After a fortnight of horrible news out of Gaza and Israel, with too many lives lost and too much blood, in order to blow up underground tunnels built to sabotage both the people and the state of Israel, with material designated for humanitarian purposes in Gaza, it was David Fitzgerald, writing in The New York Times, republished in The Globe and Mail, this morning that removed the scowl from my brow and replaced it with a glimmer of hope.
Essentially, Fitzgerald reported that Egypt under new president Sisi, along with Qatar and Jordan have adopted the position, at least in the background, of not coming to the defence of Hamas in the current war with Israel, preferring Netanyahu and Israel to Iran under the Ayatollah. This is a very significant development, given the potential for increased violence under the auspices and the design and the support of Iran, both for Hamas and for Hezbollah. Perhaps, just perhaps, voices of moderation from within the Islamic world have begun to accept responsibility for taming the loose political super-bug, whose tentacles reach into every continent and every country on the planet, under the guise of an all-out Islamic jihad of extremism of terror and of the vision of imposing a radical Islamic caliphate whenever and wherever they can. And for this super-bug, the most effective antidote is located deeply within the Islamic community itself. And that antidote is and can only be the moderate voices with in Islam.
Bringing together the voices of Egypt, Qatar, and Jordan, potentially along with Turkey a country which has made an attempt to separate religion from state politics, while remaining a Muslim country, we can hope, might have the potential to bring other voices like Saudi Arabia to their national state "senses" and resist, repress and even foreclose on continuing unofficial support for the Sunni terrorists.
If Iran is now embroiled in an internecine war within the Islamic community, along with terrorist forces like Hamas and Hezbollah, and those forces have commandeered large sections of both Iraq and Syria, who knows what their short, medium and long-term picture is of their goals for their religious ideology or their religious brand. And who knows, also, how seriously this threat is viewed among other Islamic countries, both long established and long respected within the world community, like Jordan for example, and how much energy, funding and political will those countries are willing and able to spend in invoking the wrath of their Islamic brothers in other countries who sympathize with the Hamas/Hezbollah/Iranian faction?
A seismic, tectonic shift, like those that generate tidal waves and tsunamis from under the oceans, is occurring right on the front pages, within the Islamic world, which now obviously includes the whole world, in some manner or other. There are no oceanic studies to equip contemporary political leaders in their estimate of the potential damage this tidal wave can and will do. There are no historic records, unless we go back to the days of Alexander the Great, or perhaps Stalin, or Napoleon in search of models of political turbulence that engulfed much of the known geography and the people of the world. We are, in short, flying blind, without a flight plan, without a compass and without a preferred and known destination, as a world community to shift our metaphors from war to global flight.
There will be micro-biologists who study deadly enzymes and the methods of their control who will be called on to intervene in our discussion of how to cope. There will also be radiologists and nuclear medicine specialists who will be asked to bring their perspective on the effective deployment of radioactive energy on tumors in the human body. There will be military and intelligence experts whose scholarship, experience and intuition will be sought. And there will also be profession academics whose background in diplomacy, intense negotiating and bringing conflicts to heel whose brains will be picked for their counsel.
And then there will be the rest of us whose guts are roiling with the winds and the daily reports of what appear to be both climate change of significant proportions and political shifts also of monumental size. And we will be asked, either formally or informally, either publicly or privately, to discern the validity of whatever combat methods and procedures our political leaders select, through our expressions of public opinion, through our treks to our various national polls at election time, and through the increasing use of our bodies as political instruments in protest marches, silent vigils on behalf of the silent and the voiceless and of political and military incursions (like Putin's into Ukraine) that simply appall the sentient human being, and that collectively shout rage at the Kremlin on behalf of the Ukrainian people, whose country is in danger of dismemberment by Putin, for his and Russia's political and psychological aggrandizement.
Turbulence requires, even demands, that we pay attention to those who offer their names for public office, especially in those countries where a modicum of responsible government is established tradition and convention. Turbulence requires a degree of vigilance, from the top of the old sailing mast, using all the current technologies to scan the horizon for signs both of danger and of potential support, so that no important evidence is missed, ignored or dissed by those in power. If ever the democratizing of political activity through technology were important, never has it been more so than today, and the increased need for all citizens of all countries to maintain a vigilance, not only of the local watering holes, the water coolers, the bus shelters and the airports, but also of the skies teeming into a pregnant flood of information, so overwhelming that more and more will the world turn to curators, as well as reporters for some kind of "measured discernment" of the meaning of the flood of individual rain drops of data, long before those drops accumulate into a "ground flood" that engulfs us all, as we "slept".
Turbulence, while requiring citizens who are responsible, and who are vigilant, also requires more sleep, better nourishment and more reflection and rest from the storms that now can no longer be restricted to the office or the kitchen, or the mall, but now extend, in the lives of all of us, to our imprint on the future shape, size and sustainability of both the environmental planet, and the geopolitical planet.
Are we ready for the challenge and the risks of this new and highly experimental ride?