© January 27, 2016, Alexander Sigismund Gruber, Germany, email@example.com
OPEN LETTER TO US-PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA ABOUT PEACE, WITH APPRECIATION, ALEXANDER GRUBER M.A. PHIL
(sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org, February 12, 2016, sent to: email@example.com, January 27, 2016)
Subject: Essay about a new global financial architecture, recent peace initiative of yours towards the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban – open letter
Dear Mr. President,
Herewith I send you my new essay: “A PARADIGM CHANGE OF ECONOMY: FOR A NEW GLOBAL FINANCIAL ARCHITECTURE”. It is about a unique way of combating poverty and hunger on the planet. Because your time is very strictly occupied, I have tried to keep my essay as short, as I could. Some question may be left open in this way, but I tried to make the treatment at the same time as complete, as I could. So I needed 18 pages. Because this is a unique, new approach there was much need for explanation.
If you like to take over parts of my approach or philosophy, please feel free to quote me. I am also willing to lecture about this approach.
Towards your recent initiative of negotiations with the Taliban: I think very positive about this. But let me honestly say that I don’t give it much perspective. First the killing of Taliban leaders, who would have been interested in it, was continued until only recently. Secondly, meanwhile the Taliban have united with the Islamic State. They will identify your approach as being an attempt to split this cooperation between the two groups. This can be seen with the latest Peshawa attack.
Let me tell you my opinion honestly. The upcoming of the Islamic State can be seen under an aspect, which is well known from history. During the imperialist epoch, pan-ethnic movements dominated the West as well as the East, like the Panslawism in Russia. They had the goal to unite large ethnic groups under the rule of one dominating nation or leadership. Similarly, the Islamic State can be seen as such an entity, promoting an Arabic pan-nationalism or panarabism. This kind of movement is only broken up within the Arabic World by the cultural, religious and political conflict between Sunnites and Shiites. This approach explains much of the situation in the region.
This movement, presently represented by the Islamic State, recruits along the lines of religion, because religion provides a traditional pattern to appeal to and win followers (combatants). But the core goals of this movement are not given by religious distinctions, but it is a political movement, which wants to unite the Arabic World under one rule and to keep out Western influence, as well as to drive backwards the results of this influence in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their political goal is to combat Western interference into what they maybe righteously think is not our affairs. Religion is only a vehicle for that. This is clearly against Western interests of promoting democratic rule in the region for reason of our own economic interests and to gain control over the petroleum reserves of the region. But the military actions of the USA and its allies have really done things, which make it easy for the Islamic state. Let me recall here the use of depleted uranium ammunition on the territory of Iraq. the contrary of official investigations, which deny the danger of uranium ammunition, I like to quot the experience of congressman Jim McDermott. He wrote in October 2002:
„I traveled with my colleagues to the southern town Basra, where we heard from physicians that the first question of a mother after giving birth to a child is not, if its a boy or a girl, but if its normal or not — because the rate of birth defects is so high. Many people think that the high rates of birth defects, shockingly high rates of leukemia and other types of cancers, has to do with the ammunition made of depleted uranium, which our military used so efficiently during the war 12 years ago. Many of our own Gulf veterans — and their children — also suffer from higher than normal cancer rates and birth defects.“
A short-run military advantage, that of the higher piercing force of uranium ammunition over zinc-ammunition, was the reason to violate the human rights of civilians and to raise enemies among the population. Hence the Western World cannot deny to have committed war crimes in the region, which go in number of victims even beyond what the Islamic State commits. And no acknowledgment of the victims or compensation took place. It supposedly causes powerless hatred and seeking of revenge. A driving factor of the power of the Islamic State.
Islamic terrorism will not disrupt Western democracies. But it disrupts the whole of the South-West Asian region and North Africa. The battle between the West and this terrorist forces causes immensely many victims in these regions. It should not be taken lightly. During the last year the number of victims due to attacks of Islamic groups in the region has risen by 80%, reaching about 10000 dead. The German magazine “Die Zeit” speaks alone of 52 civilian victims, who were killed by US-air attacks nearby the village Kobane at start of May 2015. How many civilians die presently in Iraq and Syria due to US-air attacks? It is a feature of guilt that the USA gives no information about that.
Let me speak also of the economic and demographic reasons for the recruiting success of the Islamic State. In fact population growth was high with the countries of the Arab Spring, between 1980 – 1990 for whole North Africa at an average of 2,70% annually, for Libya at 3,2% and for Syria at 3,3% annually. Note that a growth rate of 2,88% annually leads to a one third higher population number within one decade. Such wave of population was pushing on the labor market within the decade before the Arab Spring. Meanwhile economic growth rates were high too, between the years 2006 and 2010 for example Libya: At an average of 2,74%, Syria: At an average of 4,89% . But is seems that population growth outgrew the tolerance of the local elites before the Arab Spring to invest in human projects, instead of increasing their own wealth. Now the average real GDP growth in the region declined from 4,2% in 2010 to 2,2% in 2011 and food inflation is today at 14% in Libya and at 40% in Syria. This makes the countries in the region so sensitive to the recruiting of the Islamic State.
The Western World has a responsibility towards the people. It cannot bomb all these victims of poverty into dust, who join the Islamic State. I feel that you are very much under pressure by the Republicans to deliver in terms of success. But let me honestly say that the people in the region need peace more than ever. So my idea would be not to drop the peace initiative towards the Taliban, but to add a peace initiative even towards the Islamic state . Let the Western World give them a part of what they want, a Caliphate on the territory of Syria and the Iraq, but they in turn have to give up their pan-Arabic aspirations.
I think that religious fierceness and war crimes of the Islamic State would significantly decline, if the Islamic State would follow the call for negotiations. War crimes under the conditions of an asymmetric warfare are something different, than in times of ceasefire and aspiration for peace . They are fighting under massive bombings partly in desert regions.
