By Saqib Akbar
Horrific news of another mass shooting in the United States emerged on June 29, 2018, according to which an armed man started firing at a local newspaper office in the state of Maryland resulting in the killing of five people besides injuring many. The newspaper office was directly targeted in this incident. The shooter killed the people by opening fire in the newsroom.
Such shocking incidents of killing are taking place every now and then in America and some among these gruesome happenings are reported in the newspapers published here in Pakistan. Nowadays, TV channels and newspapers in Pakistan don’t bother to pay attention to anything except the local and at the most national news, rather, they are mostly engaged in running breaking news stories typically filled with new items in which politicans can be seen exchanging teasing remarks with each other. In such a scenario, who can here have the information of what is happening across the world and how many people are killed at a particular place and who killed them.
I say this with sadness and regret that America is the place where most number of citizens get killed at the hands of fellow citizens. People belonging to all fields and all ages are being targeted and those who kill also include people from all walks of life. Perhaps it is right to say that across the globe it is the US where most of the killings and terrorist incidents are taking place. However, it is also a fact that the US is the most weaponized society in the world and that these arms have been legally acquired.
The movement aimed at making stricter laws to obtain firearms and to get back weapons already issued to people in America has started several times, and licenses should only be issued in this connection where it is absolutely necessary. A movement began towards this end particularly during the presidency of Barack Obama and the president then himself pointed towards framing new laws regarding the weapons acquired by the citizens, but powerful arms selling lobbies came in the way and didn’t allow any new legislation to take place in this regard. Eventually, the US President backed off from it. These are the same arms producing lobbies who sell different kinds of weapons to the world and make nations fight each other. Wherever there is a conflict between two countries or two nations, it becomes a source for American arms sellers to earn much money. Rather, they lend support to their political leaders on the basis that they create such conditions that nations purchase more and more weapons from these arms sellers. Therefore, the present US President Donald Trump praised the quality of American weapons on the occasion of the meeting of Islamic countries held in Riyadh and told different Arab leaders to purchase ‘beautiful’ military equipment from Washington.
Only a ruthless investor or a representative of the ruthless investors can talk like this. Who does not know that a weapon is used to kill humans? America's modern and deadly arsenal is spreading destruction in the world and the same armaments are being used to kill people in the US. The easiest of the murders is to kill youth, children and students. Thus school going children are mostly getting killed in the US. According to a BBC report, 291 incidents of murder and terrorism occurred in and around schools from 2013 to 2018. Recently, a Pakistani young girl student was killed in a similar shooting incident at a Texas high school, whose dead body was later brought to Karachi for final rites.
The current population of the United States is more than 32670000. A static shows a total of 4436096 firearms were registered in the US as of April 2017. It can’t be said how much total arms people possess in America because in a country where more than 15 separatist movements exist and it is difficult to say at which level a movement has reached in a particular state and how much weapons freedom fighters have. It is so because arms seller investors are concerned about their wealth. Whether American federation remains or not, they perhaps have not much to do with it.
A manifestation of the difficulties facing general masses in America was witnessed in Occupy Wall Street protest movement that began in 2011, which continued for several months. People in hundreds of cities around the world expressed their support to this protest movement. Demonstrations were held in more than 800 cities on the same day throughout the world to express solidarity with the activists of the Occupy Wall Street movement. During that period, this protest movement was regarded as identical to the Arab Spring and it was given the name of American Spring. The Americans themselves wrote on some banners: ‘Come Americans and let’s struggle for American Spring’. Those Americans who participated in these protests said that they were not free, rather, 99% of American people were enslaved by 1% rich people and now the time has come that an ordinary American take away this power from the rich.
The whole world was surprised by these protests, which showed how much American people have become fed up with the capitalist system governing them. As other freedom loving people are suppressed by colonial powers through their agents or they change the of their movements, the Occupy Wall Street movement also met with the same fate. But the effects of this movement are felt in the layers of the American society. One could imagine by assessing this movement that how much the American people understand the realities and whenever they get the opportunity, they will make the right decision to free themselves from the capitalist system. One of the basic demands of the participants of these protests was that the US forces stationed at different places around the globe be called back and the protesters were of the opinion that the American public were forced to pay trillion of dollars spent in the wars imposed on Afghanistan and Iraq. They demanded that these forces be immediately brought back and there only duty should be to protect the US borders. They also said that the government was taking heavy loans in order to save financial institutions and the burden of paying these loans was being laid on the public. Unemployment was increasing day by day and the facilities provided to general masses were being withdrawn. The most popular slogan of the protesters was to snatch power from the 1% and give it to the 90% masses.
The perception of people in some American states is that there standards of living could improve if they were able to seek separation from the federation. Their resources are not being used properly by the federation due to which people living in many US states are suffering from a sense of deprivation. These facts come to the fore when a natural disaster hits one of the deprived states. The states where active separatist movements exist include Louisiana, Texas, Montana, Indiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Colorado, Oregon and New York.
The American masses live in a state of fear throughout the world because people of most of the countries around the world hate the United States. The most popular slogan in several countries of the world is "Death to America". Its effect is being felt by innocent Americans who travel across the globe because people feel intense dislike for them. This is the result of the policies pursued by the cruel capitalist rulers. The situation at present is that the US President Donald Trump speaks whatever he wants against whosoever. Nowadays the European Union is also on the receiving end of Trump’s ire, while the Western Europe has traditionally remained allied to America. Recently, the US president also used harsh language against the Canadian prime minister. China too is under the attack of Donald Trump. It has also surfaced that the US president played main role in creating dissensions within the Gulf Cooperation Council. The UN General Assembly has resoundingly passed a draft resolution rejecting US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This resolution is a kind of global referendum against the American policies. In its extraordinary summit held in Istanbul in May 2018, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) strongly rejected and condemned the US action to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This shows that American rulers are the most detested people in the world and internally American people are weary of their rulers.
Nevertheless, it is unfortunate that generally no one speaks for the deliverance of oppressed Americans from the tyranny of their cruel capitalist rulers when voices are raised against injustices happening anywhere in the world. The need is that the freedom lovers and justice seekers across the globe come to the defence of the oppressed people of America. This backing should come from everywhere. Europeans, Asians, Africans and people of other regions should express their support for the Americans just like they speak up for the martyrs of Chicago on May 1 every year.