It is mindboggling how many issues around the world remain unresolved! Conflicts, wars, tensions, land disputes, political divisions, violence, economic strife, cultural failures, ethnic confrontations, just to name a few. Each nation faces challenges man-made or imposed by nature or geography. Every one of us can list a number of unresolved issues that block our path, preventing us from moving forward, slowing us down or derailing us.
People cannot move on with their life while issues linger; the same applies to nations. They stand still in the face of animosity, aggression or strife. Even when they progress, they cannot operate at their highest potential. Look at the festering conflicts around the world from the split of the Koreas to the political strife between China and Tibet or China and Taiwan, to the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, to the division of Cyprus into Turkish and Greek sides and the disputed islands between the United Arab Emirates and Iran. All the way to the Arab-Israeli conflict which is at the heart of most troubles emanating from the Middle East and has caused headaches and created shockwaves across the globe for decades with no sign of resolution in the horizon.
None of the above conflicts is anywhere near being resolved. Instead, the inability of players to work together towards peace, has given rise to today’s real threats, namely polarization, extremism and terrorism. People today are unable to speak with each other unless they belong to the same camp. Diplomacy is almost dead. The rule of the jungle and ‘survival of the fittest’ are becoming more the norm than the exception.
Arab and Muslim terrorists such as Al Qaeda members worldwide, Al-Shabab in Somalia, the Abu Sayyah terror group in the Philippines and the Muslim rebels of Chechnya, they all claim the mistreatment of Palestinians at the hands of Israel is what drives their hatred toward the west in general and America in particular. In the absence of leadership, dialogue and progress, extremism thrives and when that latter takes over, we are all doomed.
Back in the late 1940’s when Palestinians were uprooted from their homeland and Palestine was simply wiped off the map and replaced by the state of Israel, Arabs stood incapable of making it right for their Palestinian brethren. More than six decades later, with all their oil might and their strategic alliances and political and economic muscle, they seem more incapacitated than ever.
Palestine and the plight of Palestinian refugees scattered around the world have inspired poets, writers, and artists to speak up; but it has also served as an opportunistic excuse for terrorists and petty activists to get their fifteen minutes of fame -- or shame -- in a pretend-defense of the Palestinian cause and its people.
The displaced Palestinian families of 1948 were sent into a life of stateless refuge that would end up being passed on from generation to generation with no real plan to end their suffering in sight. Every passing day, is a loss in the rightful battle for Palestine and a cheap win for extremists and terrorists to practice their hatred in the name of Palestinians or any of the myriad of other lingering issues ready to be exploited.
Today, in light of the Arab awakening, the USA’s role has come to question. Between America’s war in Iraq which led to atrocious results, the hunt for Al-Qaeda which has netted and continues to net some big terror lords, the role it plays in selectively supporting Arab uprisings while still standing by tyrants and dictators as it did for decades before with those who have fallen from grace since 2011, the list of haters keeps growing. In the middle of this inconsistent foreign policy and an Arab amnesia as to the extremism produced by their own culture, the only winner is terrorism.
Terrorism is cheap, opportunistic and can easily be carried out and can cause great damage. Its main ingredient is brainwashing, a commodity readily available in the Middle East. In the next few months and years we should expect more bloody fundamentalism on all fronts and across the world. Terrorism in its intellectual and physical forms will raise its head at every opportunity and for every controversy that arises. That is unless something radical is done about it today. Something like recognizing it as a most serious threat and fighting it tirelessly, one and all, all the time with all the power we muster!