By Asif Haroon Raja :-
Non-resolution of Palestinian and Kashmir dispute gave rise to Islamic radicalism. After the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, the ten-year Iran-Iraq war ended inconclusively in 1988 but militarized and radicalized the two countries. Iraq under Saddam Hussain was supported by the two super powers, the west and the Arab world. While Iran completed its revolutionary cycle under Imam Khomeini and started to assert its authority in the region, Saddam claimed the leadership of Arab world. Israeli aggression in Lebanon and persecution of Palestinians gave birth to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza Strip and heightened radicalism.
The war in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989 in which Pakistan played a key role, radicalized the region. CIA assisted by Saudi Arabia was instrumental in collecting Jihadis from Muslim countries, converting religious seminaries into training venues and providing funds and weapons to organize proxy war and converting FATA into a base of operation. The collective effort succeeded in pushing out occupying Soviet forces from Afghanistan in February 1989, but the whole muck of ten-year war fell upon Pakistan. Harsh US sanctions from 1989 till 2001 impeded Pakistan’s development and economic growth. It also curtailed efforts to reduce poverty and to counter the fallout effects of the Afghan war in the form of Kalashnikov and drug cultures and sectarianism. Marriage between USA and India enabled India to intensify its human rights violations against the Kashmiris in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK), which further intensified radicalism in Pakistan and gave birth to several Jihadi groups.
On November 9, 1989, Berlin wall fell, reuniting East and West Germany after 40 years of division. In retaliation to capture of Kuwait by Iraqi forces in August 1991, the US under George H. W. Bush militarily intervened in Iraq with the blessing of Gorbachev. Soviet Union collapsed on December 26, 1991 and Yeltsin replaced Gorbachev. These earth shaking events paved the way for the US to become the unchallenged sole super power and none could compete its political, diplomatic, economic and military strength. Bush senior drafted the neocons inspired New World Order (NWO), which gave out broad outlines of making America great. The threat of communism was replaced with Islam.
After fragmentation of Yugoslavia, dissolution of Warsaw Pact and integration of East Europe into Western Europe, membership of NATO was gradually increased to 28 members and made into a formidable military machine. Bill Clinton who took over from Bush senior, being highly pro-India, treated Pakistan unfairly. His 5-hour officious visit to Pakistan in March 2000 during which he behaved like a Viceroy visiting a colony cannot be forgotten by Pakistanis. It was during his tenure that a Jerusalem based Israeli think tank ‘Institute for Advanced Strategic & Political Studies’ (IASPS) came out with a paper in 1996, titled “Clean Break”, which envisaged rebuilding Zionism, atomization of Iraq and breaking it into three states based on ethnic-sectarian lines.
IASPS wrote another paper in 2000, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses’ for a New American Century. The two documents openly spoke of the need to destabilize the Middle East so as to reshape Israel’s strategic environment. The plan focused on destruction of oil rich Iraq and removal of Saddam Hussain and installation of Hashemite monarchy in Baghdad, followed by systematic destruction of oil rich Libya, and then Syria and Egypt. It suggested increasing the number of forward US military bases.
Although the apparent objective of Zionists is to crush all dissent and make USA all powerful so that it could rule the world unopposed, in reality the Zionists consider themselves to be the chosen people to rule the world. They want to achieve their goal by placing their gun on the shoulder of USA.
Overall recommended strategy hinged on fomenting open-ended chaos to achieve overlapping strategic objectives in Middle East. The brains behind these rabid thoughts were a gang of eight Israeli-American neocons. They were Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks Jr, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, Meyrav Wurmser and Paul Wolfowitz. This group had got influenced from Israeli journalist Adid Yenon’s book ‘Breakup of Syria’ published in 1982. He had suggested that Israel should breakdown all Arab states into small quasi states. Israeli leaders have all along advocated regime changes in Arab world to install puppets but their preferred choice is Balkanization.
