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Archive for category International Law

The Western Arrogance and the War at Doorsteps by Dr Firoz Mahboob Kamal

The Western Arrogance and the War at Doorsteps

Dr Firoz Mahboob Kamal

 

The hate campaign

The killings at Charlie Hebdo had sent powerful shock waves all over the West. Now the security threats and fear run very high everywhere. It seems that not only the hateful Islamophobic cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo, but also the politicians and the security officers of the West have turned pathologically paranoid. Even an unattended bag in a railway or underground station is enough to paralyse the traffic system in London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Rome and other cities of the West for hours. Now the governments are planning to check every internet mail of every individual. Hence nothing is private for any man or woman. The western imperialists used to take their wars of occupation and plunder to foreign lands; hence their homes were safe. But now the war has arrived to their doorsteps. They have withdrawn troops from Algeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali and other third world countries, but the war is not leaving them. Now they are taking full war preparation to save their own streets. The French President François Hollande has announced that he will deploy 10,500 soldiers all over France to fight the Islamists. Former French President Sarkozi declared “war of civilisation” in response to attack on freedom. Thus, the whole western world is quickly turning into a huge and hot war zone.
 
War never starts all on a sudden. Like a disease, it has its own ongoing moral, ideological and social pathology. War needs ideological ignition in people’s psyche. Such a job is done by the ideological warriors. In the past, the war mongering crusaders did that job massively against the Muslims. Hence so-called the holy war (the crusade) could sustain for more than hundred years. Nurturing such hatred has been a classic political art and part of the genocidal warfare in Europe. So in comparison to other people in other continents, the Europeans made distinctive history of cruelty in ethnic cleansing worldwide. Hence Jews in Europe and Muslims in Spain are not the only victims of European. The Red Indians and Incas in America, the Aborigines in Australia and the Maoris in New Zealand met the same fate. In modern times, Hitler and his cronies, the colonialists and the imperialists did the same crime but the scientific skill. The killings of more than 75 million in two World Wars indeed draw the pathological roots from the past. Now the same old disease shows signs of violent remission. The job has now been taken over by the Islamophobic columnists, cartoonist, writers, warlords, the defence industry and the politicians. The West has now great number of such venomous people in their midst. And now the target is Islam and its prophet. Hence the crusade that was started by George W Bush in 2001 now gets enough fuel for its robust sustenance.
Malicious hatred against the target people is indeed the requisite precursor for a brutal war. The German politician, writer and the press nurtured such hatred against the Jews before the World War II. Hitler was not a lone performer; he had a huge army of collaborators in that crime. Hence killing of 6 million Jews on an industrial scale became morally acceptable to the German. Now the tide is running against the Muslims. And the now shows the same readiness to endorse the most heinous crime against Muslims. Wit moral death does, people can’t see crime as crime. The symptoms of such moral death of the West are now quite manifest. For example, Gaza and Kobani are bombed to rubbles by Israel and the US. More than 2000 innocent children, women and men are slaughtered in Gaza. Bombs were dropped even on the UN run schools. But the US and her European partners are not ready to consider such Israeli brutalities as war crimes. The US didn’t allow the UN Security Council to pass a resolution condemning such crime. With the same moral death, the US could drop 2 atom bombs in cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; and now financing and patronising Israeli barbarity with its all brutal dimension. They do not like that such crimes should go to the International Criminal Courts for the prosecution.
 

The double standard

The abuse of freedom

download-2-2In the west, all are not equal to enjoy the same liberty. They have given full liberty to magazines like Charlie Hebdo to cross all limits to spread pornographic slander against Islam’s great prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Western leaders also announce their full solidarity with those slanderers by chanting “je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie). But they don’t allow others to chant “je suis Palestinian” (I am Palestinian). Hence the British MP Mr David Ward from East Bradford got wide condemnation for expressing his strong anger at the arrival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Paris march on 11/01/15 and sending a twitter message “je suis Palestinian” (I am Palestinian). He was condemned not only by the Israeli Ambassador at London and but also by the Islamophobic British media and the British politicians. He is the only exceptional member of the British Parliament who could announce, “If I was in Gaza, I would have fired rocket to Israel.” For such moral stance at the time of Israel’s Gaza bombing, he was rebuked by the British Prime Minister and other political leaders of both Tory and Labour parties. He was forced by his party’s parliamentary whip to withdraw the original statement. Such hypocrisy in the British politics is not hidden, rather broadly practised to support its own illegal creation of Israel!

