SURVIVAL IN A LEADERLESS AND                 DEFENSELESS WORLD                                                            ...
This has fueled the tensions that have lasted for months between the two countries. Both Chinaand Japan have repeatedly av...
Europe for more than two centuries has been the most influential global economic and politicalpower. Although since the en...
Besides, America has entered into a most tumultuous time of domestic political division afterVietnam War. In a period of s...
We are missing leaders, but band of politicos have emerged who could enjoy the glamour of theirpositions, seek and ensure ...
mentioned earlier not a powerful China but a small, weak, and poor country – North Korea has beenissuing threats to United...
According to NBC News Nobel officials admitted that they made their stunning pick to build“momentum behind Obamas initiati...
In any part of the world, whoever is doing good things - are our leaders. They are doing our jobs.Therefore, they must be ...
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SURVIVAL IN A LEADERLESS AND DEFENSELESS WORLD

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My article published in Eurasia Review yesterday (March 9, 2013) has thrown some lights on how we are suffering in the world that is both leaderless and defenseless. It also gives some evidences and few suggestions that can help us to manage with.

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SURVIVAL IN A LEADERLESS AND DEFENSELESS WORLD

  1. 1. SURVIVAL IN A LEADERLESS AND DEFENSELESS WORLD Keshav Prasad BhattaraiLet us make a fleeting look at some of the pressing global challenges of our time.According to a United Nations report, about five percent of total Syrian population – that becomesat least one million, has fled the country and only since last January, numbers of such people arearound 4000,000. In its two years long conflict, more than 70,000 people have been killed. In arecent report, UNICEF says that because of the conflict, Syrian educational system has collapsed.One fifth of the schools are damaged from fighting, while others are being used as shelters forcivilians who have been displaced by the conflict. Numbers of internally displaced people havecrossed 2 million. About 2 million people are estimated to be internally displaced.Colin H. Kahl, Melissa G. Dalton, and Matthew Irvine in a study conducted for Center for a NewAmerican Security (CNAS), has presumed that Saudi Arabia would respond to Iran’s acquisition ofnuclear weapons by developing its own bomb or illicitly receiving it from its close ally Pakistan. Amarriage between Saudi money and Pakistani nuclear weapon program would create a disturbingglobal geo-political situation involving major nuclear weapon countries like USA, Russia, China, andinevitably India- Pakistan’s immediate rival. If a small-scale nuclear war erupts between India andPakistan, even by mistake, experts say it would be the end of human civilization.In its response to Iranian nuclear program, Israel has issued repeated claim that it would attackagainst Iranian nuclear facility, if the world community fails to restrain Iran. Given that Israel,Iran, and Saudi Arabia have nuclear weapons then it would be impossible to stop Egypt, Libya, andTurkey to own these weapons.Seldom in history was there a small and weak country like North Korea that has been issuingcontinued threats to a most powerful country - United States of America and has warned that itwould hit the world’s lone super power with its nuclear weapon.Despite a new U.S., led push for stricter UN sponsored sanctions against its third nucleartest; followed by a new U.S. – South Korea military drill beginning from the beginning ofMarch, North Korea yesterday, formally announced the annulment of the 1953 cease-firethat ended the Korean War (1950-53) and withdrew from all the non-aggression pacts with theSouth.Responding to North’s threat, a South Korean army General Kim Yong-hyun said that "If NorthKorea conducts any provocations that threaten the life and safety of South Koreans then it shouldbe clear there will be strong and decisive punishment not only against the source of the aggressionand its support forces, but also the commanding element".On the other hand, the world’s second and third largest economy – China and Japan have engaged ina fresh round of diatribe over movements of their warships near a disputed group of tiny isletsknown as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.
