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“Confronting Assad’s regime in Syria: Role of United States and Russia” By   Sherry Sharyl

“Confronting Assad’s regime in Syria: Role of United States and Russia”

 

By

Sherry Sharyl

 

 

 

 

Middle East has always remained the center of the world politics since World War II, end of
which created the UNO and in 1948 the State of Israel. After the birth of Israel, Middle East
became the battle zone where israel’s hegemony was to be promoted in order to bring major

militarily armed states of Middle East to a position where major powers of the world could
indoctrinate their own political and economic agendas in the region. Before that, this region
was famous for its natural resources and oil reserves and its Mediterranean trade route. Above
all, Israel and Palestine conflict, then the Israel’s traditional wars with its neighboring states
had become the persistent tension in the Middle East.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recent developments in the region during previous years have depicted a different picture of
conflicts in the oil rich region. Since 2011, the civil war in Syria in order to confront Assad’s
regime has badly affected the security situation in the Middle East. Before the civil war,
Syrian people complained about the bad governance, raised unemployment, illiteracy,
corruption, poverty, lack of political freedom, under the Assad’s presidency. Then the Arab
spring in Tunisia, in 2011 has further added fuel to the fire, the syrian pro-democratic
demonstrator erupted the city of Deraa demanding the President’s Assad’s resignation. The
Assad’s government acted aggressively and crush the protestors by the use of deadly force.
Unfortunately, this anti-government protest spreads nationwide, thus resulting in never
ending civil war in Syria. This civil war has made easier for the world and regional powers
i.e, Russia, United States, Iran, Saudia Arabia and Turkey to interfere into the political
impasse in Syria by acting in support of (Russia and Iran) or by taking harsh steps (USA and
Saudi Arabia) against Assad’s regime not for the conflict resolution but for their own
interests. The logistical, financial and political support and interference of the external
powers for and against the Assad’s regime, has further fueled the sectarian conflicts,
terrorism, Rebellion movements and extremism. Thus, the civil war in Syria than turned into
proxy battleground because of the involvement of the world and regional powers.
Now the Assad’s regime has become the victim of the world’s major powers, thus it has
initiated a new cold war which is unlikely to get a promising end. The Syrian proxy war has
again results in the formation of two blocks along with their allied states, i.e, Russia( China,
Iran and Afghanistan) US ( Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Israel).

 

 

 

 

 

Syria is strategically and economically important to both US and Russia in the Middle East.
Russia along with China has increased its political, economic and military support to the
Assad’s regime. The primary goal of Russia is to protect and support the Assad’s regime
against the international intervention, Russia wants to counter the United States influence in
the Middle East and Russia has the vast economic interests in Syria. Syria is one of the
largest importers of military equipments, about 4 billlion dollars of arms contracts have been
signed between Syria and Russia. Besides military equipments, Russian oil and gas
companies has been invested in Syria. Soiuzneftegaz and Tatneft have been extracting oil and
gas in Syria since 2003, Stroitransgaz has built extensive natural gas pipeline and processing
plants. Currently it is constructing a second plant near the city of Rakka which will process,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

approximatly 1.3 billion cubic meters of gas. Russian companies are also constructing nuclear
power plant for the production of energy. Manufacturing companies of Russia i.e, Uralmash
which provides drilling equipment to the pertroleum company of Syria, Tupolev and
Aviastar-SP has provided passenger airplanes to the Syrian Air lines. Beside economic
interest, strategic interests of Russia in this region are of great importance. For this, the only
Tartus naval base of Russia in Syria is left, but it’s not a true military base because it is not
hosted permanently by the Russian army, its only purpose is to repair and resupply the ships to
the Mediterranean. Therefore, Russian government and the Russian exporters fear that the
regime change in Syria will lead to the loss of contracts and as well as economy and will
weaken the Russian influence in Syria, as well as in the Middle East.
The United States interest in Syria is quite different; it’s strategic rather than economic. The
main interest of United States is to counter the terrorism and the mushroom growth of
terrorist organizations within Syria and in the Middle East. US main aim is to counter ISIS
(Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). US with the help of its Kurdish Allies is countering ISIS.
Al-Qaeda have been sending its militants to the Syria to support the Assad’s regime.
Strategically, the civil war in Syria will have enormous impacts for the region and for the US.
Syrian alliance with Iran can brought major changes in the policies of Saudi Arabia and
Israel. Iran proliferate arms and other goods to fuel the militant organizations in Syria i.e,
Hamas in Gaza strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon and its allies. Beside this, Tehran keeps on
supporting Assad regime politically and militarily. The Russian influence in Syria goes all the
way back to cold war. Most importantly, US wants to protect its bosom friend Israel from
Iran’s and terrorist threats. Therefore, Iran, terrorism and Russia are the brutal and intractable
enemies of the US in the Middle East.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Therefore, the responsibility of war crime and crime against humanity must be held
accountable in Syria. The brutal chemical attacks, casualties of the innocent civilians,
violation of International humanitarian law by ISIS and other terrorist organizations, must be
punished. The use of Chemical weapons, by Assad against rebels and other civilians, must be
punished for their brutal act. By these unhumantarian acts, it has been concluded that Assad’s
regime in Syria is a threat to Syrian citizens as well as development in Syria. Both the cold
war rivals and their allied states should try to settle conflicts in Syria and help

 

Reference for Graphics & Maps

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Dual Policy towards Al-Qaeda and ISIS is Extremely Counterproductive By Sajjad Shaukat

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Dual Policy towards Al-Qaeda and ISIS is Extremely Counterproductive

 

By Sajjad Shaukat

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Everyone knows that Al-Qaeda and Afghan Taliban were created by the American CIA to fight
 
against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
 
In this regard, former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook stated, “Throughout the 1980s, he
 
[Bin Laden] was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian
 
occupation of Afghanistan.”
 