 
The Western leaders have given the full impunity to the Israeli warlords to commit whatever crimes they wish against the Palestinians. The US, the UK, France and other Western countries exercised the same unfettered liberty in killing Muslims in million in Algeria, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and other occupied countries. Millions of Palestinians are driven out of their homes and forced to live in refugee camps for more than 60 years. Does it need to be saint to condemn such crimes? But the West’s moral conscience stands fully insensitive to such horrific crimes; hence they never condemned these as war crimes. Rather they punish those who condemn and protest against such brutalities. They label them as Islamic extremists. The French black comedian Diendonne didn’t take any weapon in hand to kill anyone. He only exercised freedom of speech to protest against the Israeli brutalities in the occupied Palestine. For that, he has been put in prisons. Whereas the newspapers and magazines like Charlie Hebdo of Paris, London’s Daily Mail and Daily Sun and many others of Europe enjoy full liberty to inject more venom to the western psyche.
 

The state-sponsored slander

Charlie Hebdo recently published its post-attack first edition with another slanderous cartoon against the prophet Muhammad (peace upon him) on the cover page. It is indeed a state-sponsored million-copy edition to rub more salt on the wounded psyche of the Muslims. Printing satirical cartoon is not the only staple of Charlie Hebdo. It is not neutral either –as it claims. It is conducting an ugly and continuous propaganda war against Islam’s core teachings like sharia, jihad and khilafa. Its toxic slander against Islam’s greatest prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) knows no moral or ethical limit. Publishing most pornographic vulgar cartoon against this great man of the human history is in fact the main passion of the cartoonists. 
Those who chanted “je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie), they too, made their massage louder. They announced unequivocally that like the dead cartoonists, they too rejoice such pornographic ridicule against Islam’s prophet. Toxic cartoons are being used as weapon of ideological war against Islam and its iconic characters. Can a man with little respect for this great prophet spread such venomous filth? By publishing such pornographic slanders, these cartoonists didn’t exercise freedom of expression. In fact, they exercised freedom of abuse. How a Muslim can support Charlie Hebdo? A Muslim must be an obedient follower of Muhammad (peace be upon him) in all aspects of his life. He must love him more than his own life. It is a Divine requirement. Hence ridiculing the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is indeed ridiculing every Muslim. Hence, such vulgar bigotry and poisonous slander can only draw a country to an unending blood-letting war. France with its 6.5 million strong Muslims is indeed moving fast to such a war. How a country can deserve any peace or tranquillity with such slanderous posture against 6.5 Muslims? It shows signs that the war will not remain confined within the French boundary. In neighbouring Belgium, two Muslims are killed on 16/1/15, and many more are arrested. France government too has proven to be  very prompt to add more fuel to the fire. The French parliament voted by 488 votes to one to launch military campaign against Islamic State. The French aircraft carrier has already moved nearer to the Syrian shore of the Mediterranean to facilitate the US air strikes against Islamic State. It is reported that about 3 thousand European Muslims have already joined the Islamic State to fight the ongoing war in Syria and Iraq. Many more thousands of these jihadists are prevented from joining the Islamic State by imposing strict travel restriction in the border outposts and the airports. Now France has opened new frontiers for these enthusiastic Islamist warriors on its own soil.

 