  2. 2. This has fueled the tensions that have lasted for months between the two countries. Both Chinaand Japan have repeatedly avowed to protect the territorial integrity. In addition it has beenreported that both the countries have dispatched their warships with guided missiles destroyer andthey are located at a distance of their eye sights. If the situation goes more tensed and dangerous,United States, by a treaty with Japan, is bound to join the fray that any time may turn into a globalconflict. However, it is assumed that neither of them wants tensions in their relation that canescalate into a war.Giving reference to the report of World Economic Forum Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich havestated that more than “870 million people are now hungry, and more are at risk from climate eventsand price spikes”. They have further, stated that by 2050 we will have other 2.5 billion populationsthat would make some 9.5 billion. When at current situation, we have not been able to feed 870million people and millions annually die of malnutrition, it would not be an easy task to feed theother 35 percent increase. More population means more food, more water, and more land forfarming. In addition, farming as a “major emitter of greenhouse gases, accelerates climate change”.This in consequence, would cause groundwater over pumping, seawater seeping and land salinity.This will have forced us to live with soil deterioration, reduced food supply, loss of ecologicalbalance and ever-rising global toxicity.On Mar 2, 2013, Reuters reported that Al Qaeda’s most active branch in the Arabian Peninsula -AQAP, has released an English-language magazine with instructions for would-be militants on how totorch parked cars and cause traffic accidents.The magazine has also warned France to withdraw from Mali and has listed 11 public figures in theWest, including author Salman Rushdie, Dutch politician Geert Wilders, Canadian-Somalian activistAyaan Hirsi Ali, and U.S. pastor Terry Jones. It is feared that Al Qaeda based in Yemen – the mostimpoverished and lawless country in the Middle East that also a tri-juncture of three continents-Asia, Europe and Africa, can pose far greater threat to the global peace and order than fromAfghanistanWhenever and wherever there is poverty- there is crime, violence and war. Wherever there isignorance – there is exploitation, domination, and deprivation. When people fail to elect goodleaders, demand good policies, and create good and well functional institutions to represent them –they have to live with all those vices, as if they are born with them.It is simple with bad leaders, bad policies, bad institutions, and bad voters – we have bad time forus. Similar is the case with bad neighbors, bad powers, and bad weapons.CRISIS IN THE LAND OF GREAT DREAM AND DEMOCRACY: UNITED STATESAND EUROPEThe global financial crisis that began in 2008 has given ways to greater political crisis involvingEurope - the world’s most powerful economic and political union – European Union.
  3. 3. Europe for more than two centuries has been the most influential global economic and politicalpower. Although since the end of Second World War, its military influence has diminished largely,its economic and political credence has been much bigger and stronger only next to United States.After the meteoric rise of China and the financial crisis that began in 2008, Europe has lost biggerpart of its global influence. The crisis has not been limited to its global posture it has created deepdivisions among its member countries as well.German President Joachim Gauck, speaking on the prospects for the European idea on February 22,acknowledged that the largest and most powerful democratic grouping of the world has been leavingtoo many people a feeling of powerlessness and voicelessness.According to President Gauck, crisis of confidence among members is not limited to its economicdimension. Growing inequality among member states is generating sense of unmistakable anger, andeven increasing the risk of national humiliation, the president of the largest economy of Europe andfourth of the world, bluntly admitted. Understandably, Europe as a political project initially envisioned by the great French Economist anddiplomat - Jean Monnet in 1950, is demonstrating not a mere economic crisis but much riskier crisisof confidence among them.Nobel laureate and one of the world’s most renowned economists Joseph E. Stiglitz has recentlywritten a provocative article in Project Syndicate. Stating the unresolved fundamentalcontradictions in Euro Zone countries and perilous political divisions among them, Stiglitz presentsa sordid picture that reflects, “A deep lack of solidarity”. According to him, a senior mostgovernment official of a northern European country “did not even put down his fork wheninterrupted by an earnest dinner companion who pointed out that many Spaniards now eat out ofgarbage cans”. The cool response the Northern official made was that they “should have reformedearlier”, and “continued to eat his steak” On the other hand, the world’s single most powerful economic, military, and political power – UnitedStates has exposed an unprecedented political division within it. At a time of great politicalupheaval and economic crisis, its political leaders have been playing kind of blame game that iscommon in emerging democracies. This has not only affected its global stature but also its abilityto lead the world’s democratic practices and economic freedom of people that has emancipatedmillions of people from poverty and deprivation.A testimony submitted before the House Armed Service Committee of the US Congress disclosesthat if the burgeoning economic crisis continues and the “defense budget is held constant in realterms and personnel costs continue to rise at the same rate as the last decade, the entire defensebudget will be consumed by personnel accounts before the year 2040”.It has quoted a retired Major General Arnold Punaro who has said that “We’re on the path in theDepartment of Defense to turn it into a benefits company that may occasionally kill a terrorist.”The much-debated US defense budget sequestration borne out of its economic crisis will havedecisive impact upon its critical defense commitments appended by its several bilateral andmultilateral alliances worldwide.
