Dr. S. M. Rahman
Reality very often is what ‘prism’ one uses to perceive a phenomenon. “War on terror”, viewed from US typical ‘prism’ tilted heavily towards the powerful Corporate Culture in league with the Zionist lobby sees war as a necessity to promote the demand and the supply of man-killing machines, gaining sophistication as technology achieves new strides to make weapons deadlier than before. The arms lobby, which President Eisenhower in his parting speech identified as Military Industrial Complex (MIC) as the greatest impediment to global peace. He reflected the helplessness, which American Presidents inherit and any effort to curb or curtail its interest would amount to courting disaster. Assassination of Presidents is the major deterrence. So overwhelming is the pressure that concocting lies became an obligation for President Bush, who had internalized the neocon sensibility, which was essentially a constellation of interests of the arms lobby, the newly established Indian lobby, the oil barons lobby and on the top of it the all pervasive Zionist lobby, whose founder Theodore Hazt made no secret of its inherent power: “When the wealthy Jews play, the nations and the rulers dance.” (Quoted in Brass Tacks Magazine, Nov 2010.)
The greatest lie of the 21st century master minded by the neocon cabal was that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and, therefore an attack on it was a strategic compulsion. What a nonsense! Israel possesses WMDs in hundreds but who dares attack it. Double talk does not create any attitudinal dissonance, as the American policy planners know very well that ‘reality’ resides only in their hearts. Iraq as an emerging military power was considered a threat to Israel as it had a grandiose plan to restructure the heartland of Muslim world into splinter groups to dilute their collective power. After terrible destruction of Iraq first by George Bush’s father in the first Gulf War then by the repeat of same colonial rampage, was by his son. Violence, hired assassins and an-art-of-the-state weapons are used to kill innocent citizens under the contrived concept of “collateral damage;” a dreadful terminology to hide savage, propensity in the so called war on terror in Afghanistan. Despite using massive psy ops through electronic and print media, besides cyber warfare not to speak of the amount of cruelty and insensitivity to human life through bunker-busters, unmanned drone attacks, the ‘will’ to resist the oppressors is indeed a great tribute to Afghanis unrelenting determination to oust the aggressors from their soil.
To lump up Taliban – the Pushtoon element – which represents Afghani ethos and Al-Qaeda “terrorists” is a gross perceptual error. Al-Qaeda is not indigenous. It was brought into operation with full economic support and training imparted by CIA to liberate Afghanistan from the clutches of Soviet occupation. They did contribute effectively towards the combined resistance put forward by the Afghans in forcing the Red Army to leave their soil. Besides Al-Qaeda there were a number of jehadis from different Muslim countries, who had participated for the common cause. After the defeat of Soviet Union, many of them returned to their countries. Al-Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden had to stay in Afghanistan as Saudi Arabia had deprived him of his rightful citizenship. Even Sudan did not accept him as a migrant. Nevertheless the Al-Qaeda’s centre of gravity was in Palestine. No Afghani was involved in the 9/11 tragic episode at Manhattan. Later the Al-Qaeda insurgents spread out all over the world with very negligible number remaining in Afghanistan. It does adhere to the political ideology of terrorism as a counter to the blatant aggression by Israel through the connivance of USA, for the ruthless killings of Palestinians and the theft of their lands for illegal settlement of the Jewish migrants. Whether right or wrong, the Al-Qaeda has its own ideology and values, determining its perception of gross injustices and double standard being practised by USA, the lone super power. The Afghan resistance, as was the case with Iraq, does not fall in the category of terrorism by any cannon of justice.
A very ironical phenomenon occurs due to “distorted lens of Islamophobia” which is outside the orbit of reality. On the issue of building Islamic educational centre containing a mosque near Ground Zero at Manhattan, where the 9/11 tragedy mysteriously occurred, there is a misperceived ‘perception.’ According to New York Times “the protestors reflect fears that mosque will be nurturing terrorist bombers, that Islam is invading that civilization is being undermined by Muslims.” The arrogance and ethnocentric view of superiority of western culture and degrading Muslim civilization as decadent and primitive is a typical manifestation of prejudice determining the perception about Islam and its adherents.
Sally Steenlaw very aptly highlights: “We need to assess Islam based on reality, not rants (Centre for American Progress, Aug 10, 2010) and cautions against it as it has security risk for USA and questions: “Who knows whether Islamophobes like Newt Gingoich and Sarah Palin actually believe their own rants. The sad thing is that they are getting away with blatant nonsense.” The reality is quite different. “There are nearly 7 million hard working, law abiding Muslims in this country. They participate in virtually every sector of society and engage in vibrant inter-faith efforts that bring together Christians, Muslims and Jews to work for the common good. Yet most Americans know almost nothing about Muslims and Islam – not to mention the media which loves apocalyptic battles as long as weapons of Mass Destruction are words.”
There is a school of thought in philosophy known as phenomenologist, who advocate that a phenomenon must be observed as it is, transcending subjective evaluations and value-system, which entail biases and prejudices. USA’s typical manifestation is the Denial of Reality. They are losing battle in Afghanistan but find it too painful to face the fact and determine wrong strategy accordingly. Not allowing Muslims to construct their cultural centre near ground zero is totally based on wrong perceptions. A study by Duke University and the University of North Carolina have found, based on objective research that “community mosques actually deter radicalization and extremism through a range of efforts such as publicly denouncing violence, confronting extremism, providing programs for youth and cooperation with law enforcement.”
There are some misguided Muslim terrorists as are the Christian terrorists, followers of Protestant faith, known as “Branch Davidians, whose founder had 140 wives, some as young as 12 and a fanatic Christian” Erich Rudolph, a great believer of white man’s superiority had indulged in massive violence, like bombing on Lesbian bar in Atlanta and bombing episode at Atlanta Olympics 1996 and several others. They however, do not represent the Christians as a whole, just as Al-Qaeda does not represent Islamic faith.
Ironically, in reality pervades as security doctrines and vicious strategy of USA. This, in essence, is the dissolvent of ‘peace’ as a paradigm of Global Order.
Dr S. M. Rahman is Secretary General FRIENDS founded by General Mirza Aslam Beg, the former Chief of Army Staff,
Pakistan. He is widely acclaimed for his intellectual and scholastic contributions through various mediums. He is widely travelled and has lectured in many renowned universities of the world and Think Tanks.
He has authored several books in global and regional issues. Now he is a regular contributor to Opinion Maker.