Solidarity with the hate campaign

Charlie Hebdo is not alone in its ugly hate campaign against Islam and its prophet (peace be upon him). The western leaders displayed their full solidarity with it. More than 40 heads of states marched in the streets of Paris on 11/01/15 to show such solidarity. The western leaders talk about fighting war for protecting western values and culture. But what is western value and culture? Do the Muslims need any lecture to learn the western values and culture? Didn’t they display those values and culture during the last several centuries all over the world? Is it not the values and culture of military aggression, occupation, colonisation, imperialism, ethnic cleansing, slave-trading, genocide, World Wars, gas chambers, dropping of atom bombs, waterboarding, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Gharib, Sabra, Satilla and Gaza? They killed 75 million people only in two World Wars! Who else can match their brutality? Their war machines are still not withdrawn from their army bases in the Muslim lands.
The western leaders talk about fighting terrorism. Do the Muslims need any lecture to understand terrorism too? The Muslims are the worst victims of terrorism since the advent of Western colonialism in their countries. Most of the Muslim lands were occupied and millions lost lives by the hand of these terrorists. Only in Palestine, more than 4 million people are made homeless by these terrorists –fully sponsored by the West’s money, weapons and diplomacy. Terrorising people with lethal weapons for political and military gains is no more a crime of a few thugs. It is the sophisticated war tactics of the super powers. These state terrorists of the West are the real threat against the world peace. They are charged with deep hatred against Islam, Islam’s prophet and the common Muslims. Hence they could easily show their solidarity with the hate mongering cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo.
The military occupation of Muslim lands, the plunder of its resources and de-Islamisation of its people are the main objectives of the anti-Muslim state terrorists. Such imperialist objectives are so much integrated in the imperialists’ culture and values that even most barbaric manifestation of the state terrorism like war for occupation, destruction of cities, cleansing of native population received not only the popular support, but also get voluntary participation of the people for its prolonged continuation. This is why the quick occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan gave a huge boost to President George W Bush’s popularity in the USA. Only his utter failure to enforce the US grip in those occupied lands and numerous body bags of the US soldiers brought his disgrace –and not the occupation itself. The US people didn’t expect such disgrace of their citizens in any foreign land. Due to the same western mind-set, Israel –one of the most barbaric countries in human history and the West’s ugly colonial legacy, enjoy so much support in the West. For the same reason, 4 million people marched in the street of Paris to support Charlie Hebdo’s hate campaign against the prophet of Islam (peace be umpon him) and the Islamists. Indeed, here lies the main problem of the west. The anti-Islamic hatred is indeed embedded in their mind-set. Hence for any peace, they do not need more wars, rather needs a 180 degree paradigm shift in their mind-set. They need more home works to change their understanding about Islam and Muslims. The current state of poisonous hatred against Islam and Muslims could only generate more Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, more Abu Gharib, more Guantanamo Bay, more water boarding and more torture cells. In such milieu of abuse, the jihadists will enjoy fertile breeding grounds. The US and its ally have spent several trillion of dollars in wars and war industries. They fought war for 13 years in Afghanistan and for 8 years in Iraq. At the end, they couldn’t win any war, rather returned back with humiliation. The month-long bombing by the US, the UK, the French, the Australian and the Jordanian bombers couldn’t bring any victory for the coalition forces even in a small town of Kobani. If they think that few thousands Kurd secularist mercenaries or Shia militias will do their war against the Islamists, they are indeed living in fools’ paradise!
 

Fake humanity

The leaders of the Western countries talk a lot about humanity and higher moral values. But there exist monumental evidences to prove such claim fake. Creation of Israel on an illegally occupied land by the colonial West and their continual support for its land grabbing genocidal war are enough to prove that. What a disgrace, the original resident of the Palestine are driven out of their ancestral homes to make space for houses for the European and American Jews! The Palestinian refugees are denied access to their own land. There exists no international institution where they can seek justice. The UN Security Council itself is under the occupation of the usurper imperialists. It has given recognition to creation of such illegal state on illegally occupied land. What an irony, any effort to reclaim the occupied land is labelled as terrorism! The leaders of these countries showed silence in remembrance of the dead cartoonist of Charlie Hebdo. The Western imperialists have killed more than a million people in Iraq and Afghanistan in their recent wars of occupation. But, did they observe a single moment of silence in memory of those dead souls? France herself killed 1.5 million Algerians in its war of occupation in the sixties. Did they pay any homage to those innocent people who were brutally killed there? The crime of these innocent Algerians was nothing else but the genuine demand for freedom from the colonial rule. Recently the Christians killed thousands of Muslims in Central African Republic. Where is the solidarity of the Western leaders with those innocent victims of the genocide? Since the victims are Muslims, didn’t they deserve any respect and sympathy?  They chanted chorus “Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie). What does that mean? Do they say that like the abusive Charlie Hebdo, I am also an equal abuser and hater of the prophet of Islam (peace be upon him).  They are not ready to retreat an inch from that abusive path. They showed full solidarity not only with Charlie Hebdo, but also continue to show full solidarity with the brutal Israeli killers. Hence the butcher of Gaza -the Israeli PM was cordially welcomed in their midst. Only due to such crippling moral disease, they could sponsor the illegal creation of Israel in occupied land of the Palestinian
Mr Gerald Biard, the chief editor of Charlie Hebda who was on holiday when the attacks occurred wrote, “Charlie is an atheist paper, is accomplishing more miracles than all saints and prophets.” (The Guardian 14/01/15). What is that miracle that the editor claims for? Of course, they made a history. About 4 million Europeans chanted the chorus “je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) only in Paris; many more millions did the same in other parts of Europe. But it is not a miracle. It is the disease of Europe. It is the ugliest solidarity with the virulent hate campaigners. It is indeed the recipe of further holocaust. The West could commit so many ugly crimes in the past only because of such moral ill health. They could kill more than 75 million only in two World Wars. They could also kill many more million in post-World Wars regional wars as occurred in Korea, Vietnam Afghanistan and Iraq.  About 2 hundred thousand were slaughtered in their own backyard in Bosnia. But how many Europeans came out to the street to condemn those crimes? How many Europeans marched in the street chanting “je suis Bosnian” (I am Bosnian)? How many said “je suis Palestine (I am Palestine). The Whole Muslim population were ethnically cleansed from Spain. The European people never came to street to show solidarity with those ill-fated victims of the wars of ethnic cleansing. Such ethnic or religious cleansing never happened against the non-Muslims even in Islam’s heart lands like Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine; more than 10-15% of the population in these heart lands remain non-Muslim even during last 1400 years’ Muslim rule. In Lebanon it is more than 30-35%. But the ethnic annihilation in Europe during so-called Holy Roman Empire was complete that the percentage of non-Christian in Europe was not even 00.001%. The same happened after the Christian victory against the Muslims in Spain. In the name of religion, such crime never happened in a Muslim country. The Muslims never had any phobia against non-Muslims, and neither had the non-Muslims against Muslims in those Muslim lands. But now, along with the Muslims, the Christians too, are leaving these Muslim countries. The US invasion and its massive bombing campaign have made the Muslim countries most unsafe for everybody. The bombs do not see the faith, only see the targets.

