Our Announcements

Not Found

Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here.

Archive for category OPINION LEADER

How Western Leaders Destroyed the Muslim World: We, the People and the Revival of Colonization by Mahboob Khawaja, PhD

 

28 October2021

How Western Leaders Destroyed the Muslim World: We, the People and the Revival of Colonization

The Ottoman Empire

Share this…
Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on RedditDigg this

[Graphic: Ottoman Empire 1481-1683André Koehne drawn from The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd.]

By Mahboob Khawaja, PhD

Editor’s Note
The history of the Arab world (generally the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Central and South Asia) is an unknown. So is the history of Africa and most of South and Central America. Even Western Civilization focuses on the Greek and Roman Empires and the pathway of Christianity into Western Europe. In fact, the void of education in the U.S. about the rest of the world is frightening and largely constrained to a rather rosy view of selective U.S. involvement here and there. This is not a Eurocentric worldview in a fuller sense of that term as European history is also largely missing. The Eurocentrism is true only within the context of a cultural grounding, and in the racial categorization that underpins and reinforces the racism and racialization that is so pernicious in U.S. society.

 

I have no idea of the historical grounding of European students into their own nation’s roles in imperialism, nor how it is presented if it is taught. Nor do I know what education the nations subject to imperialism know except that many of those countries have no broad public educational systems. 

The Ottoman EmpireClick map to enlarge.

Ottoman Empire 1481-1683André Koehnedrawn from The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd.I assume that if you have much knowledge of historical imperialism in even a loose way you got to the way I did – reading beyond the curriculum and beyond “school.” Perhaps you stumbled across the work of Edward Said (1935-2003). Perhaps the critiques that arose out of his post-colonial perspective found you instead. [As a short study, I recommend an excellent 2013 article by Tarek Osman BBC NewsWhy border lines drawn with a ruler in WW1 still rock the Middle East.

Osman elaborates on the Sykes-Picot agreement and the three problems at the heart of it. I think these are pertinent to the crises we see today, and typical of imperialism across the planet.

“First, it was secret without any Arabic knowledge, and it negated the main promise that Britain had made to the Arabs in the 1910s – that if they rebelled against the Ottomans, the fall of that empire would bring them independence. “

Second, was that the line they drew ignored tribal territories and existing historical boundaries. “But the thinking behind Sykes-Picot did not translate into practice. That meant the newly created borders did not correspond to the actual sectarian, tribal, or ethnic distinctions on the ground.”

Third, which Osman lays on the Arab world: “… Arabs’ failure to address the crucial dilemma they have faced over the past century and half – the identity struggle between, on one hand nationalism and secularism, and on the other, Islamism (and in some cases Christianism).” I do not believe that the identity struggle lies solely at the feet of the various leaders in the Arab world.

I have come to think that we are not in a post-colonial period. Rather both imperialism and colonialism are still very active. Even if the mechanisms have changed, and sometimes pawns are used (as Dr. Khawaja asserts) and/or multinational corporations (backed by major nations) have taken the leadership role, the models are still too applicable to be ignored. I must add that the corporations are legal proxies for the wealthiest of the planet which does indeed place an even more sinister twist to contemporary colonization.

Are the masses aware of the owners of the boots on our necks? If we/they revolt against the obtuse, self-serving rulers of their varying states what do they replace that organization with?

I agree that many around the planet believe that we are one humanity, but we have yet to find a way to assert that. And there are many who are too aware of their lack of access to the necessities of sustainable survival but accept the concepts of winner and losers and wealth acquisition. In other words, they have no challenge for the system that holds them in place, only for those holding power within that system.

Ahh, perhaps I am in a bleak period and there is more hope and promise in the world that I see with my dim and somewhat jaded eyes this day.

Mahboob Khawaja, PhD

The Arab word’s a veritable mess. The cosmic leadership deficit, the absence of legitimate institutions, the lack of transparency, disrespect for human rights, abysmal regard for gender equality, and too much conspiratorial thinking make it impossible to come to terms with the magnitude of the problems. In short, this region will remain broken, angry, and dysfunctional until the leaders who purport to take responsibility for governing these unhappy lands get their proverbial acts together. And that’s … well, a generational enterprise at best, and I suspect something that will take a good deal longer.  Aaron David Miller (“Where Have all the Arab States Gone” Foreign Policy: 4/14/2015)

After the US-led crusade in Afghanistan, it was Iraq, then Libya, followed by Syria and Yemen leading to Saudi Arabia under the guise of “war on terrorism.”  The US Congress was powerful to sanction the 2003 bogus war against Iraq. The same fate could meet Saudi Arabia if it refuses to compensate the alleged victims of the 9/11 attacks.