Lt Col Ralph Peter wrote an article ‘Blood Borders’ in 2006 suggesting change of boundaries in Middle East. His write up and the map are in use in training of NATO Defense College for senior officers.
When the US became the sole super power, it was infused with the ambition of gaining complete hegemony over the world for next 100 years. Its aim has been to disempower and neo-colonize 1.5 billion Muslims, and rob their oil, gas and wealth. The US succeeded in establishing bases in almost all Gulf States after encouraging Saddam to capture Kuwait in August 1991 and then destroying Iraqi infrastructure in November 1991 and imposing harsh sanctions on Iraq. Capture of Iraq in May 2003, Arab Spring, regime change in Libya and civil war in Syria were in accordance with the pre-conceived plan to foment chaos in whole of Middle East, let Muslims kill Muslims on ethnic and sectarian basis and to divide the targeted states one after the other. Splitting of Yugoslavia into seven states engineered by Richard Holbrooke was in their mind.
Former Supreme Allied Commander NATO Gen. Wesley Clark had revealed in 2004 that Pentagon had made a plan to target seven countries in five years. The countries in order of priority were Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. He also disclosed that initial target after 9/11 till as late as 20 September 2001 was Iraq and not Afghanistan.
Once George W. Bush junior assumed power with the support of Israel and Neocons in January 2001, he unfolded his Muslims specific offensive doctrine based on pre-emption, preventive action against rogue states, shock and awe, opening of torture chambers and unilateralism. Global war on terror was launched to achieve geostrategic and geo-economic interests. He
boasted that terrorism will be eliminated from the face of the globe to make the world peaceful. He crowed, ‘We will launch a crusade against terrorism’; ‘we will smoke them out of their holes’. Drunk with power, he had arrogantly stated that, ‘21st century will be New-American Century’. He defined Iran-Iraq-North Korea as axis of evil.
Man from Texas was thunderously applauded by the home audience and European allies. Tomahawk cruise missiles, cluster bombs, daisy cutters, B-52 bombers, drones and laser guided munitions were used extensively to destroy Afghanistan and enable Northern Alliance forces to capture power. He used a huge hammer to kill a fly. The country was destroyed but the fly flew away.
His next target was heavily sanctioned Iraq which was invaded in March 2003 under fake charges and after raining tons of bombs, it was captured in May with the help of Iraqi Shias and Iraqi Kurds. Even after destroying Afghanistan and Iraq and installing puppet regimes in the two occupied countries to launch reign of terror against opponents, radicalism rather than getting curbed touched new heights since he was never sincere in eliminating it.
Once Obama took over power in January 2009, he introduced Pakistan specific Af-Pak policy with ulterior motives. He reinforced US combat force in Afghanistan with two troop surges, accelerated drone war in Waziristan, twice changed the top ISAF commanders abruptly, and chanted the slogan of disrupting, defeating and destroying Al-Qaeda in Af-Pak region by making full use of drones and availing the services of so-called ally Pakistan that had been silently bled from within under a pre-planned scheme to steal its nukes. Emphasizing on counter terrorism and drones while disregarding root causes of terrorism heightened radicalism in Pakistan.
Behaving like a ‘good boy’, Pakistan fought the US imposed war on terror on its soil as a frontline state and helped the US in netting about 600 Al-Qaeda operatives, thereby forcing Al-Qaeda to shift its base to Arabian Peninsula. Soon Al-Qaeda under the leadership of Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri with its main base in Yemen morphed into an international organization. Killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011 brought no change in the fighting capability and grit of Al-Qaeda since it gave birth to more dangerous terror groups like ISIS, Al-Nusra Front, Khurasan group and Boko Haram. ISIS is now the most dangerous terror group which has made inroads into Afghanistan as well. Likewise, the Afghan Taliban couldn’t be defeated despite using full force and torture and divisive tactics.
