Posted in Columns and Letters

Global or Local.

During our interaction with people, we sometimes hear this notion that politics is local and we should not be too worried about issues taking place in other parts of the world. There is a fundamental problem with such an idea. Perhaps in the old days, when the fastest means of travel was a fresh horse, this argument could have carried some weight (even in those days different civilizations contacted and influenced each other despite distances between them). However we do not live in the old days anymore. Our world today is highly connected and interactive. News in any part of the world spreads faster than wild fire to each and every corner of the world. As the decades old tyranny of Gaddafi was challenged by the rise of common people on the streets, not only did they upload videos of Gaddafi’s brutality on Youtube, but their actions also brought an increase in fuel prices for vehicles being driven on the streets of Dublin. What happened there affected things here. So politics is most certainly a globally connected phenomenon in the modern world.

We should not be under any illusion that whatever is happening in the Middle East today would not have an impact on us here in Ireland and the rest of the world. This is why it is important that our government should get its act together and stop supporting other governments in their military adventures that result in agony for different parts of the world. You only make enemies this way. Times are changing at a tremendous pace. Lies and double games do not work anymore since people know what is going on. This had been our message to the government of Pakistan from the very first days post 9/11. Most certainly a terrible crime had been done on 9/11. But two wrongs never make a right. America in its myopia went into Afghanistan supposedly looking for Osama Bin Laden and could nt find him till a decade later. Pakistan paid heavily for its support to the US with billions in money and thousands in innocent lives. America went into Iraq along with Britain based on open lies of WMDs that were never there. Then the world saw atrocities after atrocities against Muslims. Iraq and Afghanistan wars have only helped the Capitalists at the expense of destruction of thousands of innocent lives and a widespread hate for America across the world. But then there are still people who ask us why Muslims hate America? These people should be tested for some sort of selective blindness perhaps. It is not just the people of Iraq or Afghanistan. There are even Americans who hate what America has done in Iraq and Afghanistan.

World history is witness to the fact that tables can turn and the weak of today can become the strong of tomorrow. Please wait and think for a moment. When Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, it had the biggest military in the world. The Bear was a giant with massive influence across the world. It had industrialized tremendously since the Bolshevik revolution and had developed institutions based upon Marxist ideas. They never thought that with a little help from the Americans and Pakistan, its Army and Airforce would be defeated by the Mujahideen. As Soviet troops butchered innocent Afghans and firebombed and rocketed their villages, a Power greater than America and Soviet Union put together was watching. This Power then decided to put an end to the experiment of Communism in Soviet Union and gave them the pain of the Chernobyl disaster. That broke the back of the Bear and cost it 18 Billion Roubles essentially destroying their economy. These are the words of the then president of Soviet Union Gorbachev himself. Nothing could protect Marxism in Moscow after that. Their industry, Army, Airforce, Navy, Nuclear Weapons, nothing could help save the Soviet Union. It now lies buried somewhere in the dustbin of History.

Food for thought. Perhaps the economic problems that face Ireland today are the result of the greed of its politicians who have granted the use of Shannon Airport to the Americans. Afterall the Power is still watching and the impact of politics is global not local.

One Comment

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    This was our last column sent to Metro Eireann for publication. The column was published with a certain addition to our words which changed the meaning of what we were trying to say. We had seen an attempt like this before by the editors and had warned them about changing our columns which changes the original meaning of our words. So we decided to protest this and we sent an e mail to the chief editor and owner of the Newspaper Mr Chinedu N.Onyejelem. He came back to us after a few days refusing to apologize and rather gave us a very patronizing answer. This is unfortunate as we had contributed to Chinedu’s newspaper for two years and felt we had a good relationship with him. The problem in our country Ireland is that we are very backwards in such matters. There should be an ombudsman to deal with issues like this. Writers for newspapers should be informed about this ombudsman as well. After all everyone should have the right not to have their speech and writing tampered by editors in newspapers to the extent that they give a meaning that the authors did not intend.

    In the column above an interesting line was added among our words.

    “Our world today is highly connected and interactive – news can spread almost instantaneously to every part of the globe. And it’s democratising – the decades-old tyranny of Col Gaddafi was challenged by the rise of common people on the streets of Libya”.

    We have a problem with this. We consider Democracy as a system that has been better than Monarchy and Dictatorship. However, we have issues with Democracy also. This is not the place to go into an in depth discussion on the topic. Suffice to say that news spreading instantly to every part of the globe has nothing to do with democratising and this insertion was nothing but a lame attempt on part of Metro Eireann to put words in our mouth for their own agenda of some sort.