7/15/2013

Reflections Upon Our World

The Third Quarter of "Outsiders" has begun.    Welcome to all!!

I begin this with an admonition from Frank Chimero:

Writing is chasing a question—
an inquiry of the mind. Forward is better than 
every direction at once. It’s not really writing 
until you feel something; until you choke up 
at a thought, until you start fidgeting in your seat 
in excitement, until you feel the twinge of pain 
that happens when a thorn is pulled out of your side. 
Go back. Delete everything before you started 
fedgeting or crying of deflating like a balloon. 
Then, write some more. Go write. 

- Frank Chimero

I begin this admonition because I have wondered about the obligation and the responsiblity I have had in this "labor of love" that I have undertaken.  I have been ever more grateful for the opportunity to reflect upon our World as the 3rd Quarter of 2013 begins here in "Outsiders".  The question I continue to chase in my writings here and other sites is for one purpose:  to assess our World and to see whether through this deliberative process a different way can be developed.

I would note that such has been tried before.  "No Labels" and "Third Way" in the United States are two such organizations that have been sprung up in order to think about a different way at least in domestic US Politics.   Although "No Labels" has gained some traction, it has fallen off the radar screen unless someone like me who happens to be focused on such issues assesses the issues and reflects upon it.  

As I reflected upon our World and the roadmap for "outsiders", I was moved by that courageous  daughter of the World, Molana, who  was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan and spoke on her day at [LINK=https://secure.aworldatschool.org/page/content/the-text-of-malala-yousafzais-speech-at-the-united-nations/]the UN Youth Conference[/LINK] in New York.    I yearn for the day that all of us learn from this courageous little girl who had the foresight and the backbone to speak up for the rights of Girls everywhere to be educated and for a better life.    She invoked Gandhi, the Prophet Mohammad and Muhammad Ali Jinnah in her admonition to us all to love:



This is as we have been witness, yet again, to a state of affairs this weeks that is as disheartening as ever.    Iraq is on the brink of implosion due to continued ethnic strife.   The reports of daily bombings throughout Iraq has been horrific.  I can't understand why on the holy month of Ramadan such horror continues.     Syria's war also continues during the Holy Month of Ramadan as well with no end at all in sight.   The Economist of London reflected upon how the map of the Middle East may well be permanently redrawn as a result of the implosion in Syria, the Cantonization in what was known as Syria and the fissures throughout the Arab World.   As I also went dark, I was also witness to the coup in Egypt that has seen a change in Government and persecution against the Islamists in the Country.     The Military Chief and defacto leader of the Country, General Sisi, has noted that no one will be excluded.   Yet, the persecution and arrests are continuing with no apparent end in sight.   The new Government can sit pretty for a while with the 8 Billion Dollar lifeline arranged by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates--those two beacons of Democracy.

The latest from Iran, though, is quite fascinating.   It is about to have a new President.   I am one of those who is hopeful that the new President, Dr. Rohani, will be able to move things along in a major way.   A recent speech begfore the Majlis underscored the level of hard truths he has already said.   He has noted how the Economic Malaise facing Iran is far worst that imagined.   He had noted, for instance, that the level of inflation is at 42%.  This is as reports of environmental damage continues to abound especially in Northern Iran at Lake Urmeyeh along with  continued social challenges abound in all the reports coming out of the country.   Whether Dr. Rouhani will be Iran's Gorbachev is open to question. But what is absolutely clear is that he's made a very strong beginning to at least change the conversation inside the Country.  Whether that translates to a sense of change remains to be seen.    The Israeli Prime Minister, though, again beat the drumbeats of war as he went on one of the US Sunday Talk shows to note that he would take it upon himself to strike against Iran.    I have to wonder how he would gain the rights to fly over Jordan and Iraq is another issue.    I have to wonder why this push towards War is again so prevalent.   What I only could surmize is that The Israeli Prime Minister has this aim to deflect attention from his profound domestic challenges as he deals with staggering economic difficulties that is to an extent the result of his aggressive pursuit of his "Fortress Israel" policy despite the near blanket support of the United States.

I have also been keeping a close eye on Africa.   I have had a long interest in Zimbabwe and have commented extensively on Mugabe's disastrous reign over Zimbabwe.    He is again running for elections and the elections is slated in two weeks.    As I write this, members of the military and security services in the Country have voted as the country continues to be polarized.  Supposedly, there has been some "uptick" in activity.  But this uptick, it seems, may be temporary.    This is as South Africa gears up for an election in 2014 that that would see Jacob Zuma return as South African's President even though the Country is faced with a profound set of challenges that may well result in a revolt by the Youth.   The Rev. Frank Chikane warned of this when he spoke with Al Jazeera not too long ago:




As I conclude, I wanted to note that the recent figures coming out of China shows an economic slowdown that is worrisome.   Although Chinese State Television and Chinese Government spokesmen tried to put a positive spin on it, the slowdown is real which presents challenges for the viability of the World Economy right now.   Although a 7.6% growth rate is a dream for many parts of the World, for China it is not enough to sustain support 1.3 Billion People.  This is as Europe is mired in recession, the US is in a period of anemic Growth and Asia has its' share of challenges.  

What would happen to our World?  How would we deal with profound changes before us?  These are some of the very questions that warrant further reflection that is critical for the long-term.    Future generations deserve no less.

Onward to the New Quarter.....

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