Saturday, August 27, 2011

No more 'democracy' projects, please!

Middle East unrest is a never-ending drama, this has been realized. But the Libyan rebellion is a historic moment, no doubt. After tolerating 42 years of Gadafi's authoritarian and suppressing dictatorship, the people of Libya are ready for a change. Great. Before complete transition of power, however, there will be a period of chaos. This is what the western world needs to realize - capitalistic, money-hungry-contracting corporations veiling under interim western governments in this situation will not assure a smooth transition. I think we can look back not too far in history to get evidence for that.
President Obama has played a pretty neutral/NATO led role so far. He has not invested huge amounts of troops, money, or resources yet. However, listening to concerns from members of Congress and Senate it appears that US wants to get more involved. If America gets its hands dirty in yet another country's transitional period with the excuse of providing 'stability', the world will not buy the reason this time. Sure, democracy is a beautiful thing. But it doesn't work everywhere, and it certainly doesn't work the first time around. After four decades of a no-brainer government, Libyans will need some time to sort out their issues and take a unified stand. To control Libya by labeling the current chaos unstable is premature.
The Rebels, backed by NATO with weapons and moral support, are angry and aggressive at the moment. They have finally reached Tripoli after six months and raided Gadafi's compound. They are violent and hungry for change. But this excitement is seen as acts of terror by American experts. NPR reported a story where a Congressman was voicing his concerns about the Rebels and how the US must provide support. I think this is brutally unfair. First we give them ammo for rage, provide them with support and help on the ground, promote their reasons for rebellion, and when they finally succeed, we criticize their methods and question their efforts. There is nothing wrong with NATO nations providing humanitarian and civil support, but proactively getting involved in their unstable politics and key decisions as a method to invest in the country would be cold and calculative.
Americans are well known for their two sided politics and hypocritical foreign policy, but hopefully this time America handles its own domestic issues before taking up another 'democracy' project.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The World Likes Drama...

Phew. It's been a quiet month for this blog, but there is so much craziness happening in the world right now. It seems that chaotic winds are springing in all directions from east to the west. Uprisings, change, dissatisfaction. These words are blatantly omnipresent in current political happenings across the globe. Aside from the 'democratic uprisings' happening in Libya and Syria, England and India are protesting in their historical ways. After an unfair encounter in a racially divided neighborhood involving the police, London mobs went nuts. Vandalism and public violence took over the streets in London. Criminology and psychological experts explained that violence is a part of English history and heritage. The typical mob mentality that springs from a valid idea quickly turns to illogical and blind following by an angry crowd. It was recently reported on NPR that the two people that promoted these riots in London on facebook have been sentenced 4 years in jail while a minor was banned from social networking sites for a year and 3 months house arrest. Additionally, it was reported that of the thousands of protesters that were in the streets of London the last few days are being punished in harsher ways than typically allowed by law. Judges are ordering cancelling of public benefits and stripping welfare from family members of protesters.
While one government is using strict sentencing to prevent civil violence, another had to let someone free to somewhat control the general population. Social activist in India, Anna Hazare, has appealed to major vertical chunks of the Indian population and is resorting to non-violent Gandhian protesting against corruption. After being taken to one of India's most notorious jail, Tihar Jail, he was finally set free last week on demand by the Indian people. This movement, going on for over 8 weeks now, is at it's peak and can be a revolutionary change in Indian history. Given India's strong economic growth over the past decade, their huge potential for a consumer driven market, and less than 35% dependence on exports for generating a competitive GDP only has corruption standing in its way to prosperity. However this deep rooted disease that takes over basic tasks and everyday chores has been deserving attention for decades. Corrupt and influential politicians have to finally bow down to what the world's largest democracy is asking for. A week long fast by Mr. Hazare is raising concerns and ticking down the clock to a time when public service owed is being demanded by the Indian people. People are protesting all across the globe including New Zealand, New York and London. About time Indians stood united for something positive.
Being back in America has its joys, but the self centered and crisis-obsessed news channels are creating limitations for the American populace. Unemployement, debt, inflation, oil prices - huge domestic issues in America right now, but to some extent it can make us feel better that everyone is experiencing some sort of chaos. No matter where you are, there is a situation that is on the edge of getting out of hand - into who's hands, is a matter to wait and watch.