The abuse of freedom

Some of the cartoonists claimed that they are not against Islam; they are only against the extremist ideologies of Islam. They argue that they make satire only of prophet (peace be upon him)’s character, not of Islam. It is a sheer lie and ridicule. The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the embodiment of Islam’s core belief and ideologies. He showed his followers how to practise full package of Islam. Can anyone separate the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)’s character from the ideology of Islam? Establishing Islamic state, continuing dawa (propagation), practising full sharia, launching jihad, encouraging people to embrace martyrdom, implementing shura (counselling), hadud (sharia judgments) and levying jijiya on non-Muslims were the parts of his life. These are his ideologies. Hence ridiculing the prophet’s character is nothing else than ridiculing the ideologies of Islam. Did any newspaper in any Muslim country ever showed such abusive attitude against the great prophet like Jesus Christ (Allah’s blessing be on him) or Moses (Allah’s blessing be on him too)?

The Western leaders claim that they are fighting terrorism. But the truth is otherwise. The Muslims are the worst victims of state terrorism. About 3 thousand people were killed in 9/11. But the US has killed more than million as a result of the war.  Very recently on 16/01/15, the US bombers killed more than 50 civilians in Iraq. (RT TV). What can be more terrorism than this? Both in the past and in the present, the Muslims became the worst victims of state terrorism in Algeria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, India, Egypt, Syria, Myanmar, Central Africa and Sri Lanka? Terrorism is no more a crime of a few thugs. It is now the full-scale warfare of the arrogant military powers to control the world politics in their own hand. The US war in Iraq and Afghanistan and Israeli war in Gaza, Egyptian Army’s manslaughter in Cairo, Alexandra and other cities are indeed the worst terrorist acts that one can perceive. Non-state terrorist can’t think of terrorism of such magnitude.

 

