Government allow and inspire private investors to develop Gujarat coastal area, that will provide enough reason to keep a keen eye at Indian shores with a proper safety need to abort any such further attempt by terrorists or attackers.
In addition, it will create jobs and options to produce wealth and that will reduce poverty. As the private investors on the Gujarat shoreline will be earning from it, they will provide or innovate a better and proper safety net to protect their consumers and visitors and foreign tourists.
Yet, the problem of Gujarat coastal lines will face the same situation as the Pakistan Ministry is facing. Alcohol is completely abolished in Gujarat. When in 2007, CM Modi tried to relieve bans on alcohol, congress politicians opposed the move, claiming it is against Gandhiji’s moral and disrespect for all Gujarat if government allows sale of alcohol.
Should we send all such Indian politicians to seashores of south France too along with Mr Rehman? They may also experience the increase of “intellect” then.
Indians exclaim about there pseudo-secularism pompously, but the reality is, India is no better than any theocracy like Pakistan where the political goons keep teaching and preaching Morality and culture every now and then.
- Tourism, Islam, ban on liquor and advice to visit foreign beaches, The International News [↩]
- Terrorist knocking on Indian Doors, Reason for Liberty [↩]
A few days back a politico-philosophical debate enraged in this very site as to who is to be blamed for innocent civilian deaths in course of a military operation, the political masters or the military executioners. The debate however did not encompass another very important facet of the free democratic nations, the role of citizens. If we are men of free nation and it’s with our free will we elect our representatives to rule our nations on our behalf, are we too not party to any crime done by our representatives. If we were to ask someone (politicians) kill on our behalf, and the killer (Military) is being trained and armed by money provided by us, aren’t we guilty in part for the crime that he commits. Military heads are accountable to their political masters and they in turn to the citizens of the nations they represent. It seldom happens in a democratic set up that a nation goes into war or undertakes military operations without public will in its favor.
The first Irony of the political freedom is the very logic of democracy1 which just seeks a 50% + 1 as the mandatory majority for any democratic resolution to get through. Even though this tyranny of majority on the free will of the minority defies all logic of individual liberty and freedom, it is still hailed as one of the most fair and just political systems which at any time represents will of the majority of its citizens. For instance we may have voted against the present regime of government, but we still honor outcome of a democratic contest and accept its decision as our own. In American context Barak Obama2 is president of each and every American irrespective of whom they voted in the election. The moment we accept this as a fact and with our free will decides to follow and exercise democracy, we cannot exonerate ourselves thereafter from consequence of any decision our representatives take on our behalf. Citizens of nations under monarchies, or military dictatorship or for that matter under a communist regimes, where irrespective of the civic freedom, political freedom is considerable negligible, can feign away from this responsibility. It is so that Iraqi citizens cannot be held responsible for the gulf war but American citizens have to shoulder their part of responsibility for the event. It can thus be stated that freedom is a great privilege and power and with it comes great responsibility.
Let us now examine the nature of freedom, what is its essence, what really constitutes our idea of freedom and how it manifests in our day to day life and society. If you equate freedom to lawlessness, some kind of manifestation of wild, where there are no laws no regulations to follow, we would arrive at rather dubious conclusions out of it. Many war trodden countries of Africa where civic administration has completely collapsed, there exist no civic laws for that matter no traffic laws. You don’t have to stop at every red light that you encounter on the road, and can even get away with a murder for that matter. Will it be then prudent to state that citizens of these seemingly lawless countries enjoy more freedom than countries with democratic set ups like India or America? The answer is an obvious no, and as to why these civic laws and regulations do not infringe our freedom is simply because these laws exist as an exercise of free will and rationality at the first place. As rational human beings we felt the need for these laws and so it was imposed on ourselves and our society. In addition we reserve the rights to amend or remove the laws that are found to be inappropriate or have out lived its utility. We have choice with these laws but once in place we need to follow them, similarly we do have choice with our governance, but once in place we have to bear with it till its allocated period in office is over. There are provisions of impeachments and dissolution of government available in democratic set ups, It is however a rather difficult task and quite out of hand with respect to an ordinary citizen.