As regards terrorism, Machiavelli advises the rulers to have a lion-like image outwardly, and act
 
upon the traits of goat inwardly. He also suggests them foreign adventures and the use of terror
 
to obtain their goals. In his sense, a good ruler should be a good opportunist and hypocrite. While
 
echoing Machiavelli, Morgenthau points out that sometimes, rulers act upon immoral activities
 
like deceit, fraud, falsehood and even murder to fulfill their selfish aims.
 
Indicating dual policy, Morgenthau, and Palmer and Perkins opine, “Just as power became the
 
instrument of ambitious nationalism and state’s leaders, it has now become the tool of ideologies.
 
The true nature of the policy is concealed by ideological justifications and rationalization.”
 
Although in the present world of social media and Internet, such a sinister politics has been
 
replaced by modern trends such as fair-dealings, reconciliation and economic development, yet
 
by following the old strategies, American President Barack Obama and neoconservatives who
 
are in collusion with the Zionist Jews and Israel are still acting upon dual policy towards Al-
 
Qaeda and the Islamic State group (Daesh), also known ISIS or ISIL. Even, America’s western
 
allies are also pursuing similar ambivalent strategy.
 
Everyone knows that Al-Qaeda and Afghan Taliban were created by the American CIA to fight
 
against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
 
In this regard, former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook stated, “Throughout the 1980s, he
 
[Bin Laden] was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian
 
occupation of Afghanistan.”
 
After fulfilling their interests, Washington had left Afghanistan and Pakistan to face the fallout
 
of a prolonged conflict—terrorism and instability. These Mujahideen who pulled the Russians
 
out of Afghanistan, later become the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, etc. They got
 
the label of terrorists.
 
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, American former President Bush (The Senior) in
 
connivance with his Zionist-advisers took the Islamic fundamentalism as a great threat. Since
 
then, sometimes, Al-Qaeda have continuously been used by the US and some western countries
 
as a scapegoat to malign Pakistan for ‘de-nuclearisation,’ as the latter is the only nuclear country
 
in the Muslim World. Sometimes, they accused Iran of harbouring terrorism, and to propagate
 
against Tehran’s peaceful nuclear progragmme—sometimes to achieve the goals of external
 
policy and sometimes to pacify their public including the opposition. In all cases, the purpose
 
behind has been to safeguard the interests of the Zionists and Israel.
 
On November 13, 2009, a Reuters report quoting Labeviere’s book “Corridors of Terror”
 
(Released in November 2003) points to negotiations between Bin Laden and CIA, which took
 
place two months prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks-at the American Hospital in Dubai,
 
United Arab Emirates, when Bin Laden was under a kidney dialysis treatment.
 
Meanwhile, while making Osama and Al-Qaeda as scapegoats, a number of fake video messages
 
were telecast on various TV channels and websites by some Zionists to obtain Israel’s anti-
 
Muslim goals. For example, during the November 2004 elections in the US, a fake video tape
 
helped the ex-president George W. Bush to get lead over John Kerry.
 
It is well-known that in a tape released on December 27, 2001, the authenticity of which is not in
 
question, Osama denied any involvement in the September 11 tragedy. However, later, two video
 
tapes appeared to validate his guilt in relation to 9/11, because the main aims of the Bush
 
administration were to provoke American public against the Muslims and to justify global war
 
on terror—the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq to possess energy resources of Central Asia
 
and Iraq, including proxy wars in other Middle Eastern countries. Besides other actions of Bush
 
era such as America’s state-sponsored terrorism in the volatile Islamic countries, persecution of
 
Muslims through torture, detentions and arrests, CIA and FBI-operated facilities, promotion of
 
sectarian violence and divide between Sunnis and Shias in the Islamic World—radicalising the
 
western Christians against the Muslims, while providing a golden chance to Israel and India to
 
accelerate the systematic genocide of the Palestinians and Kashmiries by equating the wars of
 
liberation in the controlled territories of Palestine and Kashmir with terrorism.
 
It was because of the dual strategy of Bush through war on terror, and on the other side, response
 
of Al-Qaeda militants by clandestine terror attacks, as shown through a number of the past
suicidal missions such as on Indonesian resort island of Bali, Saudi Arabia, Spain etc., and a
 
series of bomb attacks on London’s transport network, including those ones in other Afro-Asian
 
countries have clearly pointed out that Al-Qaeda was organized on world level. But, the outfit
 
lost control on its affiliated militant groups. Al-Qaeda’s decimated old guard may no longer be
 
able to mount elaborately detailed plots, executed by other trained terrorists of various new
 
groups which claim their links with Al-Qaeda, but, are not under its direct command. For
 
example, in Somalia—splitting away of a hardliner-faction Al-Shabaab is an offshoot of the
 
Islamic Courts Union, though the US defined Al-Shabaab as Al-Qaida allies.
 