The only option

Wolves can’t enjoy safe haven even in caves. They too need protection to escape the imminent extinction. The same is true with the imperialists. They have done enough crimes all over the world. They have taken genocidal wars to the distant corners of the world. They have dropped atom bombs, napalm bombs, cluster bombs, chemical bombs, missiles and drones on the head of the weak. Now the war stands at their front doors. After spending a trillions of dollar, the US and its ally didn’t expect such a fate. Hence they are filled with extreme anger and frustration. Anger of the innocent victims has all reached to the explosion level. Further killing or torturing those who are already ready to embrace martyrdom is not going to solve the problem. Even an average European understands this new reality. The march of about 4 million Europeans in Paris is indeed the demonstration of such fear. It has little to do with the little known vulgar Charlie Hebdo. It is not to show the solidarity with the 12 people who are killed in the attacks. While 6 million Jews were incinerated in gas chambers, no one marched in the street of a European city to show solidarity with the victims. In fact, the Europeans didn’t face any war at their doorsteps from the Jews at that time. But now the situation is different. They sense war looming in their midst.
Now in the West, there exists only one option to have a peaceful co-existence of Muslims and the non-Muslims. It is not possible to do the same ethnic cleansing again on the European soil –as was done in Spain in 15th century. Now more than 20 million Muslims live in Europe; 6.5 million only in France. May be, some xenophobic far-rightists may still prefer that genocidal route. But the only feasible option stands otherwise. Instead of abusing 1.5 billion Muslims for their fundamental beliefs, they must reconcile with them. Sharia, khilafa, jijiya and hadud are not issues in the West. But those basics must be allowed to be practised in Muslim majority countries – as were practised in all Muslim countries till the West’s colonial occupation. The West must not create blockade against the resurrection of Islam’s most crucial political institution like khilafa. Such blockade will make the war inevitable.
Like the deformed Christian or the Jews, the Muslims do not enjoy such option to be deformed or reformed. Such deformation or reformation is nothing else than deviation from the siratul mustaqeem  -hence direct route to hellfire. Since the prophet of the Islam (peace be upon him) was the fundamentalist believer and practitioner of the Qur’anic Islam, every Muslim must try to be the Islamic fundamentalist of the same degree. It is not a choice, but an obligation. The West must reconcile with the Muslims’ such core belief. Otherwise the clash of civilisation is unavoidable. But it appears that the West has deliberately taken the route of hostility with the prophet’s Islam. They have already declared their solidarity with the hate campaigner against Islam’s great prophet (peace be upon him). “Je suis Charlie” is indeed the war cry of such hostility.
In Islam, practising sharia is a binding obligation. Whoever ignores this obligation is severely condemned with three derogatory labels from Allah Suhhana Wa Ta’ala: he is a kafir, zalem and fasik. The Holy Qur’an reveals: “Whoever does not make judicial judgement according to the revealed laws (sharia) is a kafir (disbeliever) … a zalem (oppressor) ..and a fasik (sinner). (Sura Maida: verse 44, 45 and 47). Hence, there is no room for the secular laws and judiciary in a Muslim country.  The presence of Christians, Jews, Buddhist, Hindus, atheist, polytheists and the followers of other beliefs is not new under the Muslim rule. It has a history of more than 14 hundred years. In those days, the believers of other faiths could understand the Muslims’ religious obligation; hence these non-Muslim compatriots never put any hindrance against the implementation of sharia, khilafa, shura, hadud and other Islamic fundamentals. Even in countries where the Muslims were in minority like India and Spain, they didn’t protest against the practice of sharia either. Instead of any interference in the Muslims’ religious affairs, they opted for peaceful co-existence.
 

The arrogance

But such wisdom of the past does not exist in contemporary Western leaders. Their economic, military and technological might made them arrogant as well as incompatible with the Muslims’ beliefs and practice. The Western powers are putting obstacles against implementation of sharia even in countries where more than 90% people are Muslims. As if the sharia is their own domestic issue! After the occupation of Afghanistan, the German Foreign Minister declared in Public that sharia will not be allowed to return back to Afghanistan. Is it not a blatant interference in Muslims’ internal affairs? Where is freedom of the Afghan people to decide their own law? The US president Obama labelled sharia as medieval barbarity. What a sheer arrogance? Can a Muslim surrender to such anti-Islamic arrogance?  
The West’s stubborn hostility against Islam’s fundamental belief is indeed the cause of current impasse. They have already launched a civilizational war against the Muslims to stop them practising prophet’s Islam. They want Muslims to be fully de-Islamised and deformed from the Qur’anic Islam. They find it the only option to peacefully co-exist with the Muslims. Hence demand for Islam’s reformation cum deformation is very high in the Western camp. The tyrant rulers and the secularist intellectuals of the Muslim countries have already taken that enemy route. Hence they are equally inimical against sharia and khilafa like the non-Muslims. Many of them like Iraqi and Syrian Kurds, Iraqi and Irani Shia, the Egyptian military, Bangladeshi secularists, the Pakistani Army have already joined their rank to kill the Islamists. The Western leaders must understand that the original Islam has nothing to reconcile with the corrupt beliefs of the Egyptian, Saudi, Qatari, Bahraini, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or other secularist tyrants of the Muslim world. By making coalition with these de-Islamised despots, the West is not going to gain anything in their war against Islam. Rather, such alliance would only re-inforce their image as the enemies of Islam. Such an approach will only add more fuel to the ongoing war. 18/01/15

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International Criminal Court Probes War Crimes Committed against Palestinians

International Criminal Court Probes War Crimes Committed against Palestinians

 
 
 
 
 

 

The United States has joined Israel in condemning a decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open a preliminary probe into possible war crimes committed against Palestinians, describing the move as a “tragic irony”.

The US criticised the decision late on Friday, saying it opposed actions against its ally Israel as “counterproductive to the cause of peace”.

“It is a tragic irony that Israel, which has withstood thousands of terrorist rockets fired at its civilians and its neighbourhoods, is now being scrutinised by the ICC,” Jeff Rathke, the US State department spokesman, said in a statement.