  4. 4. Besides, America has entered into a most tumultuous time of domestic political division afterVietnam War. In a period of seemingly unending international turmoil, Americans are fightingagainst the very reason that has been their identity since their birth as a nation.Indubitably, a weakened Europe and a debilitated United States will have a defining impact upon aglobal order that has created the longest period of peace, stability, and mountains of prosperity –much more than human society accumulated in all the previous period combined.It is plainly simple and clear. If America has problem, Europe has problem if Japan, China, India,Nepal, Afghanistan, or Somalia have problems unmistakably the problems comes with their leaders,with their policies and with their institutions. Unfortunately, with many countries, it also comeswith bad neighbors and bad powers.A LEADERLESS AND DEFENSELESS WORLD We had both very good times and very bad times in past. When we had leaders with goodknowledge and good intentions, we had good times and some other times it was opposite. Wecreated institutions to make them good, offer them good advices, and work with good intentions.Again, people themselves took powers to elect good leaders, create good institutions, and makethem accountable.With our times now, perhaps we have failed to our job – from leaders to common people. Perhaps,never in human history was the world so leaderless and hence defenseless.We have amassed unlimited power, gained infinite prosperity and have acquired the largest stock ofmost dreaded weapons system in our arsenals. Most importantly, we have accumulated enormousamount of advanced knowledge and skills that can transform the world into a safe and pleasantplace for all. We have everything with us that we need to make our life better and give betterfuture to our posterity. But, most unfortunately, we do have no leaders to lead us for that.Thus, obviously, most of the countries, communities and the world as well, have exhibited that theyhave no leaders and hence all the great promises and possibilities that the 21st Century hasunfolded to the whole humanity, seems failing to us. The unbound opportunities that the lastdecade of 20th Century had unfurled upon us have fallen short with the first decade of Twentyfirst Century.More terrible is the absence of credible and competent leaders to institute a global order bindingto all. In addition, people in both developed and developing countries are forced to live in a periodof great uncertainty and insecurity. For huge majority, the time to come may turn into a periodcharacterized by chaos and anarchy. In short, the World has failed to live with hope andexpectations of millions of people as they have no leaders to help them realize that there are someone whom they can trust for their future. The country and communities have miserably beenunsuccessful to find leaders to lead the hope, aspirations, and strengths of their people but theirweaknesses.
  5. 5. We are missing leaders, but band of politicos have emerged who could enjoy the glamour of theirpositions, seek and ensure their benefits from it and run politics as the most profiteeringprofession. Lead people towards a global common good by means of politics have become a bygonestory. In result, the massive stock of knowledge, technical knowhow and unparallel reserve of humanenergy and natural resources have found no attendants.The world somehow could manage to live with World Wars and Cold War because there wasleadership. The disintegration of Soviet Union was handled aptly and wisely in some way, becausethere was leadership. Our leadership in politics, economics, and in science and technology made uslearn that poverty - the most tragic situation that existed for centuries can be eliminated. And,over some 600 million people were freed from poverty within a period of just 30 years – the singlegreatest human achievement since the beginning of history. Later when we discovered that most ofthe diseases and health problem that we were living and are living with are our own creations, so canbe ended - gave us a new hope and confidence. The greatest learning we achieved in the last fewyears was that nothing others than the ignorance of the people and absence of honest and visionaryleaders are the only source of poverty, diseases, violence, natural imbalances, social insecurity, andpolitical instability. This gave us new power and we created Arab Spring.Nevertheless, time has become more chilling and challenging. Indubitably, with goodleaders times can become more promising. However, the single misfortune we are livingwith is that even at global level we are living without credible leaderships that can inspirethe global citizens cope with the challenges and gain ability to subsist with the time thatwas never so gifted.This has left us – mainly our young generation succumb to the utter frustration anddespair. This, in the words of U.S. president Barrack Obama “can rot a society fromwithin.” When a society decays this way, ultimately it turns out to be a breeding groundfor criminality, violence, and terrorism in a cyclic order.LEADERSHIP PROMOTION, MOTIVATION, AND NOBEL PRIZE FOR PEACE 2009AND 2012The world is leaderless and therefore is defense less. Internal political mismanagement and crisisof confidence within the border and across it have posed greatest challenges to national security ofmany countries --from most powerful to weakest ones. A weak, poor, and isolated country fromNorth Korea to Islamic radical groups anywhere in the world and a computer - hacker from a slumarea or a huge military complex in any part can pose tremendous challenge to American, Chinese,Indian or European security.A weak America is not an answer. In a globalized world neither a weakened and submissive China,India, Russia can provide better security to United States. NATO and the Americans did not fighttheir wars with Soviet Union or China but they have been fighting their wars in Afghanistan – oneof the weakest and poorest countries of the world. France, Britain, and United States fought theirwar in Libya. Recently, France fought another war in Mali - a failing African country. It has been
