By Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.
“In many parts of the Muslim world the war against global terrorism has come to be viewed as a war against Islam and Muslims. The image of America has become that of a neo-imperial power that has sought to redraw the map of the Middle East and the Muslim world, influenced by an unholy alliance of neoconservatives and the militant Christian right.”
Professor John Esposito (Georgetown University, and author of Unholy War and What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam).
Built on lies and political deception, the on-going wars were suppose to create a new culture of FEAR amongst the American and European common masses, enabling the ruling elite to sustain their grip over the powerhouses for long time to come as did the Nazis, a war of thousand years to dominate the world. Instead, it has backed fire; the leaders are fearful day and night from the masses and unable to cope with the challenging public concerns on the war causalities or to answer rational questions about the outcome of these self-generated conflicts. Ironically, the American and British leaders are fighting wars they cannot win, nor afford to lose in the public eyes.
Immanuel Kant, the 18th century German philosopher had envisioned “Perpetual Peace”, the doctrine that gave war riddled Europeans much needed hope and optimism for peace making and conflict management. C.E.M. Joad (Guide to Modern Wickedness), enlists divergent facets of evil thinking and minds that governed the Europeans to kill each other during and preceding the two World Wars. After prolonged history of barbarity, Europeans seem to be thinking rationally and soul searching for fighting against themselves and are at relative peace within the corridors of the EU. Whereas, some of the American political strategists are making headways for “Perpetual War and Perpetual Peace” to manifest the ambitious imperialism in another major global conflict to wipe out the whole of the humanity.
The Western nations under NATO waging the bogus “War on Terrorism” use the mass media as a weapon to misinform and deceive the public of a possible threat to their life and security. The corporate run news media shield the leadership animosity to perpetuate wars for economic and political goals. NATO re-invented a new role to be an active belligerent institution in Afghanistan after its failed history to engage the former USSR on any real front of the major ideological conflicts. Bush and now President Obama claim they were invited to Afghanistan. Lies know no bound in contemporary political wickedness. There exists a wide gulf between the aspirations of the masses in the Western nations and thinking of the type of leaders they have in the ruling elite. People want peace and do not support the war mongering of the few against other human beings in the Muslim world.
Wars and aggressions kill people and do not produce peace and harmony but resentment and degeneration. History illustrates when a nation or the leaders challenge the limits of the Laws of God and approach near the end of their lifespan, insanity takes-over common sense and they tend to ignore warnings and reject all voices of reason. Most of the conscientiously responsible Western scholars and political intellectuals are getting increasingly concerned, not to identify their interests with the minority ruling elite of the United States and Britain and the prospects of the ‘war crimes’ against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Blair and their role in large scale massacres of the civilians and using uranium powered missile for destruction of human habitats in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Professor John Esposito (Georgetown University, and author of Unholy War and What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam), makes a candid observation: “in many parts of the Muslim world the war against global terrorism has come to be viewed as a war against Islam and Muslims. The image of America has become that of a neo-imperial power that has sought to redraw the map of the Middle East and the Muslim world, influenced by an unholy alliance of neoconservatives and the militant Christian right.”
The wars have gone terribly wrong and the end is fast approaching, sheer madness in thinking and strategic decision making to create new Mi Lia of Vietnam particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan. Near their defeat, the Nazis resorted to mass killings across Europe, and so did the Soviet Union prior to defeat and surrender to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. Daily massacres of the innocent civilians throughout Iraq and Afghanistan and the stage drama could rest on any given conclusive note to the pages of history.
Katrina was the first installment in a series of warnings to come for those leaders who could listen and learn from the history. Not so, to the neo-conservative dominated US administration that failed to achieve its objectives in conquering Iraq and Afghanistan, just to ensure smooth oil supplies and global military and economic supremacy. The global community appeared optimistic after reading the “Audacity of Hope” that President Obama will emerge as a new leader undoing the Bush led extreme militancy and warmongering across the globe and will initiate global peace and harmony and bridge the broken relationships with the important Muslim world. The intensity of the Bush era led bogus wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan signal a different action agenda than peace making. President Obama continues to be acting as warmonger rather than a peace maker.
