Friday, July 4, 2014

Once again, the U.S. takes the lead

As the current unfolding situation takes hold in Iraq, guess who has been in the forefront of trying to stop the unraveling of the country. Okay Iran has offered weapons and have reportedly send some people to that country and Russia has also supplied some military jets to it. But it was the U.S. who has sound the most alarm. To be fair and before everybody jumps on this, I whole heartedly agree that it was a mess that the U.S. created and left for leaving sake knowing well the history of animosity between the different sectarian and ethnic sects. So it was logical that the U.S. takes a lead in trying to contain the situation. But I believe it is in the best interest for all peace loving nations and big powers to come to the rescue of Iraq and try to contain the situation before it is too later for the neighborhood and the larger world. But I don’t see any of the major powers like Britain, France and the aspiring to be world powers like India and China too much worried about the unrest in Iraq. They are happy to let the U.S. worry about that mess that was created by it and they know that sooner or later the U.S. will be able to contain it. And what about some other crises that is not of the U.S. making? How would the big powers respond to it then? This is the thing the world has to ponder. What if the U.S. stop becoming the worlds' Policeman and let other powers do their own carry weight in their neighborhoods? And it is time that the U.S. also start every situation as a national security threat. We don’t have the money or the forces enough to be everywhere in the world. We should only lead when absolutely necessary and let others pay for our services too.

Whenever it suits you

You see every human being has their own interest in doing some. It is very rare that they will do something out of selflessness as it has no reward for them. And whenever it suits them, they will support something and if not will oppose it tooth and nail not know that other people already know why they are doing it. And as I was reading an article in an Arab newspaper, I was immediately stuck by what I said before. Saudi Arabia, the world biggest exporter of Oil and an extremely influential Muslim nation being the site of Islam's two holiest sites and America's number one ally in the Middle East has opposed any kind of foreign intervention in Iraq (read: Iran) but at the same time have called for intervention in Syria (we all know by now why). Saudi Arabia does not want a Shiite dominated government in Iraq and is opposing Iran because of it and on the other hand does not want an Iranian ally in Syria to rule the government there. Iran has the same problem as they don’t want their gains in Syria and Iraq to vanish and that is why both Iran and Saudi Arabia are battling it out in the other people countries. But even if the situation is the same in Iraq and Syria, the reaction is different because wherever it suits them, they are willing to go along with their interest rather than take a fair and rational view of the situation. Both are Muslim countries but instead of cooperating with each other, they are ready to battle it out. And this self interest permeates every living human being and I can say that it is rare when someone rises above their own self interest to help others or take a broader view of the situation.

The worrisome blowback from Jihadist activities

Recently I was reading in the newspaper that Indonesia is worried that its citizens who have gone to Iraq and Syria to fight a jihad will come back battle hardened and may become a threat to peace in that nation. And it is not Indonesia alone but other countries like Britain, France and other European and Middle Eastern countries who have all supported this so called Jihad are worried that when their citizens come back, they will not be satisfied to see what is going on in their native countries and will try to supposedly "correct" them by waging Jihad at home. European countries are more worried since their citizens can travel visa free to several countries around the world and have the potential to create mayhem globally. There are no easy answers as Jihad was encouraged initially as the way to get rid of incumbent Syrian government and now that the genie is out of the bottle, several countries are trying to control this genie which has a mind of its own. I am not the one to tell these governments what to do since I know they are trying to prevent any catastrophe that may accompany if and when these Jihadist come back and try to practice their skills at home. But for a starter, their activities should be monitored right when they enter the country and keep them under surveillance to make sure that they don’t do anything stupid. How they meet their friends, relatives, their activities. I am sure they will be thinking along these lines. And now that the Syrian and Iraq war has inspired these people to be part of the Jihadist movement, the countries involved can only regret and take corrective measures to mitigate their mistake of supporting these conflicts in the first place.

