The War of
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
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
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