World-Situation-Report Personal Perspectives (WoPP): Your Freedom is not My Freedom: A Cultural Problematic

by ahjotnaija

Freedom is good. Undoubtedly, life is currently best lived in the West, i.e. in the United States (US), Central and Western Europe and many other countries that run on fully-adopted Western democratic values. Practical democracy is a cultural form of freedom. She is not without her limitations. Like every other form of freedom, it is good. A justifiable question to ask is this: Is this cultural product good for all, particularly in the Middle East/North Africa? I shall attend to this question in this piece.

As a quick preamble to thoughts on the practicability of democracy in the West and other parts of the world where democracy is largely unwelcome or only a pseudo-form accepted, here is a German saying (in English): The inside is just like the outside, only differently. Considering this wisdom, our ideals of freedom in the West is/can be very subjective.

Here is a fact: The world is divided still into blocs, albeit only thinly talked about and often (implicitly) allured to by world politicians (if they must remind us in their speeches). Else, this thick-wall of separation is invisible, but strongly visible to an astute observer. So also are the ideals of freedom; freedom is BLOC-ed à la your freedom is not necessarily my ideal freedom!

This confirms that we see this inevitable human commodity differently. (Cultural) Freedom to China is apparently not the measurement of (cultural) freedom in Russia and the Eurasian hemisphere. The Western ideals of freedom are certainly a strange phenomenon to/in Saudi Arabia. The African view of freedom is only one of the world’s many perceptions of freedom.

Residents in the West have oftentimes overlooked/brushed aside this salient truth, (un-)willingly. Thus, the forceful desire to force down the throat of all world inhabitants this mainly Western ideal of freedom. When zeroed-in on the Middle East/North Africa, this forceful imposition uncovers the ignorance of the West.

The media hardly helps to abate this ignorance. I have since observed the media consciously feed the desired imaginations of Western residents à la our-BLOC-is-humane-and-thus-the-ideal! This thinking is one-sided and an illusion.

Lets move to Russia. The Western political bigwigs and media finally achieved a goal. Once Mr. Putin is mentioned, a picture of the evil-that-troubles-our-world comes to mind. I doubt if Mr. Putin is the singular problem of today’s world. It is worth mentioning that even the credibility of Russia’s democracy is doubted in the West. Mr. Putin is garbed in the Tsarists robes.

The point is, in the thinking of the West, their cultural freedom, namely democracy, if accepted, must be practiced according to (Western) prescription. Otherwise, it is not valid.

Recently, Dr. Gregor, Member of the Bundestag and a leader of German Leftist Party made a strong statement in the parliament. To sum it up, he had constantly warned that isolating Russia in the name of sanctions and more sanctions is no reasonable approach to tackling anything Russia. Thus, Russia being successfully partly isolated, the West had practically hindered a possible UN resolution on the ISIL crisis even before it broke.

Of course, nobody wished ISIL into existence, but with so much proxy-conflicts partly caused by the West and weaponry supplied by same for the region, ISIL was foreseeable! Absolutely.

On the dynamism of world politics, any country is clearly wrong-advised to isolate Russia. The West partly did that in the series of sanctions imposed. Therefore, there is no gainsaying the fact that the West had conclusively ruled out the possibility of an all-inclusive intervention against the ISIL.

On the announcement of President Obama that an all-inclusive coalition to decimate and eventually defeat ISIL was finally in place, he was clearly talking about the US and their allied partners in NATO. Where is China and Russia? And even IRAN?! Yes, Iran is a strategic partner in this consideration.

Syria may be isolated because she is presently on the wrong course in handling of her internal conflict (external/sectarian-inspired war), but this does/must not rule out the inclusion of the government of the day in Syria, namely Bachar Al-Assad’s government to tackle ISIL! This is a fact. The ability to see (two) different matters dispassionately is a key in world politics. Otherwise, reactions is/can only be irresponsible.

Alongside the US and the United Kingdom, France has also begun airstrikes on ISIL targets. So, France must also shell Iraq to combat ISIL! One can safely conclude that in the opinion of the US-led coalition to battle ISIL, any capable country would do well to help in air-striking or otherwise the ISIL to achieve a defeat of the monster!

Allow me wonder aloud: Since when/how did ISIL come into possession of such powerful weaponry that Iraq must once again be invaded through the air? God help Syria because ISIL finally open a legal gateway for air-striking her territories!

They are doing all in order to help stabilize the region. Democracy is the ultimate goal.

The point is, NATO is not the world! And the world is not only NATO. No doubt, the Middle East is of strategic importance (political and economic) to the US and Europe, but geographically, it is neither Europe nor America! The ideals upon which NATO was founded, namely mutual protection of common interest, self-determination and (cultural) FREEDOM, are worth emulating. (Un-)fortunately, these NATO-ideals are not acceptable world-over.

By the way, one cannot currently respond very positively that NATO still live by her founding creeds. Beyond crude oil and imperial interests, US, UK and France seriously have next to nothing to protect in the Middle East! Sadly enough, Germany is gradually being drawn into these messy interests.

Think of Saddam Hussein and Iraq, Ghadaffi and Libya! These countries were invaded; Iraq was a full-blown war and the coalition air-struck Libya. Summed up, under (sometimes false) pretext by the West to bring about a cultural form of freedom, namely democracy in these countries, all necessary tools must not be spared to achieve this Western ideal in a region clearly cut-out for anything but practical democracy!

So far, Libya is definitely *a million light years* far from being democratic. She is also not peaceful. On uncovering that the Bush/Blair-war in Iraq was inspired by a hoax, the country plunged further and hopelessly into sectarian chaos. No doubt, failure had being pre-programmed. Democracy was/is further out of reach.

Sadam Hussein was definitely not the only person who could unite Iraq. Hanging him via a Western provoked war was neither a credible means to uproot an unwanted dictator. Besides, before Sadam’s overthrow, it was clear that Iraq is not a country mapped-out for practical democracy à la Western thinking. Likewise Libya. In short, many countries of that region would thrive far better with far lesser conflicts or none without the West directly intervening.

Think of Pre- and Post-Mubarak Egypt to understand how the Middle East/North Africa works best. With the successful overthrow of the President Mubarak’s government in Egypt in the Arab Spring, the West seemed to notice their failure shortly upon helping to install President Morsi. Yes, he was popularly voted into office in a presumed free and fair election, but the aftermath of his election was predictable. Egypt threatened to become another crisis-ridden country in that part of the world. Eventually, President Morsi was practically putsch-ed from office and jailed!

I would bet my shirt President/General As-Sisi seized power and consequently imposed himself as winner of a mock-election with the implicit blessing of the West. I swear he would stay longer in power than Mubarak, saving that he offended the West. Egypt would be relatively peaceful. There would be grumblings among dissenting voices, but President As-Sisi would be quick to bribe generously or jail them over to his side. Not that the West would keep her nose out of Egypt, but it would only be implicit.

It boils down to this: Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait among many other (relatively) peaceful countries in the region, function differently. She must not forcefully adopt the cultural freedom of the West (democracy) to survive and stay conflict/war-free. A renewed understanding and different approach to matters of the Middle East is thus an urgent imperative.