US: a rogue that refuses to relent (and reform) - i
Dr AG Khan Let the people of the world be mad at me Let the tide of time run against me Tyrants must be exposed who Torture and torment, agonize and brutalize The innocent, the weak and the meek America’s “Crusade” for peace is a masque to rob and kill millions. With the fall of the Soviet Union America assumed unbridled power and license to kill. To avenge 9-11 (Afghanistan) and to locate WMD (in Iraq). The real objective was to malign Islam which posed a threat to its derailed democracy and grab oil resources of the Middle East under one false pretext or other. Though there had been several studies such as Dilip Hero’s Secrets and Lies, Thomas Ricks’ Fiasco, Peter Galbraith’s The End of Iraq, Frank Rich’s The Greatest Story Ever Sold – The Decline and Fall of Truth, and many others, all lacked a Muslim perspective. This is what Manzoor Alam’s scholarly analysis convincingly establishes. I In chapter 1 Dr. Alam studies the background that prompted America to launch its ‘Crusade’. Demise of communism and the disintegration of the Soviet Union also marked the death of American liberalism (p1) which made the country unbridled imperialist. It began behaving like “Ulysses unchained” (p2). Its new conservative hawks, specially Dick Cheney, the Vice President, played the devil’s game and talked in terms of death, destruction and dominance (2). These neo-conservatives are sceptical about international protocols (4) and were committed to “regime change” They could not anticipate that the Iraq war would be a disastrous failure and counter productive. The policy of “regime change” led to the rise of the immoral doctrine of “Preventive war” which replaced the concept of “pre-emptive war” (p5). Based on perception of an imaginary threat from religious fanaticism prompted them to launch the war, as an act of virtue (p). Dick Cheney had recommended the invasion of Iraq before September 11 to monopolize oil resources (p10). Jews and radical evangelical Christians made them honour a biblical injunction to the second coming of Christ. Thus it became a religious obligation (p11). Sensing a deficit of democracy among Muslim countries, America decided to eliminate the deficit (13) by imposing its own brand of democracy. In a vision President Bush claimed, “God told me to strike Al Qaeda (Afghanistan) and I struck them and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam (Iraq), which I did” (p13). The imminent fear was “Saddam was beginning to cooperate” (p14). This chapter also examines the rise of extremism in Islam. II
Though several people in America still doubt the twin towers collapse was due to Boeings. Under Operation Enduring Freedom U.S. was determined to strike Afghanistan, eliminating bin Laden and toppling the Taliban regime. (p26) Besides consolidating its hold on the country, the witch hunt for Osama and insurgents continued. Karzai was (and is) a puppet, sarcastically called the ‘glorified Mayor of Kabul’ (p28). The country that endured the economic shock of a decade of Soviet occupation received a deadly blow by the Americans. In the beginning the Afghans welcomed the ouster of the Talibans with the hope that America would finance several projects like Hoover Dam – “the Little America” and help its economy to stand on its feet. The geo political attractions of Iraq were far too overwhelming for American interests in Afghanistan (p32). Nation building came to a grounding halt (p33) Afghans felt cheated and began befriending Talibans (p34). Arrogance of the Americans, their condescending treatment of the Afghans is most irritating (p36). They look to Taliban for safety and protection. The insurgents are fighting for the independence of their country which is under American occupation (p48) the intensity of resistance is unimaginable (p49)
Since the Taliban are no more dogmatic they have won back the confidence of the local people (p50). The British call them hydra-headed…. For every chopped head two fresh ones surface (p50). The Americans committed a strategic blunder by changing the course of their mission from “nation building to “Osama and Taliban… “The whole Helmand expedition – been a suicide mission.” (p51)
The so-called international aid is controlled by the countries who siphon them back to their own land… The champagne and caviar consultants are being paid exorbitantly high salaries… It comes to $ 500,000 per consultant (p55).
People of Afghanistan were not poppy cultivators… under a desperate situation, took to poppy cultivation (p58) which proved extremely rewarding and now people refuse to switch back to traditional crops…even some districts found cannabis cultivation extremely rewarding (p62). The American – NATO adventure in Afghanistan has been a miserable failure (p65). These countries have to decide whether they want to exit Afghanistan with honour and dignity or be forced to quit. History testifies to the fact that Afghanis will not surrender. The British and Russians will testify to it if one has any doubt (p66)III
Chapter III traces the genesis of the Iraqi war. The attack was justified under the pretext that Saddam had engineered the attack on Twin Towers, and hence, was a big threat to safety by piling up a huge stock of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons – a sheer figment of imagination far removed from reality (p67). Pretexts were invented; justifications were manufactured to deceive the international community. The real cause was deceptively disguised; the American people were duped. It was motivated by an obsession to ensure military supremacy over Arabs and protect Israeli interests. Oil resources were the main targets. Since Saddam’s regime posed a threat to Israel it must be eliminated. For Bush it was a religious obligation to fulfill the prophecy of Christ’s second coming. Neo-Cons like Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and Richard Perle (the Prince of darkness) not only dictated policy at the White House they reduced the roles of partners to “spear carriers” (p70). Desire and need to invade Iraq preceded September 11 – it even preceeded the Bush administration (p71)
A phoney committee was set up to trace Saddam’s (non-existent) links with Al-Qaeda. Before the committee could absolve Saddam, the attack was launched, lest it should weaken Bush’s plan. Dick Cheney’s determination to remove Saddam by hook or by crook was boosted by reports that Saddam could not be removed by covert means. Richard Perle and a few others began manipulating intelligence (p77). Knowing fully well that nuclear weapons were destroyed; the moment was ripe to attack a weak Iraq. This led to passing of Resolution by the Senate by an overwhelming majority (73:23) by stating preposterous lies – there were no weapons, and no links with al-Qaeda.
British government played a key role in instigating the case for early war on Iraq. It issued a document (for which it had to later on apologize) which falsely exaggerated the destruction capability of Saddam. It was based on false and fabricated information. (p83) With regard to biological war preparations a C.I.A. report in which trailers were described as germ laboratories was released which was false, fabricated and concocted (and C.I.A. knew that Iraq was working on a nuclear arms programme. Some structures and aluminium tubes were described as meant for clandestine purpose (though its own experts believed these allegations a fraud). Purchase of Uranium for Niger was also highly exaggerated though the premier and the president of that country strongly refuted the claim.
Attempt for a second UN Resolution in the Security Council approving military action did not succeed. France and Germany strongly cautioned against the military option. Bush felt paralysed because he had already taken the plunge. In fact, Saddam sent several emissaries to strike a deal and reach an amicable settlement - even concession on oil prices. The attack was strongly condemned. Robin Cook resigned from the British cabinet, so did Mrs. Clare Short for “honourable deception” (p99). Putin pointed out that the war had created a terrorist haven. (p100).Two committees, which searched for WMD after the fall of Saddam described earlier intelligence reports misleading and funny (p103). Though Britain had “imposed” two conditions before joining the war, neither Cheney nor Rumsfield cared a dawn about them (p107). The collapse of the Iraqi army was not the end of the resistance. It began a unique kind of resistance which rattled the American command (p. 107).
To be continued in the next issue