In this connection, about the two bombs which blew the 18-story headquarters of the British-
 
owned HSBC bank and the British consulate in Istanbul in November, 2003, Turkish officials
 
had remarked that these were the work of homegrown extremists.
 
In March 2004, the former CIA Director, George Tenet said, “Al-Qaeda has become a loose
 
collection of regional networks working autonomously-[they] pick their own targets, they plan
 
their own attacks…in this new phase of franchise terrorism, Al-Qaeda has been described as an
 
idea rather than an organization.”
 
Notably, President Obama who had stated during his first election, “Bush has made the world the
 
most dangerous place”, and he would rectify the blunders, committed by his predecessor in the
 
name of war on terror—continued the same in their worst form. However, Obama-led
 
Administration went on with various techniques of ruthless terror and extrajudicial killings of the
 
innocent persons through illegitimate drone attacks—assisting undemocratic forces, toppling the
 
elected government in Egypt, and like Iraq, creation of more collapsed states such as Libya,
 
Yemen, Syria etc., and covert assistance to Israel.
 
If the double game of President Bush (The Senior) and George W. Bush franchised Al-Qaeda on
 
global level, President Obama’s dual policy franchised both Al-Qaeda and ISIS as part of the
 
anti-Muslim campaign and left no stone unturned in advancing the agenda of the Zionists, Israeli
 
lobbies and the neoconservatives in the pretext of global war on terror. Secretly, Obama
 
authorized CIA to create ISIS. His perennial covert support to the Israeli atrocities on the
 
Palestinians, silence over the supply (Smuggling) of oil by ISIS to some European countries
 
whose governments have also not taken action against those companies which are exporting oil
 
from the ISIS-controlled regions of Iraq, CIA-assisted Al-Qaeda (Al-Nusra Front) and ISIS
 
militants, continued sectarian violence and prolonged engagement of its troops (NATO) in
 
Afghanistan might be cited as instance. Moreover, the Middle East was deliberately thrown in
 
worst form of terrorism and civil wars for achieving the goal of a greater Israel.
 
The terrorist acts of both Al-Qaeda and ISIS have been utilized by Obama in distorting the image
 
of Islam and Jihad so as to pacify American public in wake of multiple internal and external
 
problems like heavy cost of prolonged ‘different war’, financial crisis, demoralization of troops
 
in Afghanistan etc.  
 
President Obama’s deliberate contradictory approach could also be judged from the fact that on
 
February 3, this year, during his first visit to a US mosque, he condemned inexcusable political
 
rhetoric against Muslim-Americans, and said, “So often, Muslim Americans are targeted and
 
blamed for the acts of a few.”
 
In the recent past, some developments like Russian successful airstrikes on the ISIS targets in the
 
northern Syria—its coalition with Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon-based Hezbollah in support of
 
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, retreat of the CIA-supported rebels and mercenaries after their
 
failure to topple his government, proving links of Al-Qaeda and ISIS with America and Israeli,
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s clear-cut statement, indicating the Zionist regime in the US
 
and  Israel for their “fake war on ISIL”, and remarking, “NWO (New World Order) agents and
 
Satan worshipers simply have no clothes,” including the first Vienna meeting on Syrian crisis,
 
where the US Secretary of State John Kerry agreed to keep the Syrian president in power
 
(Contrary to previous demand of regime change), for a unified state of Syria, not to allow ISIL
 
militant group to reign in Syria, and America’s decision of  sending 50 special forces to Syria
 
to help in taking down ISIS terrorists have clearly exposed hidden aims of the US global war on
 
terror which is based upon dual policy towards ISIS.
 
In these circumstances, as part of the Zionist conspiracy against the West, Muslims and the
 
patriot Americans, Israeli Secret agency Mossad utilized the services of ISIS terrorists in
 
arranging the November 13 terror attacks in Paris. In the post-Paris attacks, by producing anti-
 
Muslim phenomena like the propaganda of the so-called threat of Islamophobia, persecution of
 
the Muslims in the US, Europe and some other western countries, Israel-led America also got the
 
assistance of its western allies (NATO) against Russia. Now, as part of their ambivalent
 
approach, American jet fighters and those of its western coalition are targeting the ISIS terrorists
 
in Iraq and Syria.
 
Besides, in wake of the presidential election-campaign, ordinary Americans are focusing on
 
internal problems which are the result of prolonged war on terror. Patriot Americans are openly
 
criticizing the Zionist-protected policies of the US. Taking cognizance, Obama has asked Turkey
 
to withdraw its forces from Iraq’s territories. In the recent past, John Kerry gave ultimatum to the
 
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to agree for the two-state solution of the Palestinian dispute. 
 
Meanwhile, some recent developments have further exposed the dual strategy of the US-led
 
west.    The Russia-led coalition which have successfully been achieving its objectives have
 
broken the backbone of the ISIS terrorists, Al-Qaeda’s Al-Nusra Front and the rebels who have
 
vacated most of the areas of Syria and Iraq. On February 3, this year, Syrian troops backed by
 
Russian warplanes cut the last supply route, linking rebels and ISIS militants in Aleppo city.
 
Aleppo is near the Turkish border from where with the backing of the US-led west (Especially,
 
UK and France), Turkey has also been supporting the rebels and ISIS terrorists, while Saudi
 
Arabia and some other Gulf countries like Qatar are funding them to oust the Assad’s regime.
 
