Ever watched Kieffer Sutherland save the world from destruction numerous times, and all within 24 hours ? It seems Prime Minister Netanyahu created his own 24 hours reprise with his behavior prior to the closing of election polls. Now you might have been forgiven for thinking that as a result of such actions, the security, destiny, and future of the entire world has changed and been placed upside down on its head, Humpty Dumpty style. Because, gauging the reactions to his stratospheric success in capturing a quarter of the seats of the Knesset, you would think the world is about to collapse on your heads.
And the source for all this depression seems to emanate from President Obama and his administration who are now facing the fact that he will have to conclude his second term as President having to deal with an Israeli Prime Minister who press reports claim is perhaps the most despised in Obama’s itinerary. They not only don’t get along: their relationship has reached personal depths (or heights) of, well, dislike to hatred. Hence the reports coming out of the White House questioning Mr. Netanyahu’s real commitment to peace and the two-state solution, as well as claims of racism being banded about as well as the sincerity of his apology directed to the Israeli Arab population in regard to statements he made fearing their high voter turn out.
And this has become the headlines of major newspapers and internet news sites everywhere.
Now please bear with me a little. Let’s play a little game. I am an alien from Mars (alright then, Manchuria !) and I land on this earth, and what are the first things that assault my information brain cells ? First of all, I look around through my intergalactic glasses, and notice that the Middle East as we knew it doesn’t exist anymore. Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia (alright: not such a middle east country) are failed states; Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria and Lebanon are teetering to the same end; Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and the oil rich states of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, the UAR and Kuwait remain amongst the remnant of countries with a semblance of stable leadership (although that could also change during the time you read this article ).
I also notice that the Middle East is filled with terrorist and guerilla groups who are hell-bent on wiping each other out of existence, between ISIS, Al Quaida, Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Nussra, Shiite, Sunni, Shia, Alawi (did I leave anyone out ? ). Rarely does a day go by when some suicide bomber from one or many of these organizations blows himself/herself up taking with him/her (possibly to Paradise ? ) tens, if not hundreds, of lives. The Middle East has evolved into the Hole of Hell in a world that is just too exhausted to intervene, and financially broke to effect the means to respond creatively. And pulling all the strings in this sad misadventure of events sits Iran whose nuclear dealings with the P5 plus 1 gives it plenty of leeway to write, produce, and direct the text that is destroying the Middle East one country at a time.
But the world has become starkly afraid of these potential murderers and killers. For in my newly acquired alien status, I am somewhat embarrassed to fly on a plane anywhere. You have to strip down to your basics, and then be scanned as if you were completely naked, to insure that you are not carrying any article (including bottles of H20) which might be used to bring down a plane and kill people en masse. Even elderly people and children do not escape the procedure (and I thought there was intelligence on this planet). The wretchedness to which we have fallen in the name of still maintaining our civilized reputation is all too embarrassing !
My alien mind is becoming too heavy-headed taking all of this in, and so I must look elsewhere for some refreshing sunlight….and what do I see ? I notice that Russia, under President Putin, is swallowing up parts of the former Soviet Republic in the Ukraine and Odessa, and doing this violently through undeclared acts of war (and without too much international opposition in the affected areas to prevent him).
As if the energy of the world hasn’t yet become totally sapped, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of “Heretic: Why Islam Needs A Reformation Now” claims, as reported in the Wall St Journal, that violent acts committed in the name of Islam cannot be divorced from the religion itself, and that the two are intimately intertwined. What brings her to this startling conclusion ? According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, at least 70% of all fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims. In 2013, there were nearly 12,000 terrorist attacks world-wide. The lion’s share were in Muslim-majority countries, and many of the others were carried out by Muslims. By far the most numerous victims of Muslim violence are Muslims themselves . All of this leads the author to believe that Islam is not a religion of peace. What has taken the world so long to come to that conclusion ?
And through all this, in a tiny little country, one of the smallest in the world, in an election won decisively for the fourth time by a leader who has learnt it doesn’t always pay to play by the Queensbury rules – while still maintaining the highest levels of democracy – disproportionate energy, anger and verbal barrages have been targeted by the Obama administration in a fit of obsessive/compulsive paranoia, while the real big terrible world in the sky is going to pot.
How am I ever going to explain all of this madness to my alien compatriots ? Come back Kieffer Sutherland and save the world again: all is forgiven
Chaim R. Landau