Peace: A Far Cry

Martin Luther King Jr. once remarked: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’. We should therefore strive so that injustice is wiped out from the global society. But when such injustice is inflicted on the weak by the powerful or on the poor by the rich we try to justify them on different alibi. This is true both in case of relations between individuals and between nations and states. Though unwelcome, this is undoubtedly the real phenomenon of modern life and society. We therefore see that US, to protect its sheer national interest or the interest of the West as a whole, take unjustified actions in violation of international law and UN Charter against the poor Third World countries, some times in association with its allies and under the cover of UN flag, to protect what it calls global freedom, democracy and human rights and fight against poverty, disease and terrorism. Third World countries trying to assert freedom and sovereignty and resist the cultural domination of the West are being branded as ‘bloodthirsty terrorist’ and ‘fundamentalist’. The West wants to perpetuate their control over the Third World Muslim countries and they consider the latter’s attempt to preserve distinct world-view and value-system as being inimical to their political power and control and threat to their interests. Prof. Samuel Huntington thought that the result of such self-assertion by the newborn independent countries, free from colonial rule, is bound to result in the ‘clash of civilization’

A prejudiced   and unfair mind cannot really make distinction between the aggressor and the victim. How Kosovans, Bosnians, Chechens, Kashmiris, Palestinians and Moros can be held responsible for generating heat and violence when in fact they are only trying to assert their national identity? If the victims of violence resort to violence, it is mainly because justice cannot be achieved by any other means except through the use of force or the victims are unable to make grievances heard in a political forum or all political avenues for expressing grievances are closed. The reluctance of some of the Western intellectuals, academics, geo-political strategists, news paper columnists and electronic media commentators to evaluate and appreciate the desire of the Third World countries specially the Muslim countries to rise against the Western military, political, economic and cultural dominance is a disturbing tendency of the current Western thought process. New generation of Muslim leadership feel that one of the basic and primary objectives of the Western dominance is to render Muslim countries powerless and make them weak and ineffective and force them to toe to the West’s terms and dictates. This has become more apparent to the Muslims after the end of cold war and disintegration of Soviet Union, consequently US appearing as the lone police man of the globe and Western media’s constant Goebbles propaganda castigating and dubbing Islam as the perceived new enemy of the Western civilization. The West, because of its blind, negative and stereotype attitude towards Islam, has developed prejudice and antagonism towards Islam and Muslims beyond the geo-economic and geo-political arena, the West is no more ready to coexist with some of the elements of Muslim life style like hijab (headgear) being the identity of a Muslim woman which they consider contrary to progress and modernity and a threat to the cohesion of the Western culture and civilization although they do not object in covering head by the Christian Nun or wearing  Crosses or Yarmulkes (skullcap) by the Jewish.

We shall now refer to some incidents, which shall reveal the West’s double standard, unjust behavior and Machiavellian character. In 1986 President Reagan ordered the bombing of Libya from bases in UK to punish “evil” Gaddafi, killing mostly women and children including Gaddafi’s 16-month old daughter, although US is always vocal   asserting that killing innocent civilians for political reason is unjustified, against decency of civilized manner of which she claims to be the torch bearer. F-111 bombers dropped 32 laser-guided 2,000-pound bombs for alleged Libyan involvement in a bomb explosion in the West Berlin nightclub, frequently visited by US servicemen, on 4 April 1986. Three people were killed and 230 people injured in the explosion. The US in retaliation killed at least 70 Libyans and wounded a large number of civilians. There was no proof, not even reasonable evidence, of any Libyan connection with the bombing. Knowing fully well the innocence of the Libyan people, President Regan for political ends ordered the bombing and therefore is responsible for terrorist act and killing of faultless innocent people. Britain cannot deny her involvement in this action for allowing US to use its air base and an accomplice in this barbaric killing.

