Ram, considered to be incarnation of the Divine, did everything that you and I do. He ate, he drank, he slept, he walked, he fought and killed, he romanced and loved and even had sex and had kids. He was as human in actions and deeds as any is. That did not make him divine. Or in other words, he was not divine because he did something other than you and I do. He was divine because of HOW he did what he did! Listen to this beautiful explanation to better appreciate what I really mean.
You may eat like a glutton with things spilling all over with no sensibility or you can eat in a way that you are thankful to this existence and everyone who went into ensuring the food came to your table. The latter is the work of someone who is aligned to the very tune of existence. But, yes, both are eating food.
It is not important WHAT you are doing. What is important is HOW are you doing whatever you are doing! If you cannot engage and manage your stakeholders in a governance process, then the chances are that you will achieve nothing in democracy. And if you do on sheer strength of power by breaking rules and systems, then you are setting the society up for anarchy. Irrespective of the merits and demerits of what the EO on 7 countries ban entailed, how this was executed shows just one thing. US is being set up for anarchy.
One is the ways of the Asuras and one is aligned to Dharmic sensibility. How – is an important question. A very important question that everyone needs to ask before one does anything.
Even if I leave aside the sensitivity and Dharmic argument aside – the How marks the difference between success and failure. At work, you can convey a message like an idiot or do so in a way that doesn’t offend people you want to work with so it ensures success.
If I have different stakeholders in any process, then it is imperative that I take all the stakeholders along and have those whose actions will be critical to the completion of the task provide input during the planning stage itself.
In the last couple of days, many people – foremost amongst them being people who proudly call themselves “Hindu Activists” – have been mindlessly sharing memes and “arguments” of how Bill Clinton or Obama did something that was not any different from what Donald Trump did with the 7 countries ban. Now, there are very few people who will ever argue with national security requirements. Indeed a lot of folks will also agree with the threat that the refugees bring along. We have discussed about that in our last post as well – Trump’s 7 countries ban and Clash of Civilizations. One agrees that things need to be tightened up. But how is an important question.
In a hurry to force through the 7 countries ban, Trump’s White House staff did NOT consult any of the following before the President finalized the Executive Order. These guys came to know about the whole order almost at the last moment (if at all) and had no input or feedback:
- National Security Advisor
- Secretary of State – Rex Tillerson
- Custom and Border Protection (CBP)
- Attorney General
These four people are the most critical links in implementing any order in the area of immigration and national security. The AG is crucial so she can provide inputs on what is legally defendable and what is not.
The order has future long term impacts in many areas. Foremost of those areas is intelligence and national security. Intelligence is not a Black and White issue. It is a serious art that requires working with many human assets who work for different motivations. It is NOT possible for any country to have its own people on the ground everywhere. For US, it is certainly not possible to have its own folks in Middle East. So many human assets are created who do work and in the end get an opportunity to leave that place because either their cover is blown or situation has become too difficult for their family. Such human assets strike a deal with the government and intelligence agencies so they can be rehabilitated for taking on tasks which are threatening to their lives and that of their family members. To renege on any of such deals or create situations which will close such avenues for people who are ready to align with the US despite threat to life would mean that all such leads will go cold. People will think many times before taking up any such assignments for the US. No human intelligence on the ground would mean no advance warning on any of the attacks or threats to the US emanating from that place.
When Hameed Khalid Darweesh – an interpreter (surely more than just that on the ground!) from Iraq – was detained at the JFK following this ban, it would have sent a signal to many others who would be helping the US forces and intelligence community. And they would find no hesitation in telling the Americans that “you are on your own”! That, despite the nukes of US and the kick-ass power et al, is as devastating as it can get. If something sinister is being planned by ISIS with people based or connected in Iraq – good luck with getting warnings on that!
Testosterone-backed Rambo style actions do NOT ensure success and security. Careful and artful work on the ground and managing complex relationships does.
The electoral base of Trump is NOT going to be able to do ANYTHING to save this nation from attacks being planned in Yemen, Iraq, Sudan Syria etc by Jehadis – human assets in those nations will!! By being so blatant about things – even if they would have made sense – and saying things that would hurt any self-respecting Iraqi for example, Trump has ensured that US will be vulnerable to attacks in future.
There are ways to do things. And how you do something matters. By distancing and antagonizing the Attorney General by sidelining her initially and then when she shared her concerns with the Executive Order, firing her; Trump has created a precedence of vengeance-led governance. And this comes on the heal of Sean Spicer telling those who want to register their concerns in the State Department to either fall in line or go find another job. These two incidents in themselves are sure to create a sense of antagonization within the public servants’ ranks. How can anyone function in such an atmosphere?
Those opposing or registering their concerns with the way Trump’s administration is working are NOT terrorists or anti-American. They have been taking care of things for long. And remember, all these years, America has been the greatest power on Earth! To shut these people up is to expose this nation to calamitous problems, which they could have warned about! Bureaucracy is NOT the opposition party.
Presidency of a Republic is not akin to dictatorial rule in private company. Many levels and layers of checks and balances need to work to ensure that individual whims and autocratic tendencies do not derail the systems that have worked for ages. It does not mean that things shouldn’t change. They should. But not via anarchy of dismantling the entire system!
Many fools – again, specifically those who call themselves “Hindu Activists” – can’t stop comparing Trump to Indian PM Modi. Completely forgetting that one is a egotistical womanizer and the other a Yogi. But things don’t end there. Modi is known to using the existing system and tweaking it just the right way to get the work done in a better and faster manner. It is the same bureaucracy which – without any antagonizing by the Modi government – has been delivering far more than in any other administration of the past! Modi did not insult or fire people just for the heck of it. Even when people were obviously politically motivated and were opposing him, he worked with them and let the normal course of system take them out. Such an approach ensures that confidence and trust in a system is retained.
After all, a country is not and can NOT be run by individuals. It is run by people who are governed by rule of law backed by a system of administration that works irrespective of who is in the saddle. That is the sine qua non of a Republic. Rule of law. Delivered by an impartial system. Once you antagonize this system and try to dismantle it – self preservation and decades of experience on the good and bad for the nation kicks in. If this “confrontational deconstruction” of American democracy and republic continues, then protests and push backs will become a deluge. Basic systems and infrastructure that ensure security and safety will give way. Leading to unprecedented anarchy.