It is of particular attention that the representatives of the rebels had refused to participate in the
 
recently-held Geneva peace talks (Held on February 1) by demanding that first Russia should
 
stop airstrikes. When John Kerry insisted them to “seize the opportunity” to participate in UN-
 
backed peace talks on Syria, they agreed to participate. It has clearly exposed America’s dual
 
Taking note of the weak position of the ISIS militants and rebels who received a greater blow,
 
their representatives in Geneva who first time participated in talks, demanded that Russia-led
 
coalition should stop siege of Aleppo city for the success of negotiations. The UN has suspended
 
peace talks, and now would resume on February 25.
 
As part of the double game, America and its allies, particularly France have held Russia and
 
Syrian President Assad responsible for the suspension of Geneva peace talks.
 
It is worth-mentioning that CIA-Mossad-backed ISIS commanders who are fleeing Iraq and
 
Syria are taking shelter in Libya. In this context, on February 3, 2016, BBC pointed out, “Senior
 
commanders from so-called Islamic State (IS) have moved to Libya from Iraq and Syria
 
On the one side, on February 4, this year, a donor conference held in London where the world’s
 
rich countries, particularly Germany, Britain, the US and EU pledged billions of dollars to help
 
Syrian refugees, scattered around the world, and especially those who have taken shelter in
 
Europe, while on the other, they are still backing the rebels and ISIS terrorists, and are also
 
targeting them through areal strikes.
 
Now, taking cognizance of the weak leverage of bargaining of the US-led western countries on
 
Syrian question, some countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israeli are encouraging the ISIS
 
militants to continue terror attacks on the Shias and in Syria. Besides previous similar assaults in
 
Syria, ISIS claimed responsibility for a triple bombing which killed 45 people near a Shia shrine
 
in Damascus, on January 31, 2015.
 
As regards manipulation of the Syrian crisis, notably, on February 1, this year, the Russian
 
Defense Ministry has presented video evidence which shows Turkish military shelling on the
 
Syrian territory.
 
While, in case of Afghanistan, there are several groups of Al-Qaeda, ISIS and Taliban like the
 
Afghan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Some of them are being used by secret
 
agencies like CIA, Israeli Mossad and Indian RAW to obtain the collective and individual
 
designs of their countries against Pakistan and Middle Eastern countries. India and Israel which
 
want to prolong the stay of the US-led NATO troops in Afghanistan which have become the
 
center of covert activities, are exploiting their dual policy, particularly of America against
 
Pakistan, China and Iran. Terrorists of TTP and ISIS which are strategic assets of the CIA have
 
claimed responsibility for several terror attacks inside Pakistan, including at Charsadda’s
 
university of Pakistan and recent ones in Afghanistan.
 
By utilizing the vicious circle of terrorism and the dual policy of America, some western
 
countries, Israel and India, Al-Qaeda, ISIS and TTP also employ double game. Besides working
 
for CIA, Mossad and RAW, these militant outfits also motivate the common Muslims for suicide
 
attacks and terror-related activities as part of Jihad. Otherwise, Jihad does not permit suicide
 
attacks. Like other religions, Islam is a religion of peace and prohibits any sort of terrorism.
 
Iraq-based ISIS which itself broke away from Al-Qaeda, proclaimed a worldwide caliphate by its
 
leader Abu Baker al-Baghdadi, on 29 June 2014. ISIS’s criminal actions had widely been
 
criticized in the world, with many Islamic communities judging the group to be unrepresentative
 
of Islam. One of ISIS’s goals has been to establish a radical Sunni Islamic state in Iraq, Syria,
 
Jordan, Palestine etc. (Levant region). It has been used by the US and Israel for distorting the
 
image of Islam and for inciting the feelings of western Christians and Kurds against Muslims.
 
For the purpose, like Al-Qaeda, it is widely known for its violent acts and propaganda which
 
includes Internet videos of beheadings etc. However, besides some Islamic countries, a majority
 
of the religious extremists (Muslims) from the western world joined the ISIS. In this context,
 
oblivion on the part of the west about ISIS recruits from their countries is questionable.
 
Saudi Arabian rulers who have already been funding the ISIS against Iran and Syria, have been
 
fighting for survival of their kingship. In accordance with Israel-led American secret strategy,
 
Saudi Arabia has chosen the path of leading unrest in the Middle East by promoting sectarian
 
violence. Notably, the US decided to revive the phony war on terror through Saudi Arabia.
 
American President Obama knew that much resentment is found in the Muslim countries against
 
the US and Israel. Therefore, he directed Saudi Arabia to form an alliance of the Sunni countries
 
to wage a war against the ISIS. On December 15, 2015, Riyadh which also wanted to protect its
 
monarchy in the pretext of fighting the ISIS terrorists, announced a 34-state Sunni-based military
 
alliance. Washington immediately welcomed the alliance.
 
It is noteworthy that like the drastic aftermath of 9/11 tragedy, rulers and politicians of the US-
 
led western countries, especially of Europe are again misguiding their general public by creating
 
chauvinism against the Muslim World by exploiting the critical situation, after the Paris disaster
 
and the shooting at San Bernardino, California. In fact, fault cannot be laid on the ordinary
 
citizens who are swayed by stereotypes and prejudices created by the political leaders who keep
 
on manipulating any crisis for their own self-interests with the sole aim of getting their
 
sympathies to increase their vote bank. There are equal strong pressures from religious and
 
nationalist forces in wake of global war on terror which are dividing the world on religious lines.
 
