The War of Terrorization
By Dr Shireen M. Mazari

Five years on from 9/11, what the Muslim World is beginning to witness is the transformation of the war against terror into a War of Terrorization of Muslim polities and Muslim civil societies -- and all this under the continuing guise of the war against terror.
We saw the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Bagram, and we meekly accepted the US and its allies' explanation of this as mere 'collateral damage'. We have been witnessing the continuing flagrant violation of international law, with total impunity, in the treatment of the incarcerated Muslims in Guantanamo Bay but the sole super power has claimed for itself a role that is not subject to any international norms.
The US invasion of Iraq rid the world of the Saddam dictatorship, which had previously been bolstered by the US and its European allies as it used chemical weapons against its own people and Iran. But in the process the Iraqis have been increasingly terrorized and torn apart by sectarian divides and violence and abuse as a result of the invasion as well as at the hands of the invading American and British forces. The rape and pillage of Iraqis by US forces has become so routine that it seems to have lost its shock value. That the US has failed to condemn its soldiers who joined the action in Iraq for the sole purpose of 'killing Iraqis' shows the terrorization agenda of the 'coalition of the willing'.
The invasion of Iraq dissipated the war against terror, but the Israeli killing sprees in Gaza and now in Lebanon have surely altered the whole nature of this war itself. If it was not clear at the time of the Iraq invasion, the Israeli attack against Lebanon should leave no room for doubt that the Bush-Blair combine, alongside the state of Israel, are conducting a war of terrorization meant to subdue Muslim states and civil societies into submission to their global agendas.
The present targets are the Arab states and societies as well as Iran and the pretexts are created to suit the situation. So Hamas's kidnapping of an Israel soldier provided the rationalization for what had already become ongoing violence against the Palestinians in Gaza since the electoral success of Hamas. The kidnapping by Hamas was itself in desperate response to this violence by Israel, especially when it targeted innocent civilians picnicking in Gaza. And now Israel has gone beyond all norms of civilized state behavior with its targeted assassinations and its grabbing of Hamas elected political leaders as prisoners. Supported by the Bush-Blair combine, Israel clearly feels it is not subject to any international laws and norms of state conduct.
As for Lebanon, to see the Hizbollah's kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers as the start of the present crisis is nonsensical. Not only has Israel continued to occupy Lebanon's Shebaa Farms area, it has violated the Lebanese border at will since it withdrew its occupation forces from Southern Lebanon in May 2000. It had also stepped up its policy of assassination of Lebanese, in Lebanon, belonging to groups opposed to Zionist expansionism and it has continued to carry out unprovoked firing to kill innocent Lebanese in southern Lebanon. Through all this, Israel has refused to give any information of the mines it had laid in southern Lebanon. Just days before the kidnapping of the two Israeli soldiers by Hizbollah, Israeli forces had violated the Lebanese border and carried out their usual firing attack against the people of southern Lebanon. What has galled the Israelis and the Bush-Blair combine has been the ability of Hamas and Hizbollah to respond and stand their ground against Israeli aggression.
The war of terrorization has seen a challenge from these forces of the Muslim world even as the Arab states have adopted a deafening silence, signaling a helplessness and submissiveness to the Bush-Blair combine. Even as Muslim civil societies have had to face the horror of Israeli attacks against innocent Lebanese, Blair has had the nerve to carry out a tirade against Muslims in a speech delivered to the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles last week. While British diplomats and the US government are trying to seek a ban on the truth about the Israeli horrors in Lebanon by pressurizing the Arab media into submission, Blair actually has the audacity to declare that in the media coverage, there is no "understanding of the Israeli predicament". How many innocent Arab lives have to be sacrificed to push forward an understanding of the "Israeli predicament" Mr. Blair? For how long will the Arabs have to pay for the sins of the Nazis? And if the truth be told, surely it is the US that is preventing democracy in Palestine, not the so-called 'Muslim extremists', Mr. Blair, or are you going to wear your convenient blinkers while Arabs face slaughter at the hands of the Israeli military machine? And who is actually carrying out the "slaughter of the innocent and doing it deliberately" in Lebanon and Palestine? Israeli forces aided and abetted by the Bush-Blair combine.
Who has given Blair the right to speak on behalf of what he calls 'moderate Muslims' in the first place? No, clearly there is another insidious war going on and that is a war of terrorizing the Muslims into accepting the new US-UK agenda, which seeks submissive Muslim states and polities around powerful core states like Israel and India.
Yes, India is an integral part of the new emerging doctrine of coalitions of the willing and core states. That is why India has responded obediently to the US government's call for the banning of the Arab electronic media since the truth will further ignite Muslim civil societies. And that is why US Assistant Secretary of State Mr. Boucher, in his statement from New Delhi, appeased India by declaring willy-nilly that, "some of the groups that have designs against India still have pieces in Pakistan". What exactly he meant by 'pieces' in this context is not clear, but then coherency has never been a strong point of the present US Administration. The point is that the US has once again shown that if push came to shove it would always back India against Pakistan. So, of course, no mention was made of India's now-established support for terrorists in Pakistan.
For Pakistan it should now be clear that it has to fight its own war against terrorism for its own national interest -- regardless of how the US-led war on terror transforms into a war of terrorization. But Pakistan must also realize that no matter how far it goes in the sacrifices it makes in life and limb for the international war against terror, it will periodically face politically-motivated accusations from those it is assisting. Even more important, Pakistan is perhaps one of the few Muslim states that can hold its own against any war of terrorization -- if it can overcome its psychological confidence deficit. At the end of the day the war between extremists and moderates has to be fought by us, within the ummah, but the war of terrorization that is targeting Muslims is increasing the odds against the forces of enlightenment and moderation.
(The writer is director general of the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad. Courtesy The News)


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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