The unrelenting massacre of children and unarmed civilians in Gaza, and the failure of so many powerful people, of so many powerful and not-so-powerful countries comprising the United Nations, to stop it, makes one convinced that the end is nigh. But beyond the impending end of this barbaric world order that is clearly written on the wall, silhouettes of a new and better world are gaining definition on the horizon.

I must admit that the spiritually debilitating images of children killed and injured in Gaza, and the feeling of helplessness one experiences when they keep pouring in, day after day, is hard to deal with. It is one more, and perhaps the ugliest, episode of violence that is perpetrated by the empire on hapless unarmed populations in near and distant corners of the world, as a routine and as a deliberate part of its heavily-funded geo-strategic death-games. The empire’s hands are dripping with blood in broad daylight.

Of course the powerful tools of the empire running governments in powerful and some not-so-powerful countries don’t wish to see it. It is hardly a surprise to hear one leader of the so-called civilized world after another talk about Israel’s right to defend itself and, at best, calling for restraint from both sides as if it was a war. The joke called the UN or other meaningless groupings like the OIC or Arab League, sit on the sidelines as Israel sheds innocent blood in their midst. Our leaders in Pakistan fit the bunch.

It’s not about sending our military to defend the people in Gaza or bringing people out on the street in their support. As it is, our soldiers have much on their hands and impressive protest marches are taking place where they could actually make a difference, in capitals of the empire. But surely the leading lights of our political leadership could have done better than standing with the empire and its proxies with shameless grins at this sorry hour in human history.

The Prime Minister is off on a ten day Umra to the holy land, sitting in gilded chairs with its unholy royalty whose secret cooperation with Israel in the Middle East makes its well-known nexus with the US seem harmless. Asif Zardari is seen warming up to Joe Biden in Washington DC. We hear our foreign policy advisor Tariq Fatemi begging for the continuation of the Coalition Support Fund from the US. Of course, they do not forget to mouth meaningless rhetoric in support of the people of Gaza.

Imran Khan has been more vocal against Israeli atrocities, but he refuses to connect the dots that a five-year old could join in less than a minute. His criticism hangs in the air and he’d rather not see the context in which the nightmare in Gaza is unfolding. At a time when the intricate machinations of the empire are laid bare for all to see, this piecemeal rejection is a bad joke. In effect, what you’re saying is that you are disgusted by one particular episode but you don’t really mind the long-running series.

Can we separate what’s happening in Gaza from worldwide imperial aggression? Does it have nothing to do with what’s happening in Syria, Libya or Iraq? Are those lording over the genocide of Palestinians not involved in funding, arming and training mercenary terrorists to foment violent sectarian wars in peaceful societies? Is there no connection to the masked fascist militants who facilitated a coup against Ukraine’s elected government and are now killing members of the Russian-speaking minority without a peep out of the global champions of humanitarian intervention?

Could the empire be so powerful without the unquestioned obedience to the worthless dollar and the exploitative architecture of international finance built around it? Could it throw its weight around without the IMF, its equally ugly sisters and their army of well-funded offspring pushing their business of ‘development’ down our throats? Aren’t avaricious unethical corporate mafias, the enterprise of humanitarian and military assistance and brigades of NGOs swearing by neo-liberal bibles all in it together?

Rather than adjusting to the imposing new realities of the emergent multi-polar multi-cultural world, the empire seems to be screaming to retain its unilateral domination like a class monitor who cannot control the class. Obviously, it is not working. Russia is in no mood to be bullied. China is not amused. Iran and Cuba continue to resist the empire. Countries of South America are waking up as are large chunks of people in the heart of the empire. Developments around the globe tell us that the tide is turning. So why are our leaders so clueless?

Impassioned appeals to open doors for assorted tools of the empire that come in the garb of humanitarian assistance to the IDPs can be heard not only from former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani but also Imran Khan, the champion of self-reliance. Nobody is willing to point out the nakedness of the emperor. Nobody wishes to rock the boat too hard. Is it because they’ve been weaned by the empire to perform as puppets? Is it because their bread is buttered on the same side as those who run the empire? Is it a lack of sense or sincerity, vision or imagination, courage or faith? Don’t they hear the footsteps of a better new world approaching?

To bring an early end to the most recent doomsday visited upon the besieged people of Gaza, and an end to the brutal reign of the Dollar-god Empire which lords over such atrocities, I’d like to think that I do my bit. I think about how I could do more. Still, I must confess that the recent events have shaken me up and made me unsure about what my bit should be. So, these days, amidst tears and hope, I pray to God for guidance and an early end to the tyranny roaming our world. After all, in the spiritual month of Ramzaan, that’s the best thing one could do.

 The writer is a freelance columnist.

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