Battle for control

Ever since human beings came to this earth, they have always wanted to have some control over something. And this battle for control has not stopped but keeps on going something in friendly ways and sometimes not. The biggest battle for control is in your own home where sometimes nastiness can creep in when it times to decide who will hold the ultimate prize- the remote control to the television. When I use to watch television my dad always wanted to hold on to the remote while I was also in competition. And now with my own family as I watch very little TV, I still compete with my wife and daughter to get a hold on to the remote so that I can control what everybody will watch or increase or decrease the volume. I know it is a childish thing but everybody has a child in them and this is one of the times we do enjoy this battle. Another one is who is going to drive a car, but this one is easy as you or your spouse can only drive but if you have two kids able to drive besides you then it becomes a battleground. In the larger picture, you see every day in every sphere of life everybody is jockeying for position to take control of something that is valuable and can give you an advantage over your opponent. Especially in a war, the nation that gets control of some strategic area wants to keep it that way and has an advantage over enemy. As long as human beings are alive, this battle of control will always be fought, whether it is in house or in the battlefield.

The necessary evil of alarm clock

Everybody hates it when they put on the alarm but we all need it because we want to wake up at a certain time. Alarm clock are a necessary evil that we cannot do without unless we have the luxury to wake up anytime we want , go to school or fetch our kids from school anytime and go to work whenever we feel like at any time of day. Even in some of the movies that I have watched, the hero is always fighting with the alarm clock and sometimes throws it away across the room when it does not stop. It seems funny when you watch it but we all have our constant struggle with this devil. I usually put on alarm at least 40 minutes before the time I want to get up since it takes me time to recover from a forced wakeup. As with some of the people ( I believe most of the people) I am not a morning person but necessity demands (like going to work) that I have wake up at a certain time and alarm eases this somewhat otherwise I will always be late for work. Nowadays alarms come in different voices which try to lower the annoying volume of the usual alarm clock but some are too soothing to wake you and instead may let you go to sleep further. If you want to wake, a good and loud jolt of alarm is what you need. Even though I put my alarm 40 minutes before I decide to wake up, I will jump at a time where I cannot doze off any longer. I don’t know what people use to do when there were no alarm clocks but I would be a sleepyhead without one.

The remarkable success of Israel and its people-2

And there are also other countries that got tremendous help from the U.S. but they squandered it while Israel has thrived. I am not going to go into the historical annexation/occupation of the Palestinian territories as it part of another topic sometime in the future. For now my point is just to say that despite being surrounded by enemies and always in a state of war readiness, Israel has become a developed country which has a democratic system of government. Despite all the turmoil that is happening in the Middle East right now, it seems that Israel is not worried as it is confident of defending itself since it has a very capable and the most powerful military in the Middle East. Israelis have won many Nobel prizes in sciences and as a Jewish state cares about what happens to Jewish people around the world. They have granted automatically Israeli citizen to every Jewish and they are all welcome to that country. You have to really go Israel in order to find out how they live and thrive under the turmoil of their neighborhood but even if you don’t go. You can just read and watch what is really happening in Israel and how fast it is growing technologically advanced while its enemies are seeming trying to destroy each other instead of making something out of the country or give a better life to their citizens. I am not just praising Israel just for praising it but if you work hard you can achieve anything and help from friends go a long way if you know how to utilize that help.

The remarkable success of Israel and its people

This article is just a small attempt on my part to analyze how a small nation of around nine million people have an outsized effect on the world history today. It is rather small country with equal population to New York City with a small area but with a very advanced economy. I am not here to support of Israel as a nation as it is not my job as a blogger to give my opinion to it as some people will say that. My point here is to analyze what a small nation can do if it puts their mind to it and prosper. You can also say it about Taiwan to and other small nation states like Singapore also. But Israel is surrounded by enemies who fantasize about destroying it on paper only. But despite all the threats Israel gets from time to time and is virtually in a state of war since its inception, it and its people are thriving not only in Israel but around the world. I had a glimpse of a documentary about Israel and also read news about it and it is remarkable that in the midst of all the unrest they are in, they still have good time, party late at night, have a remarkable thriving tech industry. The startup culture that is there is considered by some as the best in the world. The Arms industry is also top notch. To be fair, Israel got a lot of help from the U.S. initially but as mature nation it has developed its own industry and is thriving economically and militarily.