In fact, far from drills, at this era of continuing animosities against Arab and Muslim world, it is prudent to start supporting Muslim countries that have shown improvement in defense technologies such as Iran and Pakistan. Such drills are a great start but more importantly elevation of the cooperation by more effective means such as trading with each other more as it relates to military hardware and knowhow from Muslim nations that have shown some progress in that arena."The Muslim world, in particular the Arab world, is afflicted by scenarios whereby when one country is being considered for aggression by the more powerful and more united Western nations, there are always some countries from our side being used to justify and to support the attacks. It is well known that the attacks usually progress from rhetorical to isolation in the form of sanctions and more often than not end up in physical aggression resulting in thousands of deaths and decades of infrastructural regression. In the process countries are developmentally pushed backwards by decades. The countries in question are not only used to propagate an impending attack but many are regularly physically used as bases for the aggressors and sometime even contribute financially.
Iraq, Libya, Syria, and others have suffered and are continuing to suffer because some Muslim and Arab nations either out of fear, hate or by choice sided with the enemies. That scenario is ongoing in the case of the victim countries mentioned.The current propaganda war waged against some countries in the region is simply meant to shape tomorrow and the start of it is to shut opposing views. What we expect to be news in the months to come is for Europe and the US to push for the Middle East to cut off television networks that speak out against them, pointedly Press TV and her affiliates. The first stop for those actions was Europe and predictably the Middle East is likely to soon follow. So much for freedom of speech! The recent drills between Oman and Iran have brought a different tone to the whole scenario but they have incredibly come and gone so quietly. As Oman is setting an example for the opposite, the refusal to take part in antagonistic stance against a Muslim country, the media seems oblivious to such a revolutionary move in the region. Be it as it may, there is one unmistakable message for the joint drills and that is the fact that there is only one practical way to coexist, especially with neighbors, through peaceful means. Oman has quietly won its unique place in that it never takes sides and as such can stand as a broker and has done so successfully in a number of occasions. Those joint drills are just another example. From the apparent non interference policy of Oman, be it rhetorical or otherwise, the Sultanate has positioned herself as a lover and promoter of peace. Among other things, the drill emphasized basic respect, some level of closeness, gesture of peace, recognition that we can learn from each other, and highlighted some very important freedoms; Freedom to escape from the norm, freedom to accept, freedom to choose, freedom to find common ground and freedom to say yes to peace. Acknowledgement that differences can be overcome peacefully and most importantly is that we don’t have to all speak with the same tone. We don’t have to all be in the same herd. For sanity to prevail; the military drills that took place must be praised and Oman as a country must be honored for such unique and courageous move. Instead of taking part in bridging for the aggressors and invaders of Muslim nations, Oman is practically stating that Iran is no enemy and there is no good reason not to cooperate with it. The point is that when a country does something of great meaning and of cohesive nature as what the Sultanate has done in the midst of heightened animosity against Iran; the public, the media and all responsible politicians should highlight such an event and make sure people don’t forget about it and its moral and practical value. If we had true free and independent media in the Arab world, the news of the drill would have taken center stage and would have been played and replayed for the world to see in it a superb example. It is the same old problem with the media, the majority of which can’t have independent news agendas as they exist to fulfill the intentions of their creators. As such when drums of war are being hit they get more attention. To the contrary, activities that are geared to promoting peace and understanding get obscured. In fact, far from drills, at this era of continuing animosities against Arab and Muslim world, it is prudent to start supporting Muslim countries that have shown improvement in defense technologies such as Iran and Pakistan. Such drills are a great start but more importantly elevation of the cooperation by more effective means such as trading with each other more as it relates to military hardware and knowhow from Muslim nations that have shown some progress in that arena. There are dangers of conducting military drills with enemies but the purchase of military hardware from them is much worse and is as negative a move that practically amounts to surrender. The weapons are inflated in price to the extent that a single military hardware purchased affords the enemies the resources to secure multiples of the same hardware. Practically, they are technologically advanced but the gap has been breached and there are some weapons that can be bought from within. In fact, there is a risk involved in importing weapons from the very people who have shown animosity after animosity. What can the maker of these technologies do to the weapons they are selling!? Is it too unreasonable to speculate that they can place in them bugs that could render them inoperable in the case of a war to face them? Sounds nuts? Think again. On top of all, the West’s addiction to arms trade made them eager to ignite wars against the very people they were selling weapons to when they were economically stronger let alone in times of sweeping economic crisis. For them to continue selling weapons and for other reasons, the customers have to be busy fighting. From my experience, I can’t think of a scenario in which there is complete peace for others that will be of benefit to them. And buying weapons from ones enemy is unbelievably naïve; it makes perfect sense that they will always sell you weapons that are one step or more behind. Think of the reason they wish for Iran to remain where it is. Think of all the effort being invested just to stop Iran from advancing. That too reinforces the idea that they will always engage in wars that they are almost sure to win with ease. The section on weapons might appear out of place as the intention was to pay tribute to the courageous move by Oman to conduct the drills at this point in time when Iran is being under fire from every direction and the risk involved in being friendly with it. But the reason I decided to include it is that the cooperation can and needs to be upgraded to those higher levels. ZM/JR