Once again, humanity appears to have been pushed back to the shameful annals of the European Dark Ages. In search of new animosity, few utopian scholars wanted to distract the humanity after the end of the Cold War to keep the liberal democracy working and ensure electoral voters active participation. In early 90’s, Samuel Huntington reinvented and re-ignited the old cliché – “a clash of civilizations” between the West and Islam – a new age of confrontation between the predominantly technologically advanced culture of the West and the subdued interdependent societal religious culture of the Muslim world. The powerful mass media and the official policy makers throughout the West, fuel the insane imagery that the Arabs and Muslims are “fundamentalists” and “terrorists.”
After the collapse of the ideological wars between the Communism and the Capitalism, the world political arena was free and conveniently available for a new ideology of “a clash of civilizations” to seal the closing chapters of the Cold War. Huntington was courageous and frank to admit “we need ennobling animosity” to survive and shield the decaying human culture of the Western civilization.
Most Western leaders politically aligned with the ruling elite, would refute that “a clash of civilizations” is the underpinning framework of the official policy and the “War on Terrorism”, denying the premise of unilateral wars against Iraq, Afghanistan and onward to Pakistan. The mass media would elude ‘smart bomb’ theory hitting the terrorist targets but in reality, more than 3 million Iraqi civilians have reportedly been killed by the US led forces in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003. Deceptive claim as it is that there was a war between the US and Iraq. It was a media entertainment soap opera and above all, a unilateral act of aggression against a fellow UN member state, forbidden under the UN Charter. According to Kofi Annan, the UN General Secretary, it is an “illegal war” to occupy Iraq. French and German leaders resented and resisted politically and morally, but could not dare to challenge the US and Britain through any means of military force to stop the futuristic bloodbath in a country that had no quarrel nor posed any threat to the US or Britain.
When facts are ridiculed, ignorant advisors construct dogmas to boast the defeated psyche of the leaders. That is where the former President Bush and British PM Tony Blair found their respective standing. History points out countless wicked people and nations that had transgressed the limits of the Laws of the God, and never acknowledged if there was anything wrong with their THINKING and BEHAVIOR until they experienced the consequential end and their destruction. The Al-Qura’an reveals that Pharaoh claimed, “handful of people have annoyed us, whereas, we are the most powerful people on guard to defend our values.” Moses and the followers crossed safely the Red Sea but God punished Pharaoh and his armies as they vanished in the Red Sea. Does it explain well as a role model, how the egoistic tyrants and transgressors meet their end in this world?
Analyzing the contemporary affairs, again, the world is being dragged into the Dark Ages – might is right. President Bush after the 9/11 attacks made it abundantly clear, “either you are with us or you are against us.” The draconian formula had no in-between, no choice to take a rational stance, as normally liberal democratic values would facilitate it. The image of a single most World Power is fixed and unquestionable, be it fair or foul. The net outcome shows the manufactured imagery of Muslims as the alleged terrorists and the sole inheritor of the 21st century political ideology. With massive corporate sponsorships and the Western mass media collaborative alliances, Islamic civilization is the only targeted client of this emerging business. What about the Arabs and Muslims, have they done anything to challenge the absurdity of the so called “war on terrorism” and to safeguard their political interests and human survivability? Even the most educated ones are indifferent and fearful of the prevalent authoritarian rule in their lands and the dictates of the Western masters to survive. With full awareness of the problem, they live in division, discard and helplessness.
There are no Muslim institutions to provide honest analyses or reflect on the possible remedies. Throughout the Arab-Muslim world, there is not a single established university teaching global peace, security and conflict management – the institutions dealing with the present and envisioning the future that the Western nations are built upon for change and development. Leaderless Muslim masses appear desperate to look for a visionary and intelligent leader to offer some consolence and intellectual security. Not so, in the Arabs or Muslim countries, leaders live in palaces, not with people. All the leaders are pre-screened by the CIA and the World Bank before taking a shape and form to move into a palace. Accordingly, Saddam Hussein, Shah of Iran, General Musharaf, Zardari and Karzai fit into that facilitated image and governance. The author of Muslim under Siege clarifies that leaders in Muslim countries are pre-screened and chosen by the West. Everywhere neo-colonial rulers operate the infrastructures and maintain the natural resources across the Muslim world but there are no leaders to organize and unite the Muslim as Ummah-one people, one nation intellectually and politically powerful enough to defend it against the odds.
