Letter to Uncle Sam
To tell you honestly, I don’t know if I need to laugh or cry or both. The situation in Egypt is so bad that it has attracted so many political and diplomatic comments and statements that one may be tempted to put them under any of these headings – serious, desperate, fearful, friendly, suspicious and still more. To cut it short, and thanks to US Steak Houses for the word, there was “a bit of everything” on the platter.
I don’t know about you Uncle, but there is need to welcome with much pity the words of the new House Speaker and other neocons on the evolving situation in Tahrir Square. The most dramatic scenes witnessed were not about those who kept defying the curfew law. They are about media persons who took pride to act as the mouthpieces of the neocon thinking to express the alleged neocon anxiety. BBC’s lady Z stands as a perfect illustration during Hard Talk last week. From what we see and read, it looks like the western media has bought the neocon’s frenzied anxiety. Your friends on Capitol Hill, I mean the Reps, are showing understandable signs of discomfort and uneasiness too. But they praise you for handling the crisis the way you do.
Only yesterday, your leadership was being seriously questioned and was under unending vitriolic attacks through toxic arguments. Palin’s gossips remain unceasing. Uncle, I don’t believe them but this is what they said — you are bad on health care; bad on taxes; bad on banks and Wall Street; bad on everything. Now they commend their Commander in Chief’s leadership qualities. Here Uncle, in Creole, folks would call Rep’s attitude as “kas disik lor la tête” (Talk good about somebody, more than what is needed).
Now don’t get me wrong, Uncle. It’s not that we don’t like them; it’s not that we hate them; it’s not that we wish them bad; it’s not that we want them to be tried for their opinions and positions. Like us, they have the right to live and to exist; they have the right to express their ideas, arguments, opinions, and anxiety. Left unchecked, they can do better than you and I. They have what is most required – the right platforms. Everywhere!
The truth, Uncle, the sad one though, is that they are and have been on the wrong side of History. Most of their ideas are wrong and flawed, as are many of their strategies. Still, for decades and decades and throughout recent and contemporary history, they keep fighting and arguing with words to make us believe that they were and that they are right.
Uncle, we believe that they were, and still are, wrong to believe that it is possible for the US and the West to keep the Arabo-Islamic world clear of any road protests as witnessed in Tunisia and Egypt and elsewhere.
They were and they are wrong to believe that arms and ammunitions are enough to promote and protect real or pseudo democracies.
They were and they are wrong to believe that peoples’ aspirations for better life can be suppressed at all times through state’s sponsored mechanisms.
They were and they are wrong to believe that the politics of divide and rule will lead to eternal rule, or that the politics of fear are enough to hold back critics and opposition.
Most importantly, Uncle, they were and they are wrong to still believe that the Palestinian issue can be treated and kept separate from the realities of the Arabo-Islamic regimes around the world. And they are wrong to believe that not resolving this issue with a certificate of emergency has no consequences on the internal politics of the Arabo-Islamic world and, to a wider extent, on the geopolitical situation within the Arabo-Islamic world. And they are wrong to believe that bread and butter issues are bad politics and wrong diplomacy.
Again, and here in Creole, folks would put the usual question which may raise Reps’ eyebrows. Here they go – “Dire nou ki pusari ine pran zot cash”. Literal translation – Tell us the name of the soothsayer who took their money to make them believe their politics were the right politics. In clear, folks would mean to say that the neocons have been to the wrong soothsayer!
That’s precisely why I told you Uncle, at the very beginning, whether one needs to laugh or cry or both on seeing the neocons’ reactions to the civil disorder in Egypt. The neocons’ failed politics and strategies and their unabated support to promote all interests revolving around the Arms and Oil Industries have no parallel in human history. The neocons’ soothsayer’s name is Gentleman Lobbyist! One working for the Arms and Oil Industry.
Uncle, we reap what we sow, goes the humble saying. There’s much truth in it and it has stood the test of times. And every normal human being on Earth aspires to the same simple things that keep him or her happy and smiling. Some food; a job that pays for the food; a shelter that protects the kids from nature’s caprice; and anything extra that comes their way is welcomed as a bonus; wherever they are, notwithstanding the regime under which they live.
To understand the neocons’ thinking process about what is right or wrong for people, part of the answer is found within the US borders. Keeping 40 million American citizens away from any insurance coverage for health care for decades has been seen as the right policy. This is just one example.
Uncle, you have been to India and Egypt since coming to office. Throughout History, things have been done and undone; things are born and things die; many times as per the desire of human folks; many times as per the desire of unseen forces; many times as per Nature’s unfolding and unstoppable law of the divine. And as long as Mother Earth will be Mother Earth, these cycles will repeat themselves until all the waves of dust born of human initiatives settle down.
Throughout History, we also have seen that human folks, tôt ou tard, reconcile with the truth, until they are all aligned on the right side of History. And the History of the World has since long ceased to be American-European History.
You stood up in Tucson recently. In the face of horror and hate, violence and death, you insisted people talk to each other “in a way that heals not wounds”.
You added: “We recognize our own mortality, and we are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this Earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame – but rather, how well we have loved and what small part we have played in making the lives of other people better.”
Tell me if this was meant for domestic politics or whether these words were meant to also inspire and give international diplomacy a chance to shift grounds. Your “more civil and public discourse” is shaping US’s diplomacy.
Like you, I strongly believe that the “forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us”. Let me end with this precision – for me, “us” has this meaning – “human folks on earth”.
* Published in print edition on 11 February 2011