As regards the anti-Muslim policy, on January 18, 2015, British Prime Minister David Cameron
 
announced that Muslim women who fail to learn English to a high enough standard could face
 
deportation from Britain. He also suggested that poor English skills can leave people “more
 
susceptible to the messages of groups like Islamic State (IS).”
 
Cameroon was quickly criticized by Andy Burnham, the shadow home secretary, Sayeeda Warsi,
 
the Tory peer and former party co-chairman for singling out Muslim women as the main group.
 
They said, “His clumsy approach to challenging extremism is unfairly stigmatising a whole
 
community…evidence suggests [Racial] gang culture, Islamophobia, [and] responses to foreign
 
policy are greater drivers of radicalisation” than failure to learn English.”
 
Earlier, Donald Trump, the leading contender to become the Republican Party’s nominee
 
for US presidential candidate had called for a ban on Muslims, entering the United States in
 
response to the San Bernardino shooting.
 
In the past few days, tensions over Europe’s migrant crisis led to violence in Sweden and the
 
UK, with a masked mob calling for attacks on foreigners in Stockholm, and nearly 100 men
 
gathered on January 29, resulted into clashes between pro-and anti-migrant demonstrators in the
 
British town of Dover.
 
And under the threat of ISIS, especially European governments and EU have been expelling the
 
immigrants from their countries, while discouraging more Syrian refugees. On the other side,
 
they are also trying to resolve the Syrian crisis. However, it shows contradictory policy.
 
On January 25, 2016, The EU’s law enforcement agency Europol revealed that ISIS have set up
 
special forces style training camps in Europe, as they plot mass casualty civilian strikes on the
 
Nevertheless, it is due to the dual policy of the US-led western world that ISIS which is most
 
dangerous terrorist group than Al-Qaeda is rapidly spreading its tentacles to all over the world.
 
On January 14, 2015, multiple blasts and gunfire killed seven people and jolted the Indonesian
 
capital Jakarta. The ISIS claimed responsibility. The Indonesian investigative agency disclosed
 
that the ISIS carried out the attacks with the help of home-grown terrorists. On October 4, 2015,
 
ISIS-affiliated militant outfit Boko Haram claims responsibility for Nigeria’s deadly suicide
 
bombings which killed 18 people on October 4.
 
Despite widespread protests across the country in recent days, the French government confirmed
 
on February 3 that it would seek a three-month extension of the state of emergency it declared
 
after the Paris attacks. It indicates that if ISIS conducts more terror attacks in France and other
 
European countries, they would move towards autocracy.
 
Nonetheless, either Muslims are being massacred by terrorist groups in Syria, Iraq and Pakistan
 
or Christians in Nigeria or anywhere—or they are targeted by racialists, all these acts are
 
strongly condemnable, as they are all human beings. Hence, instead of pursuing dual strategy
 
about ISIS which is proving extremely counterproductive, the US and its allies must better agree
 
for an international coalition to fight this militant outfit and Al-Qaeda.
 
In this regard, President Putin has said on January 11, 2015, “The West of exacerbating
 
international crises that had contributed to it…we are faced with common threats, and we still
 
want all countries, both in Europe and the whole world, to join their efforts to combat these
 
If dual policy towards Al-Qaeda and especially ISIS continues by the US-led western countries,
 
it will create chaos in the Middle East, enveloping the entire world, and may culminate into
 
“Clash of Civilizations.” Any major war or such a clash will take the US and Europe to the
 
era—from 1511 to 1648 when Europe witnessed a prolonged arena of barbarism, religious
 
bigotry and intolerance, resulting into beastly violence. 
 
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,
 
Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations
 
Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com
 
Courtesy: The Veterans Today

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NEED FOR GENUINE INTERFAITH DIALOGUE BY SAJJAD SHAUKAT

Need for Genuine Interfaith Dialogue

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

 

During a visit to Italy’s largest military cemetery of World War I, on November 14, expressing his grief over the November 13 terror attacks in Paris, Pope Francis called them a “piece of a piecemeal World War III…war is madness…even today…fought with crimes, massacres, destruction.”

 

On September 25, this year, at the UN General Assembly, while indicating the unjust global order, Pope Francis, condemned the global financial institutions, calling on them to ensure that countries “are not subjected to oppressive lending systems which, far from promoting progress, subject people to mechanisms which generate greater poverty, exclusion and dependence.”

 

Earlier, addressing the US Congress, Pope Francis said, “No religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism…we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism. A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system…every life is sacred.”

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Taking note of America’s non-acceptance of the Syrian refugees, Francis reminded the law-makers by pointing out that the United States “is part of a larger whole one America in the Americas, where immigration is a deeply rooted part of history…we, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners.”

 

Pope Francis also warned of globalization, and said, “Keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty.” He emphasized upon the need of “creation and distribution of wealth.”

 

While calling for an end to the arms trade by the arms dealers, Francis explained, “Deadly weapons…for money are being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society…money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood.”

 

He further added, “If politics must truly be at the service of the human person, it follows that it cannot be a slave to the economy and finance.”