The second Irony of democratic political freedom is that although we do have a choice, we do not have choice of action but merely choice of electing representatives who would thereafter act on our behalf. Even though governments do try and sway the public opinion in their favor over major issues of national interest, it is merely a political compulsion rather than political necessity. Political freedom thus essentially manifests in the truest sense in a very brief window. It is the time when we exercise our liberty to choose our representatives and empower them to take decisions on our behalf. Thereafter public opinion acts merely as a subtle pressure on the political forum.
Idealistically we can at this point denounce the very concept of democratic political freedom, and argue that we have indeed got very little on the name of freedom.3 Pragmatically however we all are aware that democracy is here to stay. It has established itself as one of the most stable and effective forms of governance. Society is not yet grown to accept anarchy and dissolution of state as a viable solution. If we are to accept this fact then the only solution we are left with is to revitalize and strengthen democracies. Find means to plug the loopholes existing in the system and make it as foolproof and workable as possible.
At this juncture let us re-examine our idea of freedom. If we dissect our concept of freedom we would realize that it finally manifests merely as some choices that we get to make. How dimensionless free will gets limited to freedom to make certain choice would be a philosophical ordeal for us to fathom. It is also perhaps beyond the scope of this article, but what needs to be crucially examined is if the choices that we finally make are rational and a legitimate exercise of free will. Although lots of studies exist on mind and its nature both in philosophy and psychology, one that especially pertains to our context is Hegelian dialectics named after Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel a nineteenth century philosopher. He in his philosophical work examined the very nature of human reality as a prelude to understanding human choices emanating out of it. Hegelian dialectics state that our reality consist of two essential part a thesis (what it is subset) and an antithesis (what it is not subset) and our idea of reality a synthesis (a superset) of both. It applies to both perceptual reality and conceptual reality that our minds can figure. For instance idea of color red is incomplete without having an idea of both what red color is and what it is not. If you see everything red you cannot distinguish it from any other color. A blind man is presumed to see everything dark or black, but a person who is born blind cannot explain the concept of darkness, for he has never seen any light to distinguish his perception as one of darkness. Conceptual realities to same phenomenon exists our idea of good is incomplete without an idea of bad. That is if there is no conception of bad there is no conception of good either. A good example for this would be movies of super heroes. The moment we create a super hero we need to create a super villain to validate his existence. What use is spider man if he was to just deal with petty thieves and burglars who are no match to his powers. Only through induction of a super villain and his triumph over this villain can we really accept him as a super hero. Almost every religion conceived the idea of bad and evil the moment they conceived the idea of good and God. Without dwelling in further detail this duality or dichotomy of our reality let us examine its implication on our idea of freedom and choices that we tend to make.
The applied studies of this concept are popularly known as perception management also quite infamously known as problem- reaction-solution among conspiracy theorist. The point however is not how extensively it has been used the state but the viability of the whole idea and its implication on our freedom. If we are to be denied any part of the information both from thesis or antithesis front our perception of reality will alter dramatically. Our perception further has lacunae which are known in psychological parlance as availability heuristics and confirmation bias. Simply put our minds have a tendency to put one and one together at the first available opportunity and thereafter have a tendency to stick to this idea even when presented with contradicting information. This phenomenon is also brought forth in the popular idiom ‘First impression is the last impression’.
Both America and India, the strongest and the largest democracies in the world have had instances of 9/11 and 26/114 respectively wherein there was an equal failure in the part of intelligence administration and also at the later stages states ability to tackle a developing disaster. The perception of the public was however managed away from these glaring failures of state administration to external enemies, on whom the whole blame was fixed. There is so much of red tape-ism which regulates and at times manages the flow of information between the state and its citizens that it is practically possible for the state to actually do what these conspiracy theorist claim.
How is it then that we can really envisage a more enduring freedom for ourselves?5 The answer lies in slowly dis-empowering the state. To start with government must have no control over the media. Media must not be state run at all as far as possible and it must be kept insulated from other instruments of state. Media itself however has to rise to the need of the hour and act in an utmost responsible manner. In addition all other instruments of state like judiciary, policing and investigation must be privatised or private players must also be included to prevent state from manipulating these instruments to get public perception in their favour.