To liberate Kuwait President Bush Sr. and his allies did not hesitate to use chemical weapon, cruise missile, indiscriminate bombing resulting large scale killing of innocent people. According to the statistics provided by Medical Education Trust as many as 200,000 ordinary Iraqis died during and immediately after the war due to military and economic carnage, a massacre, an unequal war in which the West had much superiority over Iraq in forces and weapons. U.S. and British forces fired tens of thousands of depleted uranium shells, an illegal weapon under U.N. resolution 32/84, which bans the use of “radioactive material weapons”. Protocol 1, Article 54 of the Geneva Convention states: “Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited”. However Iraqi children are still being denied baby food and enriched powdered milk. People are operated on without anesthetic because vital equipment is blocked, along with bandage, sutures, medical swabs, stethoscopes, x-ray equipment, scanners and water purifiers. Even ambulances are banned. Children’s clothes, sanitary towels, light bulbs, school books, paper, pencils are all banned. Iraq’s silent holocaust began by President George Bush and supported by British Prime Minister John Major, now President Clinton backed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair are enforcing them. Nine years sanctions have killed two million Iraqis, including one million children. After being elected President in 1992 Clinton, for alleged conspiracy to kill George Bush Sr. on a visit to Kuwait, although there was no hard evidence and the plot story is now widely regarded as fake, attacked Baghdad residential area with 23 cruise missiles killing mostly women and children including Iraq’s most distinguished artist Leila al-Attar. In December 1998 Clinton, to divert public attention, again ordered attack of Baghdad with missiles when he was severely criticized by the Congress and Senate for the sex scandal with White House intern Monica Lewinsky and in fact the first warheads exploded on Iraqi soil just hours before the scheduled impeachment vote. Iraqis are sacrificed for a strain on the Monica Lewinsky’s dress and desperate effort of a humiliated leader to hang on to power. A total of 79 deadly tomahawk cruise missiles were launched in the surprise attack. Any one interested to know of the large scale terrorism of U.S. and Britain may read Geoff Simons informative, scholarly researched and analytical book “The Scourging of Iraq: Sanctions Law & Natural Justice” (published by Macmillan).

In August 1998 President Clinton had to face investigators from the Office of the Independent Counsel and he had to confess of having inappropriate relationship with Lewinsky to a national television audience. Then President Clinton suddenly proclaimed to the world that he would strike Sudan and Afghanistan in retaliation for the bombing of two US embassies in East Africa, Tanzania and Kenya, when Lewinsky was called to appear a second time before the grand jury presumably to dispute President Clinton’s testimony, a dubious attempt by President Clinton to shift public attention and cover up his personal failure, a military action exercised to suit U.S. President’s political needs and to rescue an embarrassed President. As a shield from impending impeachment Clinton launched an attack on Al-Shifa Pharmaceutical Plant in Khartoum, the largest pharmaceutical firm in Sudan primarily producing antibiotic and anti-malarial drugs, charging that exiled Saudi millionaire Osama Laden is the owner of the plant that was engaged in the manufacture of chemical warfare agents (VX nerve gas which in turn was producing a chemical compound, Empta, which was a vector for producing the nerve gas) although subsequent investigation could not  prove that Bin Laden has any investment in the Pharmaceutical Plant and U.S. vetoed request by Sudan, OAU, OIC, NAM, AL for an independent inspection of Al Shifa site and  sample test from the wreckage to prove whether the Plant was producing chemical warfare agents. The German Ambassador to Khartoum publicly stated that in their view Al Shifa was in no way involved in producing chemical weapons of any sort. The U.N. Commission (Unscom) tasked with disarming Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction had stated, before and after the attack, that there was no evidence to link Sudan with any Iraqi program for production of nerve gas. The New York Times claimed that after the Al Shifa fiasco, Sudanese involvement in international terrorism had to be withdrawn because it was found fabricated by their sources; it was an intelligence fiasco, an act of blind hostility (Impact International UK. Vol. 29. No. 8. August1999. p 10). Time magazine quoting A.F.P. reported from Washington in its issue of   8 August 1999 that Salah Idris, the Saudi millionaire owner of Al-Shifa Pharmaceutical Plant, has enlisted the help of a Washington-based law firm to sue the U.S. government for 30 million dollars, over the bombing of the Pharmaceutical Plant producing only medicine, in an effort to win back his ‘good name as well as the money lost when the U.S. bombed his plant’.  On the same account Clinton at the same time also attacked a rural Afghanistan outpost alleged to be a terrorist camp and a hide out of Osama Bin Laden.