 

However, owing to his religious status, Pope Francis did not openly elaborate his views. In other worlds, he indicated the double games, secret strategies of the rulers, politicians, their collaboration with the arms dealers, creation of a crisis, exploitation of peoples’ feelings etc., and manipulation of the Syrian war at a critical time when the brutalities, committed by the Islamic State group (ISIS) are being blamed by the US-led western entities on the religion of Islam and Muslims. But, the Pope has clarified that it is not in Islam only, such extremism or fundamentalism can infect any faith like Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism which contain extremists who commit crimes in the name of their faith.

 

In this regard, the double games and secret strategies in relation to the interfaith dialogue needs appropriate analysis.

 

Just after the September 11 tragedy inside the United States, chauvinism and extremism developed not only in Americans, but also in the media and high officials of the Bush Administration. President Bush used the words, “crusade against the evil-doers”, adding to the perception that the ongoing ‘different war’ against terrorism is actually a war against the Muslim countries.

 

Brushing aside the Israeli atrocities on the Palestinians, American unity was projected with such force as to allow no questioning of the US policy. Under the cover of the 9/11 catastrophe, preplanned strategy of the neo-conservatives started a fake global war on terror. For the purpose, Israel was given a free in the occupied territories of the Palestine, where every sort of state terrorism was practiced on the innocent persons. Besides, various anti-Muslim developments such as employment of coercive diplomacy, occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, employment of state terrorism by special military operations, extra-judicial assassinations and heavy aerial bombardment, CIA-FBI-military torture cells, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Graib, sectarian violence (And division on Shia-Sunni basis) etc. resulted into the killing of more than two million Muslims.

 

President Obama has also continued the same dual strategy. Apart from air strikes on funerals, marriage-ceremonies and mosques in Afghanistan, overthrow of the elected government in Egypt, creation of more collapsed states such as Libya, Syria, Yemen etc., CIA support to the mercenaries and ISIS terrorists, including Al-Qaeda’s Al-Nusra Front in fighting against the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iraqi regime are part of the covert policy of the neo-conservatives to fulfill the unfinished agenda of the Zionists and Israel.

 

Meanwhile, taking cognizance of the growing threat of terrorism which had been dividing the western and Islamic nations on cultural and religious lines, both President Bush and President Obama orchestrated the drama of interfaith dialogue in wake of phony global war on terror. In this respect, with official backing, many conferences were held in America and Europe, and various countries in which scholars from Islamic states and other western countries also participated with a view to creating cultural understanding among major religious communities. In this connection, a four day conference of Muslim and Christian intellectuals held on August 1, 2008 at the Yale University Divinity School of America for promoting interfaith dialogue, but ended without discussing any issue of religious fundamentalism in relation to state terrorism. Another conference of Muslims, Christians and Jews was held in July, 2008 at Madrid, arranged by the efforts of Saudi King Abdullah. Afterwards, these meetings continued from time to time. However, on the one side, behind the interfaith dialogue, the main aim of Bush and Obama was to pacify the Muslims, Americans and western public, while, on the other to continue the Israel-led state terrorism of America and the US allies on the Muslims.

 

Despite the so-called interfaith dialogue, blasphemous acts like reprinting of the caricatures about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and release of a Dutch film against the Holy Quran and the burning of a copy of the Holy Quran by Pastor Wayne Sapp in a Florida church continued by Zionist plotters against the Christians, Americans Muslims and the peace-loving Jews.

 

But, the US and Israeli frustration by the recent developments such as Russian airstrikes on the ISIS targets in the northern Syria, its coalition with Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon-based Hezbollah in support of President Assad culminated in terror attacks in Paris which were also part of the Zionist conspiracy against the Muslims, Christians and loyal Americans—the west and particularly Europe.

 

In the post-Paris attacks phenomena, the US succeeded in getting the assistance of its western allies against Russia. Now, as part of the ambivalent approach, American jet fighters and those of its western coalition are targeting the ISIS terrorists in Iraq and Syria. But, there is also danger of nuclear war or what the pope Francis warned of World War III in wake of anti-Muslim statements of irresponsible politicians and Zionist-controlled media.

 

In this context, scholars of international affairs agree that “foreign affairs are too foreign” to the citizens of a country. Renowned scholar Prof. Hoslti opines that “issues and situations” have “influence on public opinion” which in turn “influences the objectives and actions.”

 

In fact, fault can not be laid on the ordinary citizens who are swayed by emotions, stereotypes and prejudices created by the political leaders who keep on manipulating any crisis for their own self-interests with the sole aim of getting their sympathies to increase their vote bank. There are equal strong pressures from religious and nationalist forces in wake of global war on terror which is dividing the world on religious lines.

 

Like the drastic aftermath of 9/11 tragedy, rulers and politicians of the US-led western countries, especially of Europe are again misguiding their general public by creating chauvinism against the Muslim World by exploiting the critical situation, after the Paris disaster and the shooting at San Bernardino, California. In one way or the other, the Muslims are being persecuted in the US and other western countries, particularly in Europe.

 

Anti-Islamic policy of their politicians could be judged from the statement of US Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump who recently called for a ban on Muslims, entering the United States in response to the San Bernardino shooting. He stated, “We have no choice…more Sept. 11-style attacks if stern measures are not taken.”

 

Nevertheless, instead of projecting the so-called threat of Islamophobia which is rapidly dividing the world on religious lines, the US-led western governments must conduct genuine interfaith dialogue among Muslims, Christians, Hindus and non-Zionists Jews.