The US-NATO troops pulled out of Iraq in 2011 and from Afghanistan in December 2014 without achieving any of the stated objectives of eliminating Al-Qaeda, defeating Taliban, eradicating terrorism, imposing its brand of democracy and improving the lives of the common people of the occupied countries. The US property/security contractors, arms merchants, drug mafias and oil tycoons made billions under the garb of rebuilding the devastated cities and infrastructure of the two countries.
Not satisfied with the ruination of the two sovereign states Afghanistan and Iraq that were stable and well governed, and are now in a mess and rived in deep turmoil, the US then destroyed
prosperous Libya in 2011 and initiated civil war in Syria the same year, which was also a stable country. The US has now got badly stuck in Syria.
Fate of Iraq has been sealed and has no future as a unitary state. Likewise Libya and Syria have been sufficiently debilitated. Sudan has been divided and oil-rich South Sudan that had been independent is mired in turmoil. Yemen and Lebanon are also unstable and considerably enervated. Iran has been forced to roll back its nuclear program, but several sanctions have not been lifted. Somalia has been turned into a failed state. CIA has been using drone extensively as a choice weapon.
The 21st century crusaders have succeeded in altering the geography and demography of the Arab world. 250 million Arabs are today defenceless, destitute and despondent and tens of thousands have sought refuge in Europe.
Pakistan has rendered maximum sacrifices in war on terror and has suffered 60,000 human casualties and financial loss of $118 billion but is in bad books of USA despite the fact that it is the only country which has defeated and ousted the foreign backed terrorists from FATA.
As a result of anti-Islam and anti-Muslim policies and injustices, the US is rated as the most unjust and hateful country of the world. Both Bush and Obama along with their western allies are solely responsible for wreaking havoc upon the targeted countries in the Muslim world through senseless war on terror and for making the world much more insecure and dangerous than it was prior to 9/11. Over 4 million people, mostly innocent men, women and children have lost their lives in this insane war and 12 million have become refugees. Countless numbers have been crippled, orphaned, widowed, rendered homeless, or have lost sense of living.
Israel and India, the strategic partners of USA, have taken full advantage of war on terror, and have been brutally massacring and torturing the hapless Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank, and in IOK respectively. The US has been fully supporting India and Afghanistan in their massive covert war against Pakistan since 2003 using Afghan soil. USA, Israel and India are hand in glove stirring up radicalism and terrorism in pursuit of their imperialist agenda.
With this dismal background, Donald Trump has come on the centre stage and is chanting the old slogan of eradicating Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth. He has already begun to flex his muscles against the peeved Muslims. Like his predecessors, he is pleasing Israel and India at the cost of severely bruised Muslim world. His target countries are no different to the ones disclosed by Gen. Wesley Clark. His predecessors have used all kinds of most deadly weapons against the militants for the last 15 years but to no avail. He is also pro-use of force, but it is to be seen what new weapon or strategy he has up his sleeve? The only weapon that has so far not been used is the nuclear weapon! The other course open to him is to trample few more Muslim countries.
One thing which puzzles me is the exclusion of Pakistan from the list of seven. It’s an open secret that nuclear Muslim Pakistan, which has now become the pivot of CPEC is a thorn in the flesh of
Indo-US-Israel-Afghanistan nexus. Pakistan must remain cautious and vigilant of this most dangerous nexus, and without annoying USA, play its cards dexterously to fit into the emerging axis of Russia-China-Iran, which will surely act as a safety valve against isolation and military adventurism. At the same time, it should keep its armed forces in readiness and nuclear deterrence serviceable. Last but not the least, the snakes in the grass towing foreign agenda must be dealt with an iron hand. Opportunist political leaders must desist from pursuing politics of agitation and animosity and should keep national interests uppermost in these critical times.
The writer is retired Brig, war veteran, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director General Measac Research Centre, Member Executive Council Ex Servicemen Society and Tehreek Jawanan Pakistan.