Power Versus Truth

We’ve heard, read, and watched the news for the past several weeks.  Today there was another incidence of people getting killed in Iraq.  As I read the report, I had to pause on the following:

 “The residents complained in general of a cultural clash over the Americans' presence. They said that American soldiers were using binoculars to spy on their women and that they had shown pornography to children. They said that the children will not be sent to school as long as it held by the American soldiers.”  Here is the link for the full report: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/29/international/worldspecial/29CND-IRAQ.html  then it followed: "We are not disengaging ourselves from the population," General Brooks said. "In fact, we're engaging with them in a number of ways. And so that requires us to be alert and conscious, but it also requires us to maintain a degree of force protection that prevents an easy attack against coalition forces."

 Being bombarded by the so called “fair and balanced” news, I’ve also developed my own sense of “relevancy” to deal with the issue.  I think, the “truth” is irrelevant.  Yes, you read it right.  Our civilization has reached a point in mass communication where the truth is by all means irrelevant.  Let me explain.

 For decades, if not centuries, less developed countries have been subject to a variety of oppression coming from within and without.  A “cultural clash” and a “force protection” are not new to oppressed people.  It is the “power” and not the “truth” that rules the world.  Soldiers on the top of the roofs do not take orders from people for a peaceful demonstration.  They take it from the chain of command that is “power”. 

 The “power” was Saddam regime a few weeks ago.  It is the Coalition Forces now.  Saddam ordered killing innocent people he thought were dangerous to his agents who had no other business in Iraq except helping the same people for their own elevating pride!  America orders killing innocent people they think are a threat to the coalition forces that have no other business in Iraq except helping the same people for their own emerging democracy!  You may find both justifications reasonable!

 In fact the “truth” was always irrelevant.  It was as irrelevant in Exodus several thousand years ago as it was in Holocaust a few decades ago, as it is in the current Arab vs. Israel conflict.  The reality of Weapon of Mass Destruction is terrifying, the “power” of having it is not.  Neither USSR nor USA ever used it against each other.  Yet the terrifying “power” of owning it kept the whole world subject to their will.  When Soviet Union was a formidable “power” in the world, UN was a place where powerful nations decided the faith of less developed ones.  When America emerged as the only superpower of the world, it declared UN as irrelevant as if it never existed.  While UK is at odd with France, they both try to salvage UN for their own share of power.  While I admire France’s stand for peace, I hate to admit it has nothing to do with it! 

 Back to the report again.  The “truth” of civilians getting killed in the so called cross fire of a “cultural clash” is as irrelevant as Native Americans right to exist on their own land a few centuries ago as is the case with Palestinians as we witness it now.  While powerless Iraqis try hard to let uninvited guests handle the internal affair of the host, Americans are taking a critical look at the whole hoopla or witch hunt about patriotism.  Administration’s cynicism on labeling warmongers patriotic and peaceniks unpatriotic is neither new nor any different from Nazis.  While it takes a different form, in substance it is the same as Saddam’s treatment of his dissidents.  I bet warmongers wish they could take the same form of elimination as Saddam did.  They simply can’t because American people have a grip on the power, Iraqis don’t.  Yet America’s out casting dissidents is just another sign of weakness.  If the only superpower on planet earth is so right about its invading, sorry liberating, another country, why bother calling dissidents unpatriotic?  It is ironic to conclude that as Hitler and Stalin, used a controlled media to obliterate dissidents, GW Bush took the same medium.  American people are no different than Germans or Russians.  They would soon realize how a handful arrogant warmongers ruined everything they stood for in a matter of the term of one single administration.

 People are the ultimate truth.  It is the people as the sad reality of an irrelevant factor in our world affair.  Truth has always been as “irrelevant” as “power” has been “relevant”.  Yet, I am still optimistic.  Not that I think the “truth” would ever be relevant, but the promise that it would become powerful!  Millions of people from every walk of life formed an eyeball to eyeball opposition to warmongers not to defend Saddam but to oppose war.  You could hear it load and clear from every corner of the world.  A new superpower is forming its shape.  Its building material does not come from military.  It does not come from religion or any form of ideology.  It has nothing to do with nationality, race or ethnicity.   It is coming from people.  It is finally the ultimate truth to become powerful enough to be relevant.

Mohamad Purqurian