It is very necessary at this juncture that we make some modifications to our idea of freedom itself. Most of us tend to carry an 18th century baggage with respect to this concept. To many a people, slavery is when one is chained and made to work like an animal and relatively anything else is more or less freedom. Many others misinterpret self governance to freedom. To most Indians, India was free before the English came and free thereafter. Not many are able to really apply logic and explain how is it that a rule of Indian monarchic ruler better than rule of queen of Britain. Post independence which is also termed as freedom struggle, India happened to inherit the concept of democracy from Britain itself. It is what is now celebrated as the coveted freedom by most. If we have to make progress towards ensuring that our so called freedom has some real viability. If we have our choices marked out clear in light of reason and justice and not on some manipulated emotional or non consequential agenda brought forth by political parties to sway our judgment, we have to first admit the limitation and nature of freedom that have in our hand and thereafter make endeavor to improve upon it by slowly dis-empowering the state and reducing its power to more manageable limits. At this moment we are far away from it and in fact moving in opposite direction. The new anti terror laws in India and patriotic acts6 in America are instances of such infringement of our freedom to further incapacitating levels. It is for us to decide which way we would like to move and exercise our choice before we are left with none.
- Impasse of Democracy, Voting is not a solution, it is a Killer [↩]
- Killing Instinct of President,Barack Obama [↩]
- Need of Individual Autonomy,Reason for Liberty [↩]
- Terrorist attack on Hotel Taj, 26/11/08 [↩]
- Sovereign Citizen, Sovereign state [↩]
- UAPA and Patriot Act, Military Keynesianism [↩]
So what change were they expecting? Is this the Change, which Obama promised, a change of place of attack from Iraq to Pakistan?
On 23rd of January President Obama ordered Drone attack on Pakistan.1
Since September, the US is estimated to have carried out about 30 such attacks, killing more than 220 people, and now, the count will be increased many folds.
Is not it proving that the President does not change the office the office changes the president?
Is not USA Imperialist now?
Are these killings of innocent human beings justified just because now the owner of the killing machine is a democrat liberal socialist? Is he just displaying the effect of Military Keynesianism?
On 26th of January 2009, Obama ordered missile attacks again on Pakistan. Despite all urging by Pakistan leaders, Obama as a ruthless killer warned that he would not flinch from bombing directly in Pakistan, if he get information about militants are there in Pakistan.2
Does not he have information that there are innocent helpless victims of his madness also? Are not they Human but cattle’s to be butchered for the pleasure of Obama the great tyrannical warrior?
Where are all those anti-war Americans and all those anti-American Indians now who were shedding tears at the demise of Saddam Hussein? Was Saddam deserving their sympathy more than what innocent Pakistanis deserves as their basic right?
Obviously, Obama is no better than George W. Bush was; there is no change all are being driven by same Military Keynesianism, after all, all these bombings, missiles attacks are increasing US government spending isn’t it? So Paul Krugman may stress that all these killings are sad, but economically they may be profitable, as Krugman said after the 9/11 attack.3
The media says that these strikes will help Obama portray himself as a leader who, though ready to shift the balance of American power towards diplomacy, is not afraid of military action. Ohh yes it is increasing the government spending, the Keynesian solution to economic crisis.
Yet the major question is Can one claim that Obama is a killer just because he ordered attacks on Pakistan border?
Is Obama a legitimate murderer? It is an age old philosophical dilemma. How can we claim that the President who ordered is the killer and not the soldiers? Obama ordered the bombing, but he was not the person who bombed. He did not kill anybody, nor was his motive was to kill innocent people. The soldier, who actually bombed can be termed as the killer, because he knew his actions would certainly kill innocent people, or was he not certain about it? Moreover, the missiles on America were bombed by unmanned aircraft. That is, no soldier actually attacked on any Pakistani.