 
Palestinian statehood: a lost cause?

US condemnation came shortly after Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, derided the ICC’s decision, calling it “scandalous” and “absurd”.

Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official and advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas, told Al Jazeera the Palestinians were prepared for any outcome by the ICC.

“We want to put pressure on Israel that has been murdering our people, occupying our land, stealing our water and destroying Gaza,” he said.

“This occupation by Israel has to end, negotiations chaperoned by America have not been successful, on the contrary, we have failed, and now we have to go through the international arena.”

Human rights group Amnesty International welcomed the ICC’s announcement, saying it “could pave the way for thousands of victims of crimes under international law to gain access to justice”.US and Israel criticise ICC war crimes probe

 US calls decision by the ICC to probe possible war crimes committed against Palestinians a “tragic irony”.

While 123 countries have ratified the Rome Statute, the charter that led to the formation of the ICC, Israel and the US are not party to the court. 

The ICC, based in The Hague in the Netherlands, will open a preliminary inquiry into the possible war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories, and determine whether its findings merit a full investigation.

The outcome could result in charges against individuals on either the Israeli or Palestinian side.

Although Israel is not an ICC member, its citizens could be tried on accusations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

This means the court’s prosecutor could investigate the 50-day war between Israel and Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip in July and August 2014, during which more than 2,300 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed. Israel said 67 soldiers and six civilians died in the same war.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from the West Bank city of Ramallah, Ammar Hijazi, a Palestinian foreign ministry official, said the Palestinian Authority believed that all necessary aspects were featured in the case.

“Palestine is ready to fully cooperate if there are any violations commited during the war by the Palestinian side as well,” he said.

The Palestinians decision to join the Rome Statute of the ICC and other international treaties hasheightened tensions with Israel, with Netanyahu freezing the transfer of $127m in tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority.

The tax revenues make up two-thirds of the Palestinian Authority’s annual budget, excluding foreign aid.

 

 

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Enemy in the apparel of partner

Enemy in the apparel of partner

Brig.Gen(R)Asif Haroon Raja

Pakistan Army

 

Al-Qaeda as a terrorist organization was hardly known in Pakistan till the US declared openly that 9/11 attacks on World Trade Centre were undertaken by Al-Qaeda. The group known as Al-Qaeda was organized by Osama bin Laden (OBL) who was simply an ordinary Jihadi volunteer from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) with traces of Yemeni background having passion for participating in Islamic Jihad against Russian occupational forces in Afghanistan.

 

OBL was indoctrinated by CIA experts to choose Islamic Jihad as the main purpose of his life. He cooperated with CIA in their efforts to launch operations against Soviets in Afghanistan and till then was a pious warrior enjoying respect and prestige among US planners. But no sooner Russia was defeated in Afghanistan, US strategic priorities shifted having divergent goals and so was the respect for the Jihadi elements in Afghanistan. They termed them as the non-state actors dangerous for the world peace. US officials especially CIA started treating them with contempt and derision.

 

US invasion of Iraq in August 1990 led OBL to readjust his mindset and realign the direction of its outfit ‘Al-Qaeda’. The rift between US and OBL led to fateful event of 9/11. The US images-8invaded Afghanistan and occupied it with its full wherewithal and military weight but failed to make correct moves to apprehend OBL. Hence, OBL took advantage of faulty US policies through a method of exploitation. He used emotional appeal and urged the Muslim world to oppose US who is an occupational force in Afghanistan like the Russians and hence must be fought against. He also found his sympathizers in Pakistan who bought his message. Presence of OBL and Al-Qaeda in Pakistan was due to flawed US policies.

 

One of the major tasks assigned to the US led coalition in Afghanistan was to kill and capture Al-Qaeda leaders operating inside Afghanistan and some parts of Pakistan. Al-Qaeda had virtually turned into a perilous outfit capable of inflicting serious losses to coalition forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan took some difficult strategic decisions and offered full cooperation to capture the world most dangerous and treacherous terrorists associated with Al-Qaeda.

 

Pak Army deployed its sizeable force to be engaged in anti-terrorist operations. Pakistan Army and paramilitary forces prepared plans to conduct operations against Al-Qaeda elements in the most sensitive and volatile region of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where powerful armies of Great Britain and Soviet Russia were once defeated at the hands of tribal lashkars.