  6. 6. mentioned earlier not a powerful China but a small, weak, and poor country – North Korea has beenissuing threats to United States.Problems lie with the crisis of leadership. Enhancing the quality of leadership, building theircredibility, and strengthening their capacity and confidence to confront the problems of our time,is perhaps the greatest challenge of present day world order.Surprisingly, crisis of leadership and their credibility gap is not limited to some smaller developingcountries. It is equally challenging to great powers like United States, Russia, China, and India. Aninspired and highly confident leader in these countries can change the course of global history andcan make bold attempts to face the major challenges we are living with. The Norwegian Nobel Committee within some of its limitation has been doing splendid job ininspiring and encouraging promising leaders both in developing and developed countries. Its decisionto award Nobel Peace Prize to U.S. President Barrack Obama (2009) and European Union (2012)might have “devalued” its recognition to some extent but by other count, it was remarkable one.Undoubtedly, Nobel Committee has a mission and to find the world’s most powerful person to serveits global mission of peace and development and encourage him to keep on, is itself a great thing.Nobel Committee did not want to miss this opportunity and announced it in favor of PresidentObama.A prize that was being awarded for some lifetime achievements of some legendary figures, a prizethat even missed the great person like Mahatma Gandhi, a prize that parallels to none in its dignityand eminence, was formally announced to be awarded to Barrack Obama only after eight months inoffice. More surprisingly, he was chosen for the greatest award of the Earth just 12 days aftertaking office. As the news reached to White House, it was something like bolt from a blue and thePresident checked if it was April 1.Including the iconic Polish leader Lech Walesa, who won the same prize in 1983, many claimed itwas “too early” and “premature” decision. In response, Nobel Committee Chairman ThorbjoernJagland said that it could be too late if they respond “three years from now”. It meant a lot. TheNobel Committee said President Obama deserved it for his extraordinary efforts to strengtheninternational diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. Obama’s vocal commitment for a worldwithout nuclear weapons was specially noted. Moreover, it said Obama as President has “created anew climate in international politics”. “Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position” anddialogues and negotiations are “preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficultinternational conflicts”.It further elaborated Obama’s vision of a “world free from nuclear arms” - powerful stimulation todisarmament and arms control negotiations and stronger commitment to meet “the great climaticchallenges the world is confronting” including strengthening democracy and human rights. While establishing further justification for the Noble Committee’s decision, Jagland explainedthat Obama was awarded not for any tangible achievement but he succeeded in bringing the greatchange in the perception of world community vis-à-vis United States and its implications worldwide.
  7. 7. According to NBC News Nobel officials admitted that they made their stunning pick to build“momentum behind Obamas initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim worldand stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism”.In short the Nobel Committee wanted Obama ensure speedy force withdrawal from Iraq andAfghanistan, work hard mainly for nuclear disarmament, strongly committal to fight climate change,refrain from military intervention especially in an Iraq like situation and find some way out to calmdown the resentment of Muslim community against America and West. They wanted to inspireObama move fast and build his confidence and credibility as a global leader, so had it reached inthis decision in an unusual way.. . . . AND A BETTER WORLD WITH BETTER LEADERS IS EVERYONE’SINDIVIDUAL PROJECTSimilar to its Obama mission, Norwegian Nobel Committee with its strong message tried to boostthe morale of European Community as a single largest political and economic union while sufferingfrom its worst days since it was established.Nobel Committee Chairman quoted Jean Monet who had said that nothing can be achieved withouthuman beings but nothing becomes permanent without institutions and stressed the role of EU as aninstitution in transforming a continent of many century long wars to a continent of long peace andamity.Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, and Jose Manuel Barroso, president of theEuropean Commission, in a joint statement said the prize as the strongest possible recognition ofthe deep political motives behind the EU to shape the continent as a zone of peace and prosperity.To make this world better for all is not some other’s responsibility. Neither is it the job of someUN agencies, other INGOs, governments’ or leaders’. It is everyone’s project. Not a single personcan shrink or flee from it.Many people and organizations are doing right things around us. They need our support – at leastsome recognition from us. Few words of honest admiration may give them tremendousencouragement. If we discuss about their work and commend them, they and the society where theywork become an inspired community to do more and meaningful. Perhaps it was the best logic behindNorwegian Committee’s decision to award Nobel Prize to Obama and EU.There are people and organizations that are doing bad things and spoiling our society and wholeworld. They need to be condemned and opposed, if not they will be doing more harm to our family,society, the humanity and us. If they are tolerated, they will do more bad and instead willdiscourage and try to eliminate those doing good for us.For those who are doing good need help, support and encouragement. Without this, they cannotsurvive. But when it is the case of bad people and bad things if we just sit idle, say nothing andtolerate them, they will grow more, expand and gobble up everything that is good around us.
  8. 8. In any part of the world, whoever is doing good things - are our leaders. They are doing our jobs.Therefore, they must be supported, helped, and honored at least with few words. That is thebeginning of our journey for a better world – where we all can be assured of our defense and well-being. This will help us find good leaders from local to global level and serve our purposesubstantively. Obviously, that person who cannot do this does not deserve to demand a good thing, fair treatmentfine society for him, his family, and community. Terribly, by doing this s/he ignores the basics ofsurvival in a most difficult time. kpbnepal@gmail.com Eurasia Review March 9, 2013 www.eurasiareview.com/author/keshav-prasad-bhattarai/

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