Western record of behavior with the Palestinian is also bleak. The creation of the state of Israel in 1948 by the British expelling the local Palestinian population is inhuman and illegal in the eye of international law. No sane person can support creation of a new state in the homeland of another people. But the West did it and justifies the creation of the new state for the suffering inflicted to Jews by the Nazi Germany. One wonders, why the West did not create such a state for the Jews in the German land itself for it was Germany, which was responsible for the oppression, torture and killing of the Jews, not the Arabs. Ever since the creation of the state of Israel the West continues to support the Israeli expansion with arms and money. US have taken under its ‘motherly wings’ the responsibility of protecting Israel and continue to provide financial and military aid. US aid to Israel amounted to $84.9 billion since 1967 (in addition to the extra amount for Israel kept concealed in the budget of the Pentagon), that is 15 million dollars a day and 628 thousand dollars an hour, which has helped Israel to build atomic and hydrogen bombs. According to statistics of Population Reference Bureau of Washington DC in mid 1995 the Sub-Saharan countries with a population of 568 million received in foreign aid the amount of over 24 billion. This figure amounted to $43 per Sub-Saharan African. Similarly, with a combined population of 486 million, all of the countries of Latin America and Caribbean together had received $38,254,400,000. This amounted to $79 per person. In comparison, U.S. foreign aid to Israel’s 5.8 million people during the same period: for every dollar U.S. spent on an African, U.S. spent $ 250.65 on an Israeli, and for every dollar U.S. spent on someone from the Western Hemisphere outside the United States, U.S. spent $214 on an Israeli. This is how U.S. want to eliminate global poverty, hunger, disease and terrorism.

With this U.S. aid, which Israel was never required to repay, she continues harass and kill innocent civilian Palestinians, old men, women and children under 18 years. But the U.S. conscience never rose during the last 50 years. There are many examples of countries that violate U.N. resolutions and as a result the U.S. have ceased funding. For example, when Iran was accused of terrorist action, the U.S. stopped it funding. When Iraq was accused of building weapon of mass destruction, the U.S. not only stopped funding but also imposed sanctions against the Iraqi people. The question therefore naturally arises why U.S. is not taking action against Israel’s atrocious action? Is it not the U.S. double standard and hypocrisy? Is not it an act of duplicity and betrayal with the U.S. avowed policy to protect global peace, liberty, democracy and human rights; fight poverty, disease and terrorism? In fact Israel receives 4 times as much money as U.S. spend on the research to cure AIDS.

The West’s duplicity and betrayal in case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosova, Chechnya and Kashmir is also visible. U.S, in the name of not to interfere in the internal affairs of Europe, unnecessarily delayed action in Bosnia-Herzegovina which cost 200,000 Muslim lives and more than a million made homeless within and outside the country by the Serbs during 1992-1995 war waged by the then Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic (Germany alone gave shelter to 320,000 refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina). Prime Minister John Major is on record to have said that Britain is not ready to have a Muslim country on the soil of Europe while the West by immediate caesarian operation bifurcated and split East Timor from Indonesia to establish, shall I be wrong if I say, a Christian state in Asia with the hidden agenda of having a permanent Western military base besides the largest Muslim country. Kashmir is bleeding for the last 50 years and the West put a blind eye to the U.N. resolution to hold plebiscite to decide the future of Muslim Kashmir. In fact Kashmir problem is the creation of the British, an honorable (!) member of the Western Club. The strategic policy of British and U.S. over Kashmir is neither based on the consideration of peace nor legality. The West, the strongest ally of Philippine, so far did not take any interest to solve the Mindanao problem in accordance with the aspirations of the Moro people. The most tangible consequences of the imposition of arms embargo enforced by NATO soldiers in U N. uniform was the genocidal war in Kosava and ethnic cleansing at the hand of same Serbian authorities resulting the influx of refugees, driving Kosovas’s 90% population to an ‘apartheid-style’ servitude, for the Muslims had no arms and there was no way to supply them fresh arms, while the arms embargo gave the already deadly armed Serbians a free hand. More than 850,000 Muslims were forced out of their homes that took shelter in the neighboring countries under the threat of Serbian authorities (120,000 Kosovans alone took shelter in Germany). Another 580,000 took refuge in mountains and forests in Kosava, trying to escape the Serb military and police who burned down their homes, thousands of Muslim males were executed and thousands of Muslim women were violated in a repeat of the atrocities committed by the same thugs in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Village after village were torched and properties looted. Kosova crisis has demonstrated that the only thing, which works in emergency situation, is diplomacy backed by a credible threat of force. President Slobodan Milosevic indicted by the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal in Hague never appeared before the Tribunal and the West put a blind eye and until now took no tangible action to compel him appear before the Tribunal although US in 1990 found it convenient to kidnap General Noriega, which required a full scale invasion of Panama and the death by bombing of at least 2000 Panamanians, for alleged drug trafficking. The aim of the invasion was to put Panama, its canal and U.S. bases in that country under direct U.S. sovereignty and is now threatening to put sanction against Afghanistan for giving refuge to alleged terrorist Saudi millionaire Osama Bin Laden. In fact in a rare show of unity the former cold war rivals, U.S. and Russia, co-sponsored resolution in the U.N. Security Council in December 2000 to impose sanctions, including restriction on international flights and closure of Afghan Ariana Airlines Offices abroad, against Afghanistan, a country shattered by 21 years of war where one million hungry people is dependent on international humanitarian assistance as a result of devastating drought.     Earlier U.S. made missile attack on Afghanistan for giving sanctuary to Bin Laden violating the air space of Pakistan, a sovereign country, in complete disregard to the international law, although West is largely known for giving shelter and political asylum to dissidents, she is not ready to give such opportunities to Muslim countries. America, the country known for up holding human and democratic rights is in fact the killer of innocent people and democracy.