 

Pakistani government’s decision to provide support and make efforts to capture Al-Qaeda terrorists, earned Pakistan a very harsh backlash of terrorists associated with Al-Qaeda. They turned against the State of Pakistan and targeted its security forces, high officials, key communicators, and civil society including innocent women/children, peace loving people busy in their business or prayers in the mosques. Pakistani support and efforts, however, proved fruitful and many key commanders of Al-Qaeda were apprehended or killed during operation.

 

None can deny that it could not have been possible to break the backbone of Al-Qaeda without the significant support offered by Pakistan and efforts made by ISI to apprehend the Al-Qaeda elements. Since Pakistani authorities had taken a strategic and historical decision to cooperate with US led coalition to fight the menace of terrorism, therefore, their top priority was to locate and apprehend OBL. Unfortunately OBL found sympathizers inside Pakistani soil and succeeded in having a facility to covertly live inside Pakistan. The killing / apprehension of OBL would have been a rejoicing event for both Pakistan and USA, but the US preferred to create an atmosphere of mistrust and betrayal for reasons best known to it.

 

The US and western public opinion builders and international media leveled serious allegations against Pakistan. This also created political and institutional turmoil inside Pakistan spreading divisive themes among civil military leadership and agitating the civil society to raise the questions of violation of sovereignty of Pakistan by US raiders. Had Pakistani officials / ISI known about the presence of OBL inside Pakistan they would have reacted positively to apprehend / kill him to save such a chaos which led to lingering court probes.

 

Pakistan as a responsible country was cooperating in US led war on terrorism and had shown substantial results by killing and apprehending vital Al-Qaeda terrorists. It was not an option for Pakistan to hide OBL (as alleged by USA and others) and get embarrassed. At no stage any hint about possibility of OBL hiding in urban centre was given by the US despite the fact that most high profile al-Qaeda leaders were arrested by Pak agencies in urban areas. Pak agencies had nabbed Khalid Sheikh, Abu Faraj al-Libbi, Abu Zubedah, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Umar Patek and scores of others involved in plotting 9/11 from cities. It was only when a piece of information about one named Sheikh Ahmed El-Kuwaiti was given by the ISI in 2010 that the CIA shifted its gaze from western border towards Haripur, Abbottabad, Peshawar region.          

 

CIA wanted to take all the credit for hunting OBL without any support from any other agency. The arrangement enabled them to claim the assured invincibility of USA’s military might and professional competence of CIA. Hence, CIA deliberately sidelined ISI in their scheme to hound OBL alone. No doubt at tactical level US led coalition forces in Afghanistan had suffered stunning setbacks due to intelligence failure and poor performance of tactical commanders, hence, they preferred marginalizing ISI and acted selfishly. In their short sightedness and high motivating pulse to claim full credit of OBL killing, they forgot the actual consequences.

 

As the world witnessed later on, the outcome of such uncaring attitude proved risky, edgy and nervous, as Pakistan and its spy agency was not only blamed openly for supporting the terrorists but also made responsible for hiding OBL inside Pakistan. The US leadership created an environment of mistrust and cynicism having lasting scars, thus destroying the spirit of coalition to collectively fight the menace of terrorism.

 

The US found it difficult to accept its greediness for having sidelined its vital ally in Global War on Terror (GWOT), but failed to realize that it will not work for the cause. Blame game played by US leaders / field commanders helped them to cover up their failures in GWOT, but overall loss / defeat in the effort against terrorism has not been realized. The US leadership was so staggered with the information of a high value target like OBL in Pakistan that they forgot all the norms of diplomacy and the hard fact that Pakistan was not a foe and had rendered immense sacrifices in fighting the US imposed GWOT. Pentagon ordered the Navy SEALs to violate the sovereignty of Pakistan by crossing the border and go for the stealth attack. This was totally unlawful and illegitimate.

 

Former CJSC Admiral Mike Mullen informed Gen Ashfaq Kayani after the helicopters had reached Bagram air base. Gen Kayani in turn informed President Zardari and Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar. By the time F-16s were made airborne, or the Quick Reaction Force in Abbottabad and ISI detachment commander reached the spot, raiders had flown back to safety.

The egoist US leaders bereft of good judgment failed to realize that in the international politics such actions amount to intimidation of other independent States and that the reaction might be very perilous. Fortunately Pakistani side kept their cool despite internal tumult and nothing happened. On the other hand, the US leadership left no stone unturned in converting the crisis into a world war scenario.

 

Although OBL’s burial in the Arabian Sea fulfilled the desire of OBL wanting not to be buried in the ground, al-Qaeda members felt angered over the way his body was secretly disposed off. To avenge his death, their wrath fell upon people of Pakistan.

