2005 in retrospect [Archives:2006/909/Opinion]
The major heartbreaking event in 2005 was the Earthquake in the Indian Subcontinent that left tens of thousands killed and hundreds of thousands, if not millions homeless. This was right after the destructive Tsunami that struck the Western Pacific-Indian Ocean circle extending from Indonesia to the African Coast. In addition there was Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Southern states of the US around the Gulf of Mexico. In the finale, one can see that God still rules supreme in this universe and no matter how much power man can muster up, without any impunity to anyone that they fall on or happen to be around where they fall, it is God's power that is truly invincible and unbeatable. It is added testimony that indeed man is no more than a feeble mortal with limited capabilities and powers. Notwithstanding all the evil that exists in the world and the inclination of evil men to seek and collect all the power they can in this world and assume the role of the domineering and overpowering lords above all other men, there is no comparison between whatever power can be gathered by men and that which can be released by the Al-Mighty, which can erupt in seconds and bring about more destruction – and death than any man could imagine ever inflicting.
This observer watched with interest the dramatic videos made by amateurs who were able to capture some of the devastation brought on by the Tsunami of late last year. Within seconds the seemingly gentle waves that the Earthquake off the Sumatra Coast produced turned major streets of nearby coastal cities into channels for the passage of mighty torrents of ocean water and all the wreckage it has carried with it as the water turned into a horrible monster that has been injected with the power that only nature can put together in split second timing. Last year's catastrophes should once again make it clear to all those who still are fooled by their arrogance and lust for power, that in this universe, there is only one real Power that prevails over all the Cosmos and can easily turn a once boisterous city like New Orleans, Louisiana or Atche, Indonesia into tragic has beens. It never occurred to anyone that these cities would could be wiped off the map (See the before and after satellite photos of these two cities).
But men still have their timid illusions that human power is capable of reaching supremacy in this world and thus continue to inflict suffering, pain and death to thousands and even millions of other men (and lots of women, children and old folks), most of whom seek no more than to live normal peaceful lives. How much of a sign does the arrogant have to be given to know that it is really God who will prevail and if men are not ready to live by His just dictates, then he will certainly come up with a way to render His justice as He sees fit. One could not help but wonder how foolish arrogant men are and not take heed of the Power of the Lord. It is now easy to see how it was indeed possible for the sea to split to make way for the Israelites to cross the Red Sea and let the forces of Pharaoh drown without one single survivor. One can also see that it is indeed possible that the Deluge of Noah was a reality and those who persisted in their arrogance, including Noah's defiant son, were easily brought to their end.
The Middle East in 2005 continued to be enmeshed in uncertainty as the “War on Terror” continues to be used as an excuse for turning the region towards an unpredictable course. So now, we have assassinations becoming a way of life. Prime Ministers, politicians of various levels, journalists – most of whom were actually good folk – all were targeted to drive the region into state of friction that will see no end as the various factions at play point their fingers at whoever they see as drawbacks to their own agendas for dominance. But, why should millions of people be left to uncertain fates, just so some evil monsters think they are given Devine authority to reek havoc on this planet relying on myths that have no moral substance and are contrary to all the dictates of the Lord as revealed by the long series of messengers and prophets. Surely the work of the latter could not have been in vain. When one talks and now communicate with most common folk throughout the world, one is comforted by the fact that indeed most people find sufficient grounds for abiding by the dictates of the Lord, and these people are of all different religious persuasions or political inclinations. Yes, there is really more good in people than our world would seem to show, but it is with people whose destiny is also subject to the wretchedness of the very few in this world, who insist that human destiny should be the simulated models they draw up in their computers or the econometric models that best serve the interests of those that believe that the bounties of the Earth were only endowed to them by the Creator, and thus seek to steer the world and mankind towards fulfilling their mundane ambitions. Never mind that this could be at the cost of thousands of human lives. Nor does it matter that thousands of schoolchildren everyday will be forced to live under an aura of fear of bombs falling on their head.
My suggestion for Man of the Year is divided between two personalities. The first is Ariel Sharon for “withdrawing” from Gaza only to turn it into an all out war zone by year end, where the Israeli planes, drones and other war machinery can have an open field to drop their ordnances without fear of possibly landing on any Israelis. So, the man of peace is continuing not to fool anyone but being his true self as always. Now Gaza is still making headlines everyday.
The other “candidate” are really a collection of great leaders, who have truly turned the meaning of democracy to imply, the perpetual tyranny of Arab dictatorships continued under a democratic agenda! This is notwithstanding the lesson to be learned from the demise of the Iraqi benevolent dictator Saddam Hussein, who like them still insists on being called the “President of the Republic for life, and thereafter”, just like the rest of his colleagues, who have taken democratic rule a step further as they also insist that they can have their children as heirs to the throne of the “duly elected President”. The new meaning of democracy is now “refined despotic monarchy”. Well if George Bush the Elder can do it, why can't they? From the Atlantic to the Gulf, we are really making progress aren't we?
The saying of the year goes to Bothaina Sha'aban of the Lebanese Daily Star who commented on some of Condoleeza Rice's recent lectures on terrorism and democracy by saying: “The strategy of making `democratic peace` has fallen short of incorporating an essential concept: denouncing occupation. How can `democratic peace` be established in the Middle East while Israel continues to occupy Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese lands?” She adds later: “The existence of a few, whose rage against oppression and humiliation has been derailed into terrorism, should not stigmatize the entire region. Alternatives can still be found. Oppression and injustice breed anger and terrorism; only a strategy that seeks justice, equality, freedom and the end of occupation can truly achieve democratic peace.”
A Happy and democratic (not Arab genre) New Year to all!