The Seeds of Salvation for the U.S. May Lie in the Desert

Photo by Lupuca
Photo by Lupuca


“Mohammed frequently went to a cave in the desert three miles from Mecca, where he would spend months in prayer and meditation.” — Swami Sivananda’s introductory sentence to The Birth of Islam

The posting of this article might — in the future — prevent me from securing a teaching position at more than 99% of the schools in the United States. But, truth be told, Truth must be told, yes?

The major WWII allied powers celebrated their victory over Germany and Japan by establishing a new international organization, the United Nations. Its founding conference in San Francisco in May 1945 promised the peoples of the world a new order of peace and cooperation; it came into existence October 24 that same year, a little more than two months after the U.S. decided to use its abominable nuclear bombs against Japan… in great part to show Stalin the enormity of the destructive power at its disposal. And a couple of months prior to that Operation Meetinghouse was implemented, the single deadliest air raid of WWII, greater than Dresden, Hamburg, Hiroshima or Nagasaki as single events. By the dawn of March 10th, well-over a 100,000 people were dead and a million made homeless and/or injured, 40 square kilometers of Tokyo burned to the ground in a single night.

All unnecessary. All definitively documented as unnecessary — easily — for anyone who can make the time to review the evidence that’s been part of the public record for decades. For anyone who isn’t totally at the mercy of having to impose an American-version template on what transpired.

It was claimed that the new international organization was going to be very different than its inter-war predecessor, the League of Nations, which had not been able to do anything to stop the Second World War. The claim struck a chord among people who had suffered and fought for what they genuinely thought was going to be a better world.

However, the “failure” of the League of Nations had not been accidental — it followed an intrinsic fault. It was set up by the victorious powers after 1918 as part of the Treaty of Versailles by which they parceled out the world among themselves. Lenin described it as a “thieves’ kitchen” — and, as they saying goes, “thieves fall out.”* The United Nations was no different, even if it had a “soup kitchen” annex in Geneva (comprising the children’s fund UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and so on). Decision-making lay with four permanent Security Council members — Britain, the U.S., France and Russia) — and between them these dominated, oppressed and exploited the rest of the world.

*It’s fascinating to note — as the Guardian did in 1998, making use of recently unearthed documents — that as early as the San Francisco conference Churchill had attempted to “eliminate Russia” (which had just lost about 20 million citizens as a fighting ally) by arming defeated German troops to impose the will of the U.S. and Britain on Stalin.

China was (and is) the fifth permanent Security Council member. But its seat was occupied by Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang, even after it fled mainland China to establish a U.S. client regime in Taiwan. It was not until the 1970s that China proper was able to take the seat. There are ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly, but they do not — of course — wield the same influence, do not control major decision-making on the level of the permanent members. Of course because the entire dynamic precludes sharing democratically. By design. By any standards, the organization is seriously flawed, and threatens to allow our horrid momentum in the world to worsen. To encourage our going over the proverbial precipice.

David Swanson’s Dunkirk is germane reading for putting the above in a proper context. I trust that the Islamic academy where I expect to teach Language Arts and Social Studies to Middle School students this year will make it possible for me to introduce the thrust of my article and the thrust of his into its curricula. Along with the many other alternative sources which typical schools across the country prohibit. [Pause.] I pray that I will be able to do so without generating accusations of the Islamic educational institution being anti-American.

All of this, truth be told, is something that I consider essential for a healthy education in the U.S. at this juncture. Crucial, in fact.

And it is interesting, is it not, that such invaluable historical facts can only be communicated at an isolated Islamic school in the desert of the U.S. Southwest? Some would say ironic at this juncture.

Think of it, the seeds of salvation for the desert-like U.S. may lie in the desert.

Richard Martin Oxman has been an educator and activist for over half-a-century. He would be honored to speak gratis at any educational institution which makes a request at [email protected]. He is indebted to The Cold War chapter of Chris Hansen’s A People’s History of the World for the writing of this article.


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