They just programmed the missiles to drop at a certain area, which they assumed is free of any Pakistani civilian and full of Jihadist terrorists. The intention of those soldiers was not to kill innocent civilians but to attack the Jihadists. Therefore, here is the contradiction.
Yet, the question arises that when one kills a person using a gun, we do not blame the gun as a killer, we blame the user of the gun, as the killer. Therefore, why should not we consider the person who ordered the shooting as a killer, when we know that the shooter was a part of his modus operandi? The problem is, when a person uses a gun to kill someone, the gun cannot think, gun is not alive. Gun is neutral and cannot commit any crime. Gun is very dependent on the user.
It is certainly not the case when Obama orders the soldiers to bomb in Pakistan or on border. Soldiers are not guns, bombs, or deadly missiles. They are not tools; they are rational living human beings. They can think what they are doing and they are not slave to anyone, and even if they are under service, they have right to deny.
When a soldier kills an enemy, he gets praise and accolades, it is termed as his courage. When a soldier kills a civilian, an innocent person, it is his crime.
Furthermore, Obama never ordered killing innocent civilians. Thus, to blame Obama as a murderer is wrong.
Now consider this, why should not Obama be termed as killer? Answer is, his intention was not to kill civilians, but it was to kill Jihadist terrorists. Secondly, he was not directly involved. He just initiated an action by ordering. There were probabilities that the soldier might have denied accepting Obama’s order, as he was free.
That is, the probability of denial of orders makes Obama blame less. Yet, once a soldier accepts the orders, it becomes his free-will to attack, so one can blame the soldiers. Yet, in this case, the soldiers programmed a machine to bomb at a certain place. Their intention was not to kill civilians, and there were ample probabilities that there might have been no civilian causalities. Thus, by the same logic, one cannot blame soldiers too for the killings. So, was it all just an accident that caused deaths in Pakistan?
The problem is probability cannot be the base of innocence. Let us say, a person deeply in love with Russian Roulette, uses a single bullet in the revolver and points it at the hand of the victim whom he is going to kill. He announces that if the victim dies at the first shot, then it is his death, but if he survives, then it is his life. The killer will not take the second shot. Here, the situation is just similar. The murder is very probabilistic, and also, the intention of the killer is not to kill, but to enjoy Russian Roulette. So one victim, one bullet and one shot (while there could have been 6 shots), what is the probability that the victim may be killed?
Yet, probability cannot decide the crime. If the person dies in this extravagant endeavor of the Russian Roulette player, than it is certified murder, we cannot term it as an accident.
Thus, the soldiers cannot be said victimless because it was very less probabilistic that the unmanned aircrafts and missiles will kill innocent civilians of Pakistan. They obviously bear certain moral responsibility for the result of their extravaganza. Similarly, Obama also was aware of the probabilistic mishap, thus he also bears a certain moral responsibility for the murder of Pakistani civilians.
Now consider this, while knowing the probabilistic chances of death, can a person play the same Russian Roulette game with himself or his beloved one say his son?
What will a President of USA do if somehow certain terrorists enter in White House near to the room where his wife and children are resting? Will he order bombing on White House while knowing that it may kill his family, there are probabilities? No, he will not do so. Even if Obama did not wanted to kill civilians, even if the deaths were all probabilistic, we cannot term Obama blameless if he imposed a risk on others, which he himself might have denied to accept for his family or his own self.
Conclusion: A change might have been a try to negotiate with Jihadists in Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan, a try to spread peace and liberty. Obama is No Change!
He is as murderous and anti-humanity as Bush was, all his promises of CHANGE were false. Obama may not be termed as murderer, yet he owns the burden of crime along with soldiers equally. USA is still working under Military Keynesianism, yet we cannot say that dead Keynes is the real criminal.
Worth Mentioning::So let me suggest a truly audacious hope for your administration: How about a five-year time-out on war – unless, of course, there is a genuine threat to the nation?4
- Obama ordered attack on Pakistan, 23rd of January, Times Online UK. [↩]
- Obama ordered Missile attack on pakistan on 26th of january, TOI [↩]
- Paul Krugman, after the 9/11 attacks [↩]
- Calling a Time Out [↩]