American Autumn VS Arab Spring

The movement that began from a small corner of Manhattan, U.S.A on 17th September 2011 has today spread to more than 180 countries beyond a 1500 cities. Occupy Wall Street demonstration has gained renewed attention this weekend after a dramatic police showdown on the Brooklyn Bridge lead to 700 arrests. This week marks the fourth month anniversary of the OWS movement. The Arab Spring-inspired encampment in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park actually “reminded me a bit of Tahrir Square in Cairo,” says Nicholas Kristof, also inThe Times .

Yes. This is the start of something big: ” that rocked the Arab world”, says Micah L. Sifry at techPresident .

Plenty of people are comparing Occupy Wall Street to the Arab Spring and there’s now even a catchy name: the American Autumn. With worldwide attention to the protestsgrowing, the now-hardened protesters in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Libya have been taking notice; it’s difficult to digest that we may be living through the twenty-first century version of events which change the course of history. Before shrugging off the possibility that a ‘few’ people ‘occupying’ Wall Street are going to change anything, I say reconsider. It’s been a tumultuous 2011. The year started with a victorious Tunisia, moved on to a change of regime in Egypt, followed by a domino effect across the Middle East. Public consciousness has registered that these events have taken place, but has it registered their significance?

Is there a connection between these protests and does that connection means something, are questions worth exploring. The large scale level on which these protests are taking place is not the only factor that indicates this might be a ‘history-changing’ event.

This criticism of a paradigm is the biggest indicator of change. People are not protesting against a bill, a person, or one issue. But rather, such as in the case of the Occupy movement, people are protesting against a system which had been comfortably accepted with the collapse of communism. Just the fact that the word ‘capitalism’ is being bandied around in the movement rather than merely ‘privatization’ or ‘tax hikes’ shows that it is in fact, the system’s failure which has entered consciousness, and history is earmarked by changes in systems.

America has woken up to reality. They have woken up to see the way the coercive ways through which the middle class of America has been paying up the  Wall Street’s malfeasance and Washington’s complicity in return for their jobs slashed and social services at lowest ever. Woken up up to the ludicrous Supreme Court decision defining corporation as a person, although it doesn’t eat, breath or sing – or take care of children and aging parents. Woken up to how unlimited and often anonymous campaign contributions corrupt our elections; to the fact that if money is speech, no money means no speech. As one demonstrator’s sign read: “I couldn’t afford a politician, so I bought this sign.”

Though with a lot of similarities, OWS also has It’s share of differences with Arab Spring. Where Arab Spring started because one graduate didn’t even had 10 dollars to spend, Occupy Wall Street supporters spend $10 dollars daily whilst protesting.  There is a big difference between young men and women willing to face bullets to change their government and those who are gathering under far less dangerous and indeed often fun circumstances. The major difference between the people who stand in Arab streets and Wall Street is that Arab people stand there to achieve a political change, for their rights which they thrive to achieve. Whereas the people in the streets of Manhattan, London stand for the betterment of the system, to have more luxuries in their lives. They still have electricity in their houses, have clean water running in the taps of their houses whereas most Arabs don’t have this luxury.  It was a question of survival for the people on Arab street and a question to have more economic options for the Occupy wall street protestors.  Even the ambition or goal of the OWS unlike the Arab Spring is not clear.

The problem in American unemployed labor force is whether they want to work for $10/ hr or $15/hr. For the people who have nothing, anything is better. For the people who have something, more is better, for the people who have everything, anything less is bad.   Nevertheless, the protesters are not a fringe group, nor their actions a passing fancy. Instead, OWS is evidence of a powerful global movement that reflects growing disenchantment with the rich favored capitalist system which has no interest in, nor concern for, the poor and underprivileged; a view which finds confirmation in the writings of many leading economists, environmentalists and social scientists.

Arab Spring or American Autumn, the fight, the movement belongs to common people, those who want to liberate themselves from the harshness and brutality of the system. Whether, it is the iron fist of the Arabic leaders or the choking hands of a few capitalist elites that have held people by the crook of their necks. People want freedom from this system. And time will tell that theses movements will result in an important socio-political change not only in these countries but globally. A change is sitting at the door step of the world. Now only we have to wait for how long this system manages to stop the on coming tide of change and take this damaged and unjust system with it.


America-A Dream Gone Wrong!?!

United States of America was a land of opportunities, a land of dreams, a land of religious freedom, and a land where dreams came true. This was the dream of America’s founding fathers. Where it all go wrong? The romanticism that was associated with this new found land, it vanished somewhere, as the years passed? How did it become the symbol for tyranny, oppression and neo-imperialism? The Land of Dreams became the Land of Killing-machine.

U.S.A since the end of world war-II has made 83 military interventions into other countries. It has made 59 military interventions from 1890 to world war-II. That makes a total sum of 142 military interventions all in the name of “national interest”, “national security” or to “save” the people of that country from a “tyrant” leader by launching an attack on them. As a Turkish newspaper aptly said “U.S’s name should be included in the Guinness book of world-record for launching the most military interventions in the world”.

These attacks or interventions were all done to topple the governments there or cause regime change i.e. the more popular and acceptable word in the world today. They caused regime changes irrespective of cast, creed, and nations. Whether it was Asia, Middle-East, and Africa even Latin America was not sparred from their wrath. U.S has always interfered in matters of other nations like it’s their birth-right to do so, just to establish its hegemony. There is hardly any country on the world map that has been successful in keeping the big nose of U.S out of its matters.