 

For the purpose, first of all, by discarding the clandestine strategies of the past theorists like Hobbes, Machiavelli, Morgenthau and Kissinger, leaders of the major powers should resolve the Syrian crisis through negotiations (Or through points agreed upon in the recent Geneva meeting). Then, under the auspices of the UN, a broader alliance of all the stakeholders must be concluded to fight against the ISIS terrorists. And especially, the US must abandon its double game regarding ISIS and Syria.

 

For the success of interfaith dialogue, some American and western political leaders should stop irresponsible statements by equating the war on terror with war on Islam, and acts of Al Qaeda and ISIS with all the Muslims. Their media should also be brought under control through appropriate legislation or law, as freedom of expression does not mean the introduction of dangerous socio-religious dimension in their societies by dividing world politics on cultural and religious lines with the negative projection of Islam which is a religion of peace, and prohibits any kind of terrorism like other religions.

 

Moreover, responsibility also lies on the rulers of the Muslim countries including opposition parties and media to refrain from manipulation of the present chaotic situation.

 

Furthermore, it is suggested to all Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists who use social media or Internet for controversial debate, must share it for creating religious harmony which is essential for world peace, their economic development and prosperity. On the occasion of this Christmas, they must pledge selfless global unity in their messages.

 

Returning to our earlier discussion, instead of the orchestrated drama of the past, there is an immediate need to conduct the genuine interfaith dialogue, before the world enters into a major war of “all against all” in the sense of Hobbesian state of nature.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic_pak@hotmail.com

 

Courtesy Veterans Today

 

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Does ISIS Exist in Pakistan? By Sajjad Shaukat

           Recently, propaganda intensified that the militant outfit Daish or ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) has its presence in Pakistan. Besides some newspapers and media anchors of some TV channels also misperceived that ISIS has penetrated into Pakistan. In fact, they made their observation on the basis of media announcements by the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leaders and Indian media.

 

Although ISIS does not exist in Pakistan, yet Pakistan government, law-enforcing agencies, media and civil society must exercise high degree of vigilance against any possible ingress by any elements like ISIS. Despite this, existence of ISIS in Pakistan needs special analysis, as its presence can not merely be propagated on the basis of wall chalking or media announcements of the TTP leaders and India.

 

As regards this militant outfit, on 29 June 2014, ISIS proclaimed a worldwide caliphate by its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, based in Iraq. It claims religious, political and military authority over all Muslims, while ISIS’s actions have been widely criticized around the world, with many Islamic communities judging the group to be unrepresentative of Islam. One of ISIS’s goals has been to establish a radical Sunni Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant region, which covers Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine etc., and southern region of Turkey. It is widely known for its violent propaganda which includes Internet videos of beheadings. The UNO and Amnesty International have held this group responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes. ISIS group has been designated as a terrorist organization by the UNO and the European Union.

 

Some reports suggest that as part of the double game, American CIA has also been supporting the militants of the ISIS to overthrow the Shia regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Another aim is to spread sectarian violence in the Islamic countries.

 

However, besides some Islamic countries, a majority of the religious extremists from the Western World and especially India has joined the ISIS. In this context, a deliberate oblivion on the part of the West about ISIS recruits from their countries also exposes their duplicity and hypocrisy.

 

images-14It is notable that although various kinds of terror attacks in Pakistan have been conducted by the TTP and its banned affiliated groups in the past few years, yet the massacre of 132 school children at Army Public School and College in Peshawar on December 16, 2014 proved a watershed, as it has given a final wake up call to the nation to unite against these ruthless terrorists.

 

In this respect, the armed forces of Pakistan have conducted several successful military operations against the terrorists; the most recent one being operation Zarb-e-Azb, which has successfully broken the backbone of militants. Frustrated by their failures, these insurgents are resorting to coward acts like attack on innocent children in Peshawar.

 

Taking note of the school attack, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif has himself started supervising the military action against terrorists, and as part of the operation, several terrorists have been killed during air strikes. Gen. Raheel stated, “We are extremely saddened, but our resolve has taken new height”, and added “We will continue to go after the inhuman beasts, their facilitators till their final elimination.”

 

Undoubtedly, as a result of ongoing operations in Waziristan and Khyber Agency especially operation Zarb-e-Azb, militants are finding no place other than Afghanistan to flee and save their skin.

 

In this context, Gen. Raheel accompanied by the DG of Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI), rushed to Kabul on December 17, 2014. During his meeting with his Afghan counterpart, President Ashraf Ghani and the ISAF commander, he presented evidence of the Peshawar massacre’s linkage with TTP sanctuaries in Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. He also asked the extradition of TTP chief Mullah Fazlluah, and handing over to Pakistan. In response, they assured him to take action against the TTP.

 

In fact, Afghanistan has become a hub of anti-Pakistan activities from where external secret agencies, especially Indian RAW are sending logistic support to Baloch separatist elements and TTP insurgents in Pakistan. Posing themselves as Pakistani Taliban, these enemies have joined TTP and other banned extremist outfits. In the recent years, especially TTP’s insurgents and its affiliated banned groups conducted many terror-activities in various regions of the country like suicide attacks, ruthless beheadings of tribesmen, assaults on security personnel and prominent figures including Shias, Ahmadis, Sufis, Christians and Sikhs as part of the scheme to create chaotic situation in the country.

 

It is of particular attention that spokesman of the Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Usama Mehmood and some other militant groups have also condemned the TTP in relation to the massacre of innocent children at Peshawar school.

