“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.”
Global problems are rapidly overwhelming the capacity of governments to make farsighted decisions. No need is greater today than that of competent leadership! The technological advances of the 20th century have created unprecedented new problems and challenges as well as unexpected perils that have unquestionably outpaced mankind’s ability to cope. Mounting global crises testify to the general failure of modern leadership. Why do we have to suffer this leadership crisis?
Not unlike other European countries, here in Malta , we are equally suffering from this malaise. We lack bred, developed, wise, leadership and mature counsel. It is very unfortunate that this deficit is also felt in sensitive and responsible positions. The great urgency of our time is not generally realised, not even by leaders who are supposed to understand such things. Our leaders may not have noticed, but we live in a love-starved world and the foremost need is goodwill to all.
The experience of history shows that when leaders prove inadequate in the face of overwhelming conditions, a feeling of hopelessness and insecurity grips the people.
Three of a kind: Gonzi – abetted, supported and helped in the US/NATO invasion and downfall of Libya ; Muscat – blaring for eventual military intervention in Libya ; and Busuttil – bellowing and instigating the Maltese government that it should press EU to intervene in Libya . Not much difference, is there? All run of the same mill! It is incontestable that all have forgotten that leadership and learning can never be distanced as these are indispensable to each other.
Just imagine, the personal assistant to the Prime Minister, Bedingfield, had to apologise for his irrational and offensive remark to Islam. Besides the condemnation and the obvious possible danger of retaliation resulting from such imprudence, one is bound to be seriously alarmed by the immature and crude entourage of our country’s leader. Shouldn’t the sharp be able to employ the sharp? It is evident that you are in dire need of good, mature and sound advice, my friend!
Perhaps because we are the closest European country, the chaotic situation in Libya is getting to and enflaming our heads. So ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ) is in Libya ! Is this any surprise? What’s the difference whether the name is Al Qaeda, Hamas, Jihadists, or any other name you care to call it. Are you that naïve that you did not expect this even before the downfall of Ghaddafi? Then you must not have followed what resulted in Afghanistan , Iraq , Syria and other countries destabilised by the West. Everywhere chaos ensued! And now it’s our turn to be terrified, though had we been more intelligent and cautious, we wouldn’t have had to. None of these organisations have attacked anyone who didn’t attack or threaten them. So, here we are now. Hopefully, we are not on their blacklist!
So we had our Prime Minister:
* trotting off to Paris to support the freedom of speech to offend
* blurting out for imposition of sanctions on Russia
* befriending Sisi (Egyptian president) for his military attack on Libya
* offering all possible help towards a military intervention in Libya (which Libyan government are we backing?)
If we continue moving in this negative trend, we will soon be at the wrong end of the stick with others besides ISIS and Boko Haram. As Sewell once said: “People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.”
Your Honour, why aren’t we the independent, neutral and peaceful country we once were? It is said that ‘leadership cannot really be taught but can only be learnt’. Wasn’t Mintoff your teacher and why weren’t you a worthy student? How is it that you didn’t inherit the foresight, maturity and modesty of your honourable former leader?
“The government has not received any information or indication of any real danger or threat from any extremist groups in Libya ”, said our Prime Minister. How naive! Is he expecting it in the mail or is he smelling the coffee? Be very careful, the indication may be hand-delivered!!
Can we now have the whole truth, please? Who is correct, our Foreign Minister or you and our Home Minister? While you are assuring us that there is no need for alarm and that there is no real danger or security threat for Malta, George Vella is expressing his grave concern about the negative developments and, while acknowledging that security measures do not fall under his remit, he sought assurance that “everyone is keeping their eyes open”. “We are concerned from a security, work and business point of view”, he was quoted as saying. Is this an appropriate excuse for the constant visits of military planes and ships to our island? No mention or feeling for the Libyan people for their sufferings caused by the Western powers!
We must not abstain from offering advice or suggestions (though one doubts if any is heeded or even listened to) as to how problems could possibly be tackled or solved? Hopefully, any wise advice may be taken up by our leaders of tomorrow!
We must tackle the safety and security of our country by firstly safeguarding our home ground. For this serious situation, let’s put aside our trivial issues like ‘il-Monti’ or ‘Spring hunting’.
Today, our country is facing the task of hosting a multicultural society. We are experiencing the function of sharing our characteristics, conventions and customs with other nationalities while adopting others of different origins. Undoubtedly, besides other ethnic groups, we have quite a considerable population of Arabs (mostly Moslem) of origin and beliefs. As the present evident threat is from such ethnicity, our foremost obligation (and theirs as well) is to herald all in and present a solid common front against any threat to our peaceful existence. Our enemy is nobody in particular but terrorism and it speaks all languages, not excluding; Arabic, English, French, German and Italian.
We must always keep in mind that there are many more peace-mongers than war-mongers and ensure that all realise that our home is also theirs.
Let’s win them over to our side and join hands together in our struggle against fanaticism and chaos. I’ve said it and I’ll say it again: I am no Charlie Hebdo! Mind you, I strongly condemn the killings in Paris but I also equally condemn the so-called ‘freedom’ of insulting’. I find no solace or pleasure in insulting anybody, especially in those things one holds most sacred. One may not agree and openly criticise, but real education dictates responsibility limits.
And finally a few words of advocacy to all the persons of Honour:
Let the people know all, as without them you cannot do anything.
Adopt wise advice
Listen and screen all advice. No blind rush.
With all but definitely with your elders. Your responsibility will grow lighter.
Today Malta is a wide-open country. Both internal and external forces can recruit and perpetuate evil. EU passports, citizenships and credentials are no exceptions or guarantees.
Surely the only security for our country, together with neutrality, is to hold back. Let no cases of instigation be the cause for retaliation. French President Francois Hollande boasted: “We need to bomb Libya to stop the terrorists we created last time we bombed Libya .” Yes. And create others. No one must emulate such stupidity. Let no one use our country as a cat’s paw!
Maybe this is the first serious crisis for us but definitely not the last. Though internationally mostly ignored, as it’s embedded much further south, Boko Haram is spreading its wings.
We must counter the mastering of social media by evil forces by diffusing our propaganda for peace.
Only when and if required as otherwise it is only meddling.
Stick to the old rallying-cry: ‘One for all and all for one’.
A news item that recently struck me concerned the gesture of solidarity of the Norwegian Muslims who held a vigil and formed a ‘Ring of Peace’ around an Oslo synagogue. We do not have to imitate this to the letter but the spiritual message must not be left unheeded.
But don’t lose heart, because as Phil Johnson would have said: ‘Cheer up! The worst is still to come.’
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”
Joseph M. Cachia
Vittoriosa – MALTA ( Europe )
Tel: 21807566 – 99866151
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