Russian occupation forces are committing genocide in Chechnya. Chechen Muslims, unarmed old men, women and children, are being tortured to inhuman atrocities and oppression but the Western conscience did not rise. Although erstwhile Soviet Union did not hesitate to give freedom to its Christian states in the Central Asia and Caucasus region Russia still occupies eight Muslim Republics - Dagestan, Tataristan, Bashkeristan, Kabardin-Balkar, Karachai-Cherkess, Adegei and Chechnya. In 1994-1996 wars Russia killed as many as 100,000 Chechen civilians, razed much of the small country, and in an act of terrorism scattered 17 million anti-personnel land mines across the tiny nation.  Russia under President Vladimir Prutin renewed the war of extermination and bloody annihilation against Chechnya to take revenge for 1996 war and for the defeat at the hands of Muslim mujahideen in Afghanistan. US are largely financing Russia’s genocide in Chechnya and President Clinton supplied Russia helicopters with advance night vision devices to ‘combat terrorism’. The West’s response to Russia’s Mongol-like behavior in Chechnya is indeed shameful and hypocritical.

The West’s record in Algeria is no better either. France out of Islam phobia and xenophobia supported the military junta in Algeria to forestall the coming of democratically elected government to power (Islamic Salvation Front-FIS), which   created unrest in that region. On the eve of the 1992 coup President Mitterrand told General Khaled Nezzar over telephone: ‘We will give you help, you can go ahead...’. Since then, France has provided the Algerian regime political, military, diplomatic and financial support. France media have also been supporting the Algerian dictatorial regime. By extending support to the military junta France wants to perpetuate her political, economic and cultural hegemony over Algeria and continue her pre-colonial rule in absentia through agents. One time colonial power France still believes: ‘Democracy at home and imperialism abroad’. France in truth acted against the genuine aspirations of Algerian people thereby created schism among the people and is responsible for shedding blood of the ordinary innocent people. This is the glaring example of France’s hypocritical commitment to liberty for which she is so proud. France behavior to liberty, fraternity and equality very much seems to be ‘unfrench’. 

In the midst of his reelection campaign, President Bush Sr. adventure to Somalia - a ‘humanitarian intervention’ (!), cost between 7,000 to 10,000 Somali lives when the U.S. Marine left, according to CIA estimates.