The neo-colonial rulers have helped the Colonial Masters to make the Muslim masses helpless victim of their warmongering and inhuman atrocities being carried out at Gutanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib Prison, and Massacre at Fullajah, Haditah, Bughdad, Kandhar, South-North Waziristan and elsewhere. The ruling elite would not allow their national press to discuss such sensitive topics. There is no Sultan Salahuddin Ayoubi that the European would fear for centuries to come, there are no Sultan Babyar and Sheikh Izzuddin to give blowing defeats to Halaqu Khan – the Mongol warlord, and no Allama Iqbal or Ali Shariati to awake the sleeping folks and guide the believers to success. Strangely enough, when Muslims are being butchered, some of the intelligent North American self-appointed Muslim organizational leaders urge fellow Muslims to become “moderate Muslims” as if being a true Muslim was a crime or sin in liberal democracy. Their naive perception or hasty judgment cannot be ridiculed; they have to be dame sure to act like economically feasible species, all the time caring for their own bread and butter, not for the interest of people and Islam. The phenomenon supposedly outgrows a new creed of American Muslim, easily available at the marketplace.
Built on lies and political deception, the on-going wars were suppose to create a new culture of FEAR amongst the American and European common masses, enabling the ruling elite to sustain their grip over the powerhouses for long time to come as did the Nazis, a war of thousand years to dominate the world. Instead, it has backed fire; the leaders are fearful day and night from the masses and unable to cope with the challenging public concerns on the war causalities or to answer rational questions about the outcome of these self-generated conflicts.
Ironically, the American and British leaders are fighting wars they cannot win, nor afford to lose in the public eyes. Majority of the well informed masses do not seem to support the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ugly as the outcome of the wars become, the furious will be the media propaganda embodying new strategies to cover up the entrenched leaders. Arundhati Roy said it well: President Bush and Osama Bin Laden are not the acceptable choices to the real world. Both are self-centered and irrelevant. Increasing disclosures of American and British military massacres of the Iraqi civilians, the home-based authorities will forge illegal arrests of young Muslims in North America and Western Europe, alleging connection with non-existing or dead Al-Qaeda group. More and more planned allegations will make news media headlines about the alleged “Terrorist Plan”, purchase of fertilizer commodity and “bomb-making” and what not.
The intelligent ones in Washington and London draw the script to enhance economic and political market data. The strategic games are well known, create more problems to dilute and overshadow the massacres of civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and distract people’s attention from the known acts of crime against the humanity. War is business and political deception is known and tolerable trait of the new global image-making trade.
If there were educated and intelligent leaders in the Muslim world, one could reason the unreason. But the oil exporting Arab leaders operate from a position of political weakness, not strength to play any useful role in international politics. They have built palaces over moving sand, not institutions to educate and protect the interest of the Muslim Ummah. Imagine the dichotomy of the living history, the Christian Crusaders came, ransacked and killed 170, 000 Muslims just in one day to occupy Jerusalem. Despite assurances of peace and religious sanctity, the Crusaders moved horses in blood-flown streets to capture Jerusalem. When Sultan Salahuddin Ayoubi reconquered Jerusalem, the visionary leader allowed and escorted all the Christian Crusaders to safety with human dignity, honor and material wealth. History shall describe a corporate world run by greed and animalistic savagery, preoccupied to influence and control the destinies of the living human beings under the guise of economic feasibility and market interests.
To enforce power of reason and ask for accountability of the few Western Warlords, the humanity has reason to be concerned with, well organized and united to oppose the unilateral barbarity of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. This underlines an URGENT NEED for global morality and political accountability in world affairs. The solution cannot come from those who are parts of the problem but only from a civilized people under morally and politically responsible leadership who will know what peace means, and have no colonial history and are readily acceptable as genuinely civilized representatives of the humanity. Immanuel Kant (“Perpetual Peace”), must have sensed the threat to international peace and the nature of destructive wars – “standing armies shall in time be totally abolished.”
Zbigniew Brzezinski (The Grand Chessboard, 1997), former Security Advisor to President Carter, makes an historical reference: “American primacy and its geostrategic imperatives describe American priorities as the economic subjugation of the Soviet Union and the control of Central Asia and the Middle East.” With the continued wars of aggressions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the international institutions overwhelmingly controlled and managed by the Western Powers have become irrelevant to the 21st century needs of the global humanity. The UN and its Security Council are dormant bodies striving for their own functional survival and have abandoned their Chartered–based obligations to protect the humanity from the scourge of war and aggression.