The US and some of the West European nations have played a central role in institutionalizing the authoritarian corruption across the oil-producing Arab states. The new educated and thinking generations of Arabs must realize the inherent problems and make a navigational change and set priorities to detach the economy and politics from the oil-fed thinking and consequential militarization and interdependency on the Western nations unto social and economic-political reconstruction of the Arab societies for a sustainable future. The discovery of oil was not a blessing in its totality but its manipulation for superfluous prosperity and economy could turn out to be a natural curse leading to a decadent culture and civilization. Time and history shall not wait for a navigational change in thinking and actions but new generation should be conscientiously powerful and skilled enough in time management to share a new and moving vision and to plan strategies and actions for A NEW Arab world dedicated to informed and responsible people’s governance and living in harmony with the rest of the global community.

Robert Briffault, Professor at Cambridge University (The Making of Humanity, London, 1920). made the following historical observation:

“It was under the influence of Arabian and Moorish revival of culture and not in the fifteenth century, that the real Renaissance took place. Spain not Italy, was the cradle of the rebirth of Europe…It is highly probable that but for the Arabs modern European civilization would never have arisen at all; it is absolutely certain that but for them, it would not have assumed that character which has enabled it to transcend all previous phases of evolution. For although there is not a single aspect of European growth in which the decisive influence of Islamic culture is not traceable, nowhere is it so clear and momentous as in the genesis of that power which constitutes the paramount distinctive force of the modern world and the supreme source of its victory.”

– The Oppressed Global Humanity is Deprived of Reasoned Voice in Changing the Global Conflicts

Global humanity is continuously oppressed, manipulated, and victimized by the weapons of mass destruction – from thoughts to all kinds of weaponry.  Global peace, conflict management, and security are neglected by those who were responsible for their protection and maintenance. Everything thinkable appears to be falling into disrepair and much wanton destruction is reported as non-living statistic. Most leaders operate in a vicious circle of making statements, tweets and speculative wishful overtures as if the whole of mankind was inept and inattentive to the catastrophic challenges of the day.

Good judgments require honesty of purpose, courage and rational thinking. When leaders talk about emerging conflicts and human tragedies, they pretend as if none had ever happened before – as if they never opened the pages of history. History offers lessons to all generations all the time. Human perpetuated tyranny according to late Professor Howard Zinn is “tyranny.” Insanity has no alternative rationale. Look how the UNO leadership and most global politicians witness transgression, forcible displacement, and the killing of tens of millions across Syria, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar (Burma), and Yemen but do nothing except offer fake UN-Security Council resolutions and dubious statements about crimes against humanity.

Victimized mankind shares a sense of disarray and the loss of being part of global humanity. A view from afar only asserts conspicuous examples of flourishing inhumanity such as the proliferation of anarchy, violations of basic human rights and dignity, the use of chemical weapons, and civilian massacres. However, nobody questions why this is happening now after two World Wars. The world is changing but not fast enough for the authoritarian Arab rulers – fat from feeding on the oil revenues and stupid with mindless thoughts and behaviors. This is even more visible if you view them in the real world of political actions and the prevalent deplorable atrocities imposed on the Arab people. The affluent and oil-enriched indulge in conspiracies to assume power and institutionalize corruption simply to maintain a few tribal powerhouses favored by the ex-colonial masters managing the power centers from distance. Now, the Arab people have awakened after a long slumber of complacency and disorder. The problem was well defined by Shakespeare “the destiny of peoples coincided with the destiny of their monarch and nobles.” The knowledge-based, information age has dismantled some of the illusory borders and demarcation of nobilities and has challenged them to bridge the conflicting time zones between the palaces and the people with the internet, cell phones, facebook, twitter, and instant communication technologies.

The Arab Geography has No Proactive Leaders but Authoritarian Puppets Who Follow the Foreign Masters

Washington’s enemy is an enemy that doesn’t exist…. it didn’t exist when Bin Laden was alive, it doesn’t exist now…. America is being attacked because of its foreign policy…because of the Saudi police-state, because of its presence on the Arabian Peninsula, because of its relationship with Israel…Israel as a country isn’t the problem. The leaders of the Jewish-American community in the United States who influence and corrupt our congress into supporting Israel when we have no interests there…. The truth is, American and Western foreign policy interests in the Middle East for 50 years have depended on the maintenance of tyranny – a tyranny that gave us access to oil, a tyranny that protected Israel and in the last 20 years, tyrannies that persecuted Islamists to protect us.”