U.S is the only country in the world that has killed people all round the world and instead of apologizing has justified its cause. So much so that even today U.S has not formally apologized for killing all those people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 when the war had already finished. Americans didn’t even leave the original habitants of America i.e. the Native Indians, the red-Indians. Two studies have been conducted that attempt to number the natives killed by the United States. The first of these was sponsored by the United States government; this estimate shows between 1 million to 4 million killed. Second study was conducted by independent researchers. That study estimate the loss from 10 million to 110 million red-Indians. It should be noted that Nazi Holocaust estimates were between 6 to 11 million.

U.S.A poses to be the champion of world democracy, freedom, human rights. Yet it is the one who has violated the international law, the most. The biggest example of American “cow-boy” mentality that it considers itself above the law is the U.S invasion on Iraq in 2003. U.S.A did not even wait for the UN Security Council Resolution and though it was vetoed, launched the attack. It is important to note that under chapter 7 of UNSC, it determines to launch an attack on any county who poses a threat to the world.

Americans have violated the human rights in the worst way possible. Whether it was the enslavement of 20 million Africans or the inhumane acts committed on prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and Bagram base remains the example of modern day atrocities committed by humans in other humans. Perhaps Mark Twain foresaw Americans so many years back when he referred to humans in his writing as “The damned Human Race”.

It would be futile not to talk about the Central Intelligence Agency a.k.a CIA when talking about America. This agency was made a fully functional intelligence office, when President Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 establishing the CIA. OSS (Office of Strategic Services) was the forerunner of CIA that was established in 1942. Its initial purpose was to keep an eye on communist activities but that changed as the years progressed. Today, CIA is as known to be “one hell of a killing machine” a title aptly given by a former CIA agent when he was talking to Washington Post. CIA’s assassination programs, death squads, “Special Activities Division” where they train and operate proxy militias in various countries. Recent examples of these militias operating, is in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan etc. And the fact that CIA is accountable and answerable to no one is the biggest threat to the world. CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center (CTC) ha 300 employees before the 9-11 attacks but now the number of employees have even succeeded Al-Qaeda’s core membership. The dramatic evolution of Agency’s priorities and operations has become extreme. So much so some of the groups also link the spread of AIDS in the world to CIA. It should be remembered that before 1981 no one even knew what AIDS was.

United States of America has become a true example of a dream gone sour. A country that had the potential to be a super-power for at least 100 years is going down the drain in just 20-21 years. No matter how much power and capabilities you have, if you don’t use them wisely then it all goes to waste. As some one “With great power, comes, greater responsibility”. Americans forgot their responsibility and that’s why today they are standing where they are standing.

American Holocaust: D. Stannard (Oxford Press, 1992) – “over 100 million killed” “[Christopher] Columbus personally murdered half a million Natives”
God, Greed and Genocide: The Holocaust Through the Centuries: Grenke (New Academia Publishing 2006)
Holocaust: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies: Cesarani, (Routledge 2004)

Why Pakistan Should Have Participated In Bonn Conference

After a very unfortunate attack that occurred on November 26th, that resulted in the tragic death of 28 Pakistani army officers, Pakistan refused to attend the much awaited and anticipated conference on Afghanistan. Now proponents of this decision may call this decision of not attending, a step to protect or re-claim “national honor”. But I digress. This call or claim to “national honor” has come a tad too late.

After this horrendous attack Pakistan after a long time had U.S and NATO by the scruff of their necks. Whatever the US and NATO, might say or do now, they simply can not justify the attack on Mohamand agency like they justified the May 2nd attack. To let go of this opportunity, when Pakistan could have put pressure on the U.S, NATO forces and tried to get its way, would be nothing shot of a blunder!  It would have better for Pakistan to have kept its options open. Pakistan could have attended and made a protest using the Bonn Conference stage. It could have lobbied and used the sympathy of world after the recent attack to its favor. But NO.  It is not in our “national honor” that has led us to this shameful state.

What use is a fight that is lost even without fighting? Changes occurring in Pakistan’s neighborhood will not affect America or the NATO forces like they would affect Pakistan. Especially in the light of NATO troops leaving Afghanistan in 2014, when there is a chance of deal to happen between Taliban and U.S. And if Pakistan continues its stubbornness then no one but Pakistan will emerge as a sore and sole loser.

This continuous policy adopted by Pakistan of ‘I-Won’t-Talk-To-You’ has not led us anywhere.  Instead of trying to enhance and project a peaceful Pakistani role in Afghanistan, we have again used our reactive foreign policy when it was time to use a pro-active one. This policy of Pakistan resembles that of a child whose candies get stolen by a bully and that kid instead of claiming them back by a fight or other means, runs away from the field, telling the bullies he won’t talk to them. This policy has not been beneficial in the past and will bear no benefits even in future.

Pakistani policy makers, those sitting at the highest echelon should have a clear, proper vision. They should conduct a cost/benefit analysis before reaching any final conclusions that will have deep effects on Pakistan. It will be a poor way to repay those who have bled and given their lives for this country, if advantage of this situation is not used wisely by the Pakistanis.

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