Thus endless example may be cited that will reflect West’s duplicity and double standard. Although Muslims are responsible for a tiny proportion of deaths caused by terrorism, that too also to protect their rights and interest, territorial or economic, the Western media, both print and electronic, portray them as the greatest terrorists although it is they who are the greatest sufferer of state terrorism: in Palestine, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosova, Chechnya, Somalia, Kashmir, Mindanao to name a few. The limbs found lying in the rubble in Khartoum and Afghanistan are theirs; the deaths of bullet ridden youths in Palestine are theirs; the terrible burns shown fleetingly on television are theirs. According to James Zogby (Arab American News of 26 January 1996) there were at that time 175 recorded incidents of terrorism in U.S, since 1982. Of these, 77 were attributed to Puerto Rican nationalists; 31 were the work of animal rights and environmental groups; 23 blamed on the left wing organizations; 18 committed by what the FBI called ‘Jewish extremists’; and anti-Castro Cubans responsible for 12 more. The total number committed by Arabs or Muslims over a period of 14 years is only three (Impact International UK. Vol. 28. N0. 4. April 1998).

The West’s double standard is also reflected in its nuclear policy. In May 1998 when both India and Pakistan carried out nuclear tests, U.S. ‘deplored’ India but ‘condemned’ Pakistan for the test. American policy in this regard was not even handed. This discriminatory U.S. policy, tilt towards India and biased against Pakistan is the result of anti-Muslim prejudice of U.S. policy makers. American policy in this regard is that Muslim Pakistan should remain perpetually dependent on America specially and other European powers generally and that Pakistan should never feel self-assured about its independence and so remain forever subservient to America. U.S’s refusal to reduce its own nuclear arsenal of 8,000 or so bombs and asking other countries to sign CTBT and NPT is the reflection of her double standard. When Pakistan carried out the nuclear tests, the West made uproar and accused Pakistan for making an Islamic Bomb but they did not term the Indian bomb a Hindu Bomb nor they name the bomb possessed by U.S.A. or U.K. a Christian Bomb nor name the bomb possessed by Israel as Jewish Bomb. Osama Bin Laden being a Muslim, the Western governments and media identify him as Islamic fundamentalist and Islamic terrorist but they did not name George Habash, one of the extreme terrorist of the Middle East who is a Christian as Christian fundamentalist and Christian terrorist nor do they call IRA activists as Catholic terrorist or Christian terrorist.

To establish peace and justice everywhere in the world it is pertinent that the West, particularly U.S. being the claimant of sole custodian of the present global society, must shun hypocrisy and two-facedness of its character and make up. U.S. must realize that the days of colonial control and domination is over, and no state is prepared to tolerate overt or covert hegemony, be it in the form of political, economic or cultural supremacy. Trying to block the progress of the Third World countriesglobal society, must shun hypocrisy and two-facedness of its character and make up. U.S. must realize that the days of colonial control and domination is over, and no state is prepared to tolerate overt or covert hegemony, be it in the form of political, economic or cultural supremacy. Trying to block the progress of the Third World countries by the West is pointless and an exercise in futility. Islamic resurgence demands that the West must shun chauvinism and prepare itself for major transformation of its stance, attitude and out look and become ready to accept Third World Muslim countries with open mind as copartner in its stride for progress and development and accept with all humility human equality and dignity for that can ensure advancement of the global civilization in the new millennium.

Post Script

The US duplicity has further been demonstrated by the last minute action by President Clinton whereby he withdraw sanction against Yugoslavia but preferred to forget to lift sanction on Iraq. President George W. Bush on entering the White House the first thing he did along with his copartner British Prime Minister Tony Blair is to order attack on Iraq. The new US President seems to have inherited hatred and vengeance towards Iraq from his father former US President Bush. The bombing is the reminder that US is determined to retain its dominant control over the Middle East and any Arab Muslim leader who do not acquiesce with the American power will be targeted from time to time. It is not enough that the international community condemns such attack against a sovereign country and killing of innocent civilians, old, women and children. The international community should be vocal and demand: 

1.        The US and Britain cease to operate the illegal air-zones which are a violation of international law. It is these air-zones, which allow the two Western powers to launch unprovoked attacks upon Iraq in the pretext of conducting ‘routine missions’.

2.        Economic and other related sanctions against Iraq be lifted immediately.

3.        Iraq be allowed to participate fully in regional and international economic, political, diplomatic and cultural affairs without any impediments.

1st January 2001