Michael Scheuer, former Chief of the CIA Bin Laden Unit, “We are Fighting an Enemy that Doesn’t not Exist in a War that Doesn’t End.”

Arab geography is the by-product of European colonization. Historically, Arabs were nomadic people free to move and trade all over the Arabian Gulf Peninsula and beyond. Britain, France, and Italy demarcated the national borders and extended superfluous nationalities to keep the Arab people divided and defeated. While Islam offered the unity of One People – ‘One Ummah’, the Europeans indulged in massive cultural and political disruptive plans to ensure that Arabs remained fractured and would not re-emerge as One People again. They were used at will by the then superpowers (British and French) to fight the European national wars during the First and Second World Wars. Could history repeat itself as happened during the French Revolution and Industrial Revolution that Arab people might rise over the agony of intolerable limits of lost freedom and bloody authoritarianism?

The degeneration of the Arab moral and intellectual culture is well in progress. They are divided and defeated. There are no wars for the Arabs to fight but they are fighting wars on several fronts without reason- known and unknown. The compelling realities across the beleaguered Arab world demand new thinking, new visionary leadership, men of new ideas and plans to deal with the unwarranted bombing of the civilian population, wholesale deaths, and deliberate destruction of the Arab people and culture and millions of displaced refugees with nowhere to go.

The emerging crises clearly indicate the Western policies and practices aim to incapacitate the Arab intellectual hubs and limit their ability to create a sustainable future. There seems to be no escape from the current volatile political crises when Arab leaders act as if they had no knowledge of the impact of massive death and destruction aimed at destroying contemporary rational thought. Temptation and compulsion of evil embedded in psychological factors of sectarian rivalries operate in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Egypt to perpetuate in-house fear, death and destruction. After the end of WW2, across the Muslim world, there were two major political problems of global importance, Palestine and Kashmir. Postwar Arab and Muslim leaders neglected the imperatives of these core issues and their failure enlarged the scope of other man-made problems to undermine the basic rights of freedom of the people of Palestine and Kashmir. Millions of Palestinians were evicted from their ancestral homes when the state of Israel was established. Whereas Kashmir represents the failure of India and Pakistan to hold a UNO agreed plebiscite to facilitate the freedom of the people of Kashmir. After the unsettling Palestinian refugee situation, why are there several millions of more Syrian refugees across Western Europe? Who will deal with the pressing problems of life and death facing the Arab masses? Who will deal with the restoration of peace, normalcy and conflict management? Do these leaders have any moral and intellectual capacity to extend security and a sense of protection to the helpless millions of refugees? Rationality is replaced by manufactured insanity. As it stands now, Arab leaders have no other thought and priority except to check the depleted oil prices, and count the dead bodies – soon they could be part of abstract statistics debated and defined by the American and European warriors as to how the Arabs lost their national freedom, human dignity and oil pumping economic happiness. To reverse the naïve blunders for accidental change and to clarify a rational perspective for the future, this author in “Arab Leaders Waiting to Count the Dead Bodies” (https://www.countercurrents.org/khawaja050213.htm), offered the following insight and reminder to all concerned in the Arab world:

Once the Arabs were leaders in knowledge, creativity, science and human manifestation, progress and future-making – the Islamic civilization lasting for eight hundred years in Al-Andalusia- Spain. But when they replaced Islam – the power and core value of their advancements with petro-dollars transitory economic prosperity, they failed to think intelligently and fell in disgrace and lost what was gained over the centuries. They relied on Western mythologies of change and materialistic development which resulted in their self- geared anarchy, corruption, military defeats and disconnected authoritarianism. The Western strategists ran planned scams of economic prosperity to destroy the Arab culture with their own oil and their own money turning them redundant for the 21st century world. Today, the authoritarian Arab leaders are so irrational and cruel that they reject all voices of reason for political change and emancipation of people-oriented system of governance only to bring more deaths and destruction to their societies.

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012. His forthcoming book is entitled: One Humanity and The Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution

Reference: Courtesy

, , ,

No Comments

Post US withdrawal from Afghanistan Part – 1   Brig.Gen(Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