World Peace – Part One

November 29, 2009

By Padmini Arhant

Since it’s my 200th post on this website,, I would like to dedicate the article to my favorite topic, Peace.

The world is riddled with violence in the worst form of terrorism and warfare not barring the dangerous nuclear threats. Then there are local crimes like the drug war in Mexico or the politically incited Philippines massacre exacerbating the miseries of the population. It would be appropriate to attribute the present situation to the political, economic and social injustice prevalent in the society.

Throughout history, the dominance of one nation over another through invasion, illegal occupation and provocative actions have led to the retaliation through terrorism and war including the use of nuclear arsenal witnessed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Often, when the rich nations demonstrate the political power in combination with the military might against the economically weaker countries, the aggression contributes to the perennial chaos and catastrophe.

Further, the most powerful, in their quest for eternal supremacy engage in activities, which provide a fertile ground to the less superior elements seeking similar status, thereby creating a permanent hostile environment to prolong their agenda. It’s increasingly prominent in the impoverished regions of the world. Subsequently the supreme forces’ commandeering the nation is depicted as the marquis in the modern concept of global war on terror.

Interestingly, with reference to warfare vs. terrorism the pronounced bias is noteworthy. The disproportionate civilian casualties during war is accepted as a collateral damage while the equally reprehensible results from a terrorist bombing is condemned reeking racial and anti-religious overtones in the moral evaluation fomenting anger, frustration and anticipated violent reaction. In a way, the setting is well orchestrated to justify the Machiavellian pursuit.

Synonymously, democratic nations conducting war is characterized as purposeful act for national security regardless of the implementation producing mass fatalities on all accounts. The operation is easily facilitated in a democratic system than any other form of government. Democracy is convenient because of its representation by the people. Therefore, the populace choice is ideal for the ultimate authority to authenticate undemocratic policies. It’s currently conspicuous in the contentious debates on health care reform and troops increase in Afghanistan.

The elected representatives succumb to the pressure from the establishments controlling every legislative matter. Congress is supposed to be the central governing body. Yet, it is decentralized with the existing partisanship between the two major political parties and the selective allegiance to the various special interests and lobbyists by the members constitutionally obligatory to the republic.

In terms of military commitments, the economic and political factors determine the cavalier approach to an indefinite presence on foreign soil. Economically, the defense budget is by far the favored legislation carried out through bipartisanship with supplements approved by Congress in the absence of legitimate evidence supportive of the claim. Contrary to the belief among certain lawmakers positioned themselves as fiscal conservatives and prioritizing political correctness over rationality, war is profitable to the operatives whereas it is remaining to be a phenomenal liability to the national deficit.

It’s poignant to raise the Afghan war costs in this context.
According to the New York Times article on November 15, 2009 by Christopher Drew,

“Titled – High costs playing role in Afghan war debate: At $1 million per soldier per year, troops drain budget.

The latest internal government estimates place the cost of adding 40,000 U.S. troops and sharply expanding the Afghan security forces, as favored by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and allied commander in Afghanistan, at $40 billion to $54 billion a year, the officials said.

Even if fewer troops are sent, or their mission is modified, the rough formula used by the White House, of about $1 million per soldier a year, appears almost constant. In 2006, congressional researchers had estimated the per-soldier cost to be $390,000.

So even if Obama opts for a lower troop commitment, Afghanistan’s new costs could wash out the projected $26 billion expected to be saved in 2010 from withdrawing troops from Iraq.
And the overall military budget could rise to as much as $734 billion, or 10 percent more than the peak of $667 billion under the George W. Bush administration.”


Cost Factor Analysis – By Padmini Arhant

Evidently, the military spending rises exponentially with the new administration in power, suggesting the real authority is not necessarily the ‘democratically’ elected entity. Above all, the status quo is bolstered by the fiscal conservatives’ unequivocal acceptance of the pentagon demands despite the track record confirming it a national burden on deficits and death tolls. In contrast, the same legislators vote against the investment in health care and economic stimulus guaranteed to benefit the constituents granting them the power.

The dilemma of democracy and military intervention does not end at the economic level. In fact, it permeates to the political dynamics, through hawkish prevalence in key cabinet positions like the defense and the State department relentlessly promoting extravagant military operations. It’s important to shed light on the recent setbacks in the foreign policy due to the State department’s indulgence or the lack thereof in many international crises, since the arrival of the new administration.

Afghanistan being the immediate focus, the events thus far signify the continuation of the detrimental U.S. foreign policy notwithstanding the complexity in forging renewed alliance with the beleaguered leader by the administration’s top diplomats and the generals.

Moreover, the U.S. Secretary of State has been instrumental in the controversial nomination surpassing the ego trip of the Bush administration. The Afghan government headed by the U.S. and NATO appointed official, President Hamid Karzai is no stranger to the worldwide criticisms.

The Karzai government’s credibility is eclipsed by the substantial corruption besides the internationally rejected fraudulent election. Never mind the repercussions on the Afghan people, the Western power always knows the best in the handling of the cultures that are inherently alien in every aspect.

Moving towards Pakistan, Prime Minister Gilani has expressed deep concerns over the U.S. decision to increase troops in Afghanistan stating that it would facilitate the influx of militants escaping the U.S. and NATO attacks, inevitably straining Pakistan’s mission against the terror networks. Pakistan’s predicament is valid along the foreign troops’ enormity in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has been urged by the victim nations of the terror attacks to earnestly dismantle and eradicate terror organizations responsible for global terrorism. In this respect, it’s incumbent on Pakistan to display integrity by bringing the Mumbai 26/11 attackers to justice. Amid immense grief, Mumbai remembered the victims on November 26, 2009, the anniversary of the brutal terror act that besieged the commercial center with the perpetrators hiding behind the judicial impunity.

The victims’ family endures life-long pain and agony, which is compounded with the delay in the swift deliverance of justice as seen in the Mumbai terrorism. Pakistan’s deliberation in the open shut case is rather political than judicial when it is conclusive that the terror plot was masterminded in Pakistan.

There is urgency for India’s neighbor to act fervently considering the spate of suicide bombings in Pakistani cities overwhelming the law and order rendering the government incapable of dealing with security matter.

In the Western hemisphere – The Honduran military coup convincingly launched by the promoters in Washington D.C. in coherence with the national and the Latin American business networks ousted the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya and appointed the military coup leader Roberto Michelleti.

International news media reported that following the scandal exposure, Roberto Michelleti decided to step down and agreed to allow the deposed President Zelaya resume office until the end of the constitutional term.

However, in a sudden twist to the political showdown, the mysterious interference by the powerful disrupted the democratic process that has not only weakened the United States status in Latin America but also expected to split the Honduran population in the national elections scheduled today under heavy army vigilance to assist the conservative candidate succeed in the undemocratic poll.

Honduras has seven out of ten people living in abject poverty and surely, the political sabotage might serve the powerhouse interest at the expense of the Hondurans plight, the maneuver still fail to achieve the recognition they desire.

This is one of the many events where the power politics raised its ugly head to rein in progress under democracy. The conspirators behind the political instability in Honduras are no different from the elements constantly engaged in toppling governments for radical reasons. History is testimony that democracy is resilient and will ultimately prevail irrespective of external intrusion whether it is Honduras, Afghanistan, Palestine or Tibet.

The topic World Peace is intended to cover other regions on a wide range of issues. Hence, the sequel with comprehensive details will follow in the due course of time.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


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