Syrian protester during the first 2011 uprising. The desperate plaintive cry, those beautiful eyes – seeking only justice, peace, space – stuff that the UN tells us is every human’s birthright. (Photo courtesy: The Guardian)
In the Harrison Ford movie Blade Runner, humanoid slave robots called ‘replicants’ are being built by this huge corporation, to be sent to distant worlds to work in the company’s mines there. The replicants have all the mental faculties necessary and tremendous physical strength, but they have one built-in fail safe system which ensures that they cannot rise up in revolt against their human masters – they have a lifespan of only four years, after which time they just slump over, lifeless.
The Harrison Ford character is a cop who is given the task of tracking down and killing a group of six replicants who have inexplicably developed emotions and the desire to live on, beyond the programmed four years. They have gone rogue and escaped from one of the corporation’s ‘offworld’ mining colonies, commandeered a space ship and made it back to earth, their desperate goal – to meet their designer and have their life spans reset from four years to forever. Time is running out for them, as the replicants are nearing the end of their four-year lives. Naturally, they are desperate and will kill anyone who stands in their way.
If you haven’t seen the movie, it is eminently watchable, take it from me. You know I have good taste, don’t you? Watch it, if only to gawk at the sheer beauty of one of the characters, a female replicant named Rachel (played by the ravishingly beautiful Sean Young). There is a twist in the end that I won’t let out, just in case you decide to watch the movie. I am a sport.
In many ways, we too are like those replicants in Blade Runner – transients, who believe that we are here for a purpose, thanks to real emotions that have deliberately been built into us by God, as a part of some bizarre cosmic gag.
There are many Gods in the heavens, of whom the God of Abraham lords over 4/5ths of mankind and he has built into his believers a self-destruct switch which is locked in auto mode. History bears this out – of the past 11000 years since the first organized human settlements emerged, the Abrahamics have co-existed in peace for only around 300 years. During the rest of the 10700 years, they have burnt, pillaged, tortured, drawn, quartered, guillotined, beheaded, raped, enslaved and waterboarded their way to where they are today.
But wait, maybe I can actually figure it all out. Perhaps our God is very young, maybe even an infant, but definitely male. He is experimenting – just the way a toddler will regard his penis in his bathtub with curiosity, let out a puzzled ‘yabba dabba doo’ and try to stretch the foreskin, pulling it this way and that playfully.
If you think I have gone nuts, look at Syria. Wasn’t Syria inevitable? In every way possible, it was a disaster waiting to happen. From the beginning, everything about Syria was wrong – a Shiite minority ruling a Sunni majority, using its power to brutally suppress, it’s ruling class amassing huge fortunes while the common folk ran around half-naked in the dust-bowl of the desert. If you think Bashar Assad is scary, you didn’t see his dad, Hafez, whose cold blue Aryan eyes seethed with hate – at the Israelis for twice kicking Syrian butt in the 60s. Syria, with no appreciable natural resources, has been reduced to holding a begging bowl in front of the Russians.
Then there’s John Kerry – poor old John Kerry with his pawam poochee(1) face – who at times resembles a mix between a doleful cocker spaniel and a tired basset hound with rheumy eyes and a droopy face – left there virtually on his own, breathlessly zipping around, trying to build ‘coalitions’ and getting nowhere. 840,000 kms to 51 countries in 239 days, in an ageing Boeing 757 that breaks down at every stopover and costs $9500 per hour to operate even when parked, aside from the cost of aides, staff and pilots.
John Kerry, rushing to a meeting. What? I swear its John Kerry.
Let’s see what Kerry, in his frenzy, has achieved – 250,000 dead Syrians, 9 million refugees who are deluging Europe and pushing the EU toward disintegration, a region of the middle-east that has skies which have begun looking like Times Square in rush hour, just asking for a misunderstanding that will snowball into an accidental air-to-air firefight, with ISIS fighters looking up, enjoying the show, waiting for a downed pilot or two to float down into their rapacious hands, for them to burn alive.
Clearly, Kerry’s diplomacy isn’t working. At heart, Abrahamics aren’t built to make compromises and coexist in peace.
To white conservative America, the President of the United States must always appear to be in complete control, doing something about all the problems in the world. Just about every right-wing kook says Obama should be ‘doing something’. Ask them, ‘do what?’ and they won’t have a clue.
Maybe there really is nothing that can actually be done about Syria. Obama was bold enough to even say so – that the world is full of terrible stuff going down and America can do something about some of them but not all at the same time. America has to pick the battles it wants to fight, he says. Syria is one of those ‘shit happpens’ conflicts that Obama is now convinced that the US probably cannot do anything to settle, without lots of American casualties on the ground. He is absolutely right about that. Even a guy like Donald Trump recognizes this openly.
Besides, Syria is not only brutal conflict-cum-humanitarian disaster that is on right now in the world. Yemen, Libya and Nigeria are aflame and Somalia, South Sudan and Pakistan are on a slow simmer. I haven’t even begun to mention the ones where all this began – Iraq and Afghanistan. All of these are failed states which deliberately pursue a failed cultural and religious ideology that in some cases borders on barbarism. Those crises rarely make the front pages anymore these days but they are no less horrendous. No one is beating up on the Obama White House for those.
Maybe the Syrian solution is staring us in the face – a break up into smaller states along ethnic and cultural lines. This could be a combined, Syrian-Iraqi-Yemeni solution. The Balkans worked – Yugoslavia broke up and the resulting states are getting along (or at least learning to). Even the India-Pakistan split has worked, if you ask me. I simply cannot visualize the alternative – five hundred million Muslims living side by side with five hundred million Hindus in one nation. There is credible evidence that to coexist in peace, the Muslim population of any nation has got to be either ≥80% or ≤20%. India is just about scraping the threshold, skirting calamity, at 15%.
As a matter of fact, I foresee the 21st century as the century of fractures and splits. Why, if America continues to polarize at the current speed, then within the next two decades – by which time half of America is expected to constitute Latinos, Asians, blacks and other persons of color, who knows, maybe even the world’s ‘greatest’ nation could also be ripe for a break-up.
Ps: (1)Pawam poochee, in Tamil, means ‘poor dear’