The US posing to be a strategic ally stabbed Pakistan in the back. People of Pakistan, government officials, Pak Army and ISI were at grave pains when they found that they have been misled, misinformed and betrayed by their own allies especially USA and its spy agency CIA who not only violated the sovereignty of Pakistan by intruding into its territory without permission but also for creating a situation in which Pakistan stood blameworthy and culpable for hiding OBL inside Pakistan. Public opinion went against Pakistan and there was an internal turmoil leading to serious political instability the impact of which still goes unabated. No doubt US action proved that a foe in the garb of a friend bashed its ally badly.

 

Failing to discredit the Army and ISI and in pressurizing Pakistan to launch an operation in North Waziristan, CIA-NATO punished Pak military by launching a murderous helicopters attack on a check post at Salala on November 26, 2011 and also heating up western border with the help of runaway Fazlullah. Pakistan that had been quietly taking the barbs and insults for years could take no more and reacted by closing Shamsi airbase from where drones were launched, suspended military and intelligence cooperation, refused to attend Bonn conference and above all, closed NATO supply lines.

 

Pakistan reopened the supply routes and restored relations when Washington apologized and promised to treat Pakistan as an ally. The US swallowed the bitter pill since northern network was too expensive to carry heavy military stores from Afghanistan. More so, Pakistan was seen as the only country that could help in easing the pains of risky drawdown in the face of impasse on talks between the US and Afghans Taliban.

 

Finding that no breakthrough has been achieved on peace talks with Taliban after Doha fiasco in June 2013, Karzai’s somersault on signing Bilateral Security Agreement, allowing the US military to leave behind a residual force after 2014, and most disturbingly Pakistan making visible progress in talks with TTP, another attempt was made by USA to shame ISI by reincarnating the ghost of OBL through a fictitious story appearing in NY Times dated 19 March that ex ISI chief Lt Gen Shuja Pasha had known about presence of OBL in Abbottabad.

 

The invention was based on the book ‘The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan 2001-2014’ authored by British journalist Carlotta Gall. She further claimed that Gen Musharraf and his top commanders were aware of al-Qaeda’s plan to assassinate Ms Benazir Bhutto. She quoted Gen Ziauddin Butt having confided in her that Gen Musharraf had arranged the hideout of OBL in Abbottabad. Ziauddin, who holds Musharraf in low esteem since he had put him in solitary confinement for two years in October 1999 and dismissed from service, said he was misunderstood and Carlotta misquoted him. He added that he had been misquoted by western media several times to advance their agenda. Pak media, ever-ready to promote western themes to embarrass military establishment, added fuel to fire by playing up New York Times story.

 

Recently, Paul Craig Roberts has debunked claims made by Obama that members of US Navy SEALs team had killed OBL and SEALs team claiming that they had killed him. He claimed that OBL had died due to renal failure in Tora Bora caves in December 2001. He argues that no one can survive renal failure for over a decade and that no dialyses machine was found in the Abbottabad compound. He adds; “No one among the crew of the ship or any eye-witness corroborated the news of OBL body’s burial at sea”. He further adds that 25 members of the SEALs team that supposedly took part in the raid died mysteriously in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. In his view, they were bumped off to keep the cooked up story credible. It may be recalled that Paul Craig had earlier on challenged the veracity of 9/11 terror attacks asserting it was a false flag operation to kill, maim and dispossess millions of Muslims in seven countries, none having any connection with 9/11.          

 

One wonders, how long the west would keep playing with the ghost of OBL about whom there have been dozens of articles published in western print media that OBL for all practical purposes was a half-dead man after he escaped from Tora Bora caves in December 2001. With three wives (Khairee, Shareeja and Amal) and eleven children, the seriously ailing OBL wanted to lead a quiet life and die peacefully. He had died much earlier owing to his kidney disease. It is widely believed that purpose behind May 2 attack was to bolster Obama’s chances of re-election. Carlotta gimmicks were meant to publicize her book. She however, gave an opportunity to CIA to denigrate its rival ISI, which has foiled its dangerous agenda against Pakistan.

 

December 16, 2014 episode was planned in Afghanistan and was surely the handiwork of RAW and Afghan Intelligence to disparage Operation Zarb-e-Azb and cause pain to Pakistan. If the US doesn’t feel any qualm in tracking and killing OBL and Al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan, why can’t it nab or kill Fazlullah and Omar Khurasani, or restrain RAW/Afghan CDS from undertaking cross border missions inside Pakistan?     

 

The writer is a retired Brig, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Director Measac Research Centre and Member Board Thinkers Forum Pakistan. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

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