 

Nevertheless, after Peshawar incident, strong public reaction against extremism/terrorism and dislike for Taliban/TTP elements—has been equally condemned by the political leadership as a national policy, showing solidarity with the armed forces. In this connection, on January 2, this year, political and military leaders agreed on a draft of legislative measures which would pave the way for establishment of special military trial courts. The participants also reiterated the commitment for dismantling and destroying all forms of terrorism and terrorist networks operating within the country. It was unanimously resolved that the 20 points enunciated in the All Parties Conference (APC) Resolution of December 24, 2014 shall be acted upon expeditiously—the bill as 22nd (Constitutional) Amendment, will be enforced soon after its approval from the parliament.

 

Meanwhile, media has reported that an Indian person namely Mehdi Masoor of Banglore remained affiliated with ISIS, and is running a pro-ISIS tweeter account. So question arises as to how India justifies its propaganda of ISIS linkage with Pakistan?  As a matter of fact, New Delhi has been frustrated by the successes achieved against the Taliban/TTP insurgents by Zarb-e-Azb. Therefore, sinister aim of Indian false propaganda about the presence of ISIS in Pakistan is to distort country’s image in the eyes of international community, while ISIS does not exist in Pakistan.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

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Pakistani Army boot camps want to ‘re-program’ ISIS terrorists

 An undated photo posted to a militant website in January shows ISIS fighters marching in Raqqa, Syria.Photo: AP

 

 

It’s a 12-step program for terrorists.

Pakistan has successfully deradicalized thousands of Taliban jihadists using special boot camps — and now wants to try the tactic on the monstrous Islamic State, The Post has learned.

Pakistani military officials say they are confident that they can re-program the twisted minds of the head-chopping ISIS terrorists and turn them into normal, hard-working citizens.

“I believe that if we are able to harness ISIS in our rehab centers, I think it is doable,” said one Pakistani military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Since the program began in 2009, Pakistan has reformed a whopping 2,500 Taliban warriors — most of whom were suicide bombers and mid-level troop commanders, officials said.

“We have a 99 percent success rate. [The Taliban] would have killed themselves and a lot of other people, too. We are saving a lot of lives,” another Pakistani army official, Maj. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa, told The Post last week in Washington, DC.

Pakistan is now willing to share its expertise on rehab centers with Iraq and Syria in their fight against ISIS, which has taken over large swaths of land in those countries to create their self-proclaimed “caliphate,” Bajwa said.

“If we receive a request from [Iraq or Syria], I think we can talk to them about it,” Bajwa said, adding that all Middle Eastern countries need to take an “integrated approach” on ISIS and other extremist groups because “we’re all fighting the same menace.”

The Pakistani army came up with the rehab idea after it launched a 2009 offensive in Swat Valley and rounded up a number of Taliban militants, the anonymous source said.

The terrorists were segregated and categorized by their level of indoctrination and their ages, which ranged from 18 to 45, the official said.

“We look at their track record — how long have they been with the Taliban, their level of radicalization,” the official said. “On a scale of 1 to 10, this one may be an 8, and this one a 5, and we separate them accordingly into groups.”

The army converted four large school buildings in Swat and put together a team of doctors, teachers, psychologists and other professionals.

The Taliban then underwent a four-part re-programming process there that took six months to a year.

The “deradicalization program” drills down into the root causes of why they join the ranks of the Taliban, the official said.

“Some people get radicalized out of a sense to serve God,” the official said. “Others, especially young men, see Taliban with long beards and carrying Kalashnikovs [machine guns] walking around’’ and think it’s cool.

The official said that in some Taliban-controlled areas, the terrorists force families to turn over their children for indoctrination.

In the rehab centers, the first part of the rebooting process is a psychological evaluation.

INITIALLY, THEY HAVE A VERY DARK MINDSET, AND THEY WON’T USE ANY COLOR OTHER THAN BLACK COLOR TO DRAW A HOUSE WITH NO WINDOWS.

 – Gen. Bajwa

“Initially, they have a very dark mindset, and they won’t use any color other than black color to draw a house with no windows,” Bajwa said. “At the end of the process, they want to use any color other than black to draw their house — bright colors with open windows and doors.”

In the second phase, the militants are “de-indoctrinated and then motivated” by religious teachers and friends, Bajwa said.

“They sit down with [the terrorists] and explain to them, ‘Why would they resort to this type of life?’ What it entails in terms of religious values and social and moral values, so all that was discussed,” Bajwa said.

The third and fourth parts involve making the terrorists productive citizens who are valued by their families, according to Bajwa.

They are given an education and taught a craft, such as carpentry or computer programming.

During the process, the other official said, the terrorists are served regular Pakistani meals in a large cafeteria. On the menu is curry, rice, mangos, vegetables and yogurt for dessert.

They also take part in a comprehensive morning and evening physical therapy program, playing volleyball and cricket, Pakistan’s favorite pastime.

“They operate in teams and are socially more active, which is positive reinforcement,” the official said.

The former extremists are then released back into society.

“They never again join the [Pakistan Taliban],” Bajwa insisted. “But we put in place a system of monitoring them with the help of an integrated team, the family and local police.”

A source said there was only one case in which it appeared the reboot might not be working.

“This monitoring time actually caters for that risk and possibility,’’ the source said.

 

Reference

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