By Debbie Menon
No, dialogue is NOT a solution! It is merely another, quite common, much overused, abused, and never quite successful method of attempting, or pretending to attempt, to find or describe a solution; and it is usually compromised by bad-faith on the part of one, two or all parties! Furthermore, it takes the bad-faith of but one participant to thoroughly compromise it, and turn it into a strategic tool for forestalling the search for a solution, and perpetuating the status quo!
History has demonstrated this!
A shooting match, with my men in one trench, yours in another, or me in my airplane dropping bombs on you while you run or shoot back at me in the sky, is also a form of dialogue; the most common form, in which one side applies its most forceful and persuasive arguments to prove to the other that their argument is the best and their solution is the best, to which the other side must accede.
Dialogue, 'in this sense' two or more parties battering their heads against each other across a table, is no different and no more of a solution than two armies battering heads across a battlefield. I can name too many examples with which you are already familiar! The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict for instance.
It is part of the problem, and usually just a tool to forestay the solution, which lies in the proposition that both parties should return home and STOP IT!
If everyone would stay at home, then there would be no invaders to fight, and no reason to fight them. Everything we see which is happening in Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, the Middle East, in the diplomatic quarters throughout the world, are symptoms. And, by fighting symptoms, we become part of the problem; No one is becoming part of a solution.
And, that is the strategy of the offender, to keep everyone's eye off the target!
Whether we stay or leave Afghanistan is simply a band aid. Let us refocus!! Find the real target!! Let's get to the heart of the problem. Let's get quit of band aids and effect a cure!
As the Australian editorialist Mahir Ali says, "to repeat myself, we must stop fighting the symptoms and attack the causes."
When I define the problem, I come up with proxy guns in the hands of Corporate Business, all marching under false banners of Faith, Nation, Defence, Patriotism, Religion, Freedom, Democracy Necessity and an endless list of other lies. All Pied Pipers of Hamlin!
Soldiers, as Smedley Butler has said in "War is a Racket" clearly, are simply the hired hands of businessmen who carry the guns. One possible solution would be to disarm businessmen! Take the armies out of the picture. This is something which would have to begin "at home," in all houses.
The question should be asked, what are all those American forces doing in foreign places as it were? Why are they still in nearly two hundred other foreign countries, most of whom they are not at war with?
The Anglo-Saxon Press and Military has this strange misunderstanding that they are the rightful native people wherever they go in the world. And that everyone else is the foreigner. They talk about "foreign fighters" coming into Iraq or Afghanistan. It just happened yesterday. The US attacked a town in Syria decimating a civilian family of five, to prevent foreign fighters from interfering in Iraq.
You once had in India what is described in Western History as a "Rebellion." I ask, how can a bunch of brown skin people, all of whom were born in the land, and from families who had lived in the land for centuries, conduct a "rebellion" against masses of foreign soldiers who do not even look like them, worship the same gods or speak the same language and none of whom were born there, but all of whom had arrived on the boat?
In all guerrilla wars, the guerrillas do not have to win a single battle. They only need not give up resisting. That was the strategy of the American War of Independence. George Washington lost almost every battle he was in. His heroic feat was to keep an army intact until the British eventually got tired of war and went home. And ran out of money!
Because of the diversity of cultures in the world, all people may not choose the same methods or principles, in government, sex, family values, prayer, war or peace, commerce, theft or criminality. What is good for the goose is not always acceptable for a gander.
Taliban? Schmaliban? Fatah? Hamas? A people's choice, an imposition by force, religious persuasion, or whatever means or whatever they will tolerate from their own people in the name of government is, to my mind, as long as it is domestic in nature, always preferable to that imposed by some outside power.
First, you must define the problem, and what may constitute a solution. And then apply the moral principle of who decides it, who applies it, how, and to whom! You?
A solution for whom? You? Me? The United States and Kingdom of Israel? Abu Ali, or Abu Basha? Abu Frick, or Abu Frack? Gospodin Putin? The people and tribes who call themselves or are identified as "Afghanis?"
Not all people may vote the same as you, but will you allow them to vote their way if it is not your way?
Whatever solution to whatever question you come up with, is it one which you would like to see applied in the country which you call "home?"
No, America should stop meddling in foreign affairs. They have entirely too much foreign, Corporate, and personal interests influencing their government policies, in both foreign and domestic affairs.
With all the popular analyses, and finger-pointing of 'causes' for "world problems," American hegemony, business, Religious fanaticism, Zionism, Islamic radicalism, the struggle for Energy, Dominance and Power, I doubt that we will ever arrive at a sane and logical understanding of an insane world populated by a corrupted and over breeding species, which has turned Earth into a Psych Lab Study in overpopulation of a limited space and resource, a study in collective insanity.
For example, how many hundreds, if not thousands, of years of meddling in the affairs of the Afghan tribes? How many decades of persecution and enslavement of the Palestinian people? Go figure!
We must find a more humane way. Education? Persuasion? Debate or argument? But that would work only if some impartial, neutral body would set geographical limits (the United Nations did) and enforce them (no one has). All of which makes the UN a toothless paper tiger. Why?
WB Yeats' Second Coming keeps rising to the surface and it is, distressingly, prophetic!
The Second Coming
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
William Butler Yeats
The past is becoming more relevant; perhaps, we shall have much more past than we shall ever have of future.
About the author: Debbie Menon is an independent writer based in Dubai. She can be reached at email@example.com.
... Payvand News - 10/29/08 ... --