To undermine the UN functions, NATO has taken over the role of leading European-American operated institutions to protect the Western strategic and political interest outside its sphere of influence or legal mandate. Contravening its own charter and global undertakings, there is no effective UN organization except as a debating club, no International Red Cross as such, no UN Security Council, no competent Arab League, no other accountable global body to question or investigate why the occupying American and British armed forces are engaged in New Holocaust of the civilian population in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? The Western Crusade is solely aimed at killings of the Muslims and occupying their natural resources. Likewise, there are no Arab leaders or Muslim armies to offer sense of security to the besieged Arab population victims of the daily massacres in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary General lacked courage to cross over the limits and question the US led war on Iraq and to “annoy” President Bush or PM Blair, it could have undermined his own candidacy as continued Secretary General of the UN failed body. He simply called the US-British aggression as an “illegal war”.
Across the Western world, masses vigorously oppose the on-going deadly wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. NATO, inadvertently, has assumed the role of fighting in Afghanistan. In wars people are killed, leaders are not. None of the Western leaders have ever fought a war on the real front. Simply put, there are politicians lacking reason and honesty of purpose, and are engaged in time killing discussions. In liberal democracies, leaders were supposed to be accountable to the will of the masses. Not so in the US or Britain, the places with strongest public opposition against the Wars on Terrorism. The leaders and the masses appear to be living in different time zones, not being able to cross-over the widening gaps to interact with one another as democratic rights and obligations would dictate within the working of the political system.
Listening was meant to be political learning and reasoning, not any more even President Obama has continued according to Bob Woodward’s “Obama War.” The continued wars serve the interest of the corporate establishments and the Western economies. The image of deliberately dismantled system of global governance is meant to appease the economically influential and politically smart Western elite. Hitler and Mussolini were Europeans, not Arabs or Muslims, and they did not rule alone on their own, as there were millions to cheer them up and support their leadership egos with galvanized news media alignment of the time, and their personal ideologies as law and order of the day. At the initial stages of the 21st century, the replica is exactly the same from the pages of history, only the names and titles have been changed and adjusted – a small minority of ‘sick puppies’ are determined to occupy the oil and gas resources and to wipe out the Arabs and Islamic civilization under the guise of terrorism.
Changing the names of Hitler and Mussolini, now historian and prosecutors responsible for conducting the war crimes will mention Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Blair and many more. Britain knows what it lost, cannot regain in colonial history, but the American empire has yet to learn the hard lessons. It is more fearful that soon it could be replaced by China in combination of another economically viable power or group of nations from the emerging rival economies of Asia. Amazingly, under the stress of extreme fear and fatigue, America has lost sense of moral direction, values and the true spirit of its own history. Throughout the Two World Wars, the European madness knew its geography and national boundaries – Europeans enjoyed killing fellow Europeans. But under the American Empire, its dimensions are widely insane and global, exclusively aimed at to kill Arabs-Muslims and destroy the Islamic civilization. Professor John Esposito has summed up the History Lessons in a meaningful context:
“An important lesson of history is that rulers and nations do rise and fall. Unforeseen circumstances can bring up unanticipated change. Few expected the breakup of the Soviet Union and the liberation of Eastern Europe to occur when they did ……now is the time for those in all walks of life (political, economic, military, media and academic) who wish to see a new order not to be silenced but to speak out, organize, vote and be willing when necessary to make sacrifices in promoting a new global order.”
There is something terribly wrong with the strategic thinking and decision making process of the Western leaders. With all the technologically advanced firepower, they could not fight against handful of Talaban defending their country. None of the Western leaders have factual knowledge or experience for being on any war fronts. They manage to stage a puppet show to deceive and mislead their own people and the mankind for fighting a worthy cause when there was none. War is not synonymous for peace. Righteousness and wickedness cannot be combined in one mind and character. Foremost, it was an American led aggression against the people of Afghanistan as was the case in Iraq, and then the longest war continued to create new markets for the sale of obsolete US weapons to the oil exporting Arab nations. These wars will distract people to find solutions for the real problems of occupation and subjugation in Palestine. It is their mindset that requires diagnostic treatment as the ordinary folks across the US and Europe have no interest in killing other people and would prefer to co-exist in peace and harmony with the Muslim people. Robert Briffault (The Making of Humanity), an earlier 20th century intellectual at Cambridge University offered a rational observation on the mindset of political leaders:
“The men who have most injured and oppressed humanity, who have most deeply sinned against it, were according to their standards and their conscience, good men; what was bad in them, what wrought moral evil and cruelty, treason to truth and progress, was not at all their intentions, in their purpose, in their personal character, but in their opinions.”