The present leader (Caliph) of the Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said in 2014 on occasion of his election as Caliph something like: “I am not the best, but I take over this task.” Hence he can relativize his own position. I think with such a man can be negotiated. I would first talk with him about the challenges of mankind now at the dawning of the age of depletion of mineral resources: The social question of poverty and hunger, the questions in terms of human ecology, which are destruction of the environment, global warming and overpopulation. Mankind needs peace to find adequate solutions to these problems.
Let me renew my offer to you at this point to become your political adviser. I would also be willing to make the pre-negotiations with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, after a ceasefire has been arranged. I think that I can convince him of peace by my arguments. But let me say that I like to see my offer to be your political adviser especially on the basis of my economic essay, which is available on my blog. We might still disagree on the question of peace with the Islamic state. On all hands I would be happy about a reply from you. I wish you all the best for the remaining time of your presidency. It is still your occasion to give history a new direction.
Dream happy – Alexander Gruber
SOURCES AND COMMENTS (not included in the letter, when I sent it):
 Data from Trading Economics. The data are changed all the time on their Syria pages. I computed the fife years average before 2010 from their latest data. But let me say that real economic growth (constant prices) for Syria during the decade before the Arab Spring was even lower than 4,89%. Please see the following calculation.
Syria, GDP at constant prices. 2001: 950245 million SYP, 2010: 1469703 million SYP (source: Trading Economics).
100 / 950245 = x / 1469703 yields: x = (1469703 / 950245) * 100 = 154,7%.
So during the decade from 2001 to 2010 the Syrian GDP at constant prices grew by 54,7%.
The annual growth rate one gets by the exponential approach:
1,547 = 1 * exp(y * 10 years),
wherein y is the annual growth rate, yielding:
ln(1,547) = ln(exp(y * 10 years))
ln(1,547) = y * 10 years
y = ln(1,547) / 10 years = 3,76% annually.
Hence the Syrian real economic growth was only slightly above its population growth of 3,3% annually (of the population entering the labor market during the decade before 2010).
 From my big essay about the NSA/CIA, which I sent for US-president Barack Obama too, (see this blog) belongs here my following statement about peace building:
I would have supported the idea to negotiate with Bin Laden already 2010, when he offered negotiations (according to Radio Germany). Bin Laden was an interesting man, reading Western literature and caring for the education of his children. He would have been the right opponent to negotiate with. My enemies in the narrow sense are those, who want to kill me or my beloved ones. But everybody, who lays down his weapons even temporarily for negotiations and does not prepare for further attack during this time can become my opponent and no longer my enemy. And it should be a diplomatic principle to avail the option of negotiations in such case. Terrorists are no cowards, as they are facing sure death as suicide bombers. They often cannot keep up with our modern arms, that’s why they do that. And each time another one of their leaders is killed, he is as a rule replaced by a worse one and each of their organizations, which is crushed down, is followed up by a worse one. This is the result of the war on terror and it makes negotiations impossible (our own civilian and military victims become more, not less, within this trap of warfare).
The severe hindrance to any negotiation is that the victims of precedent warfare are resting heavily on the hearts of those, who want to negotiate, but this almost ever accounts on both sides. And let me quote Pope Francis with one of his latest words from September 24, 2015, which was said on occasion of his visit in the USA: “To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place.
 My basis for the negotiations with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi would be the following conception for the sake of a peace agreement: Peaceful cooperation and peaceful competition of cultures within a multicultural world. I am thinking of a world, wherein different culture can coexist in peaceful cooperation and competition. Different conceptions of human rights can still compete with each other and the countries, which are giving a home to these different conceptions, can still coexist and cooperate.
There are different opinions about Marihuana. It is not a crude and cruel violation of human rights to forbid it. Islam has a different conception of human rights, than the Western one, which does not necessarily encounter a crude and cruel violation of the Western conception. Let me give you some examples. Wearing a kerchief, can mean to distinguish unbound ladies from ladies, who are bound in love. I discussed it with Sheik Esref from the Nagibondi Sufis and he agreed with my opinion. This measure saves bachelors a lot of frustration. And in most cases, it is the man, who appeals to a woman to seek her love. I still think there should be some distinction for the men too.
The option to be married to four ladies, would be desirable in my eyes, but a woman should have the right to be married also to four husbands (I did not yet discuss that with sheik Esref). I think that its is a non-realistic option that among seven billion persons on the planet exists only one partner, who arises the true demand of being loved, for each of them. But Polygamy includes the option of monogamy, but not the other way around. So freedom of relations would be enhanced by the option of polygamy with marriage. I generally follow the old tradition with my interpretations that between reason and religion should be no contradiction, which is also an old Islamic tradition.
That men and women have different rights, goes back to a conception of their difference. I think women are thinking more “defensive”, while men think more “offensive”. Well women and men having different rights is not in all cases a crude and cruel violation of human rights. It can be a variation of cultures within the scope of human rights. This should not be in all circumstances a criterion for exclusion from peace. Western cultures and Islamic cultures can compete for the people. But that presupposes freedom of choice of religion or believe. And freedom of migration. And I am an advocate of these freedoms.
There is a limit for acceptance. For example death penalty for “blasphemy” like in Pakistan is unacceptable. And freedom of migration includes that women can leave their country without permission (of men), which is for example forbidden in Iran. A peaceful competition of cultures has presuppositions.
Crude and cruel violations of human rights are not allowable and some human rights (namely freedom from sexual violence, freedom of choice of religion and believe and the right to leave ones country) are not on disposal to join a peace agreement with the Islamic State.
Again: sexual violence in a war situation can cease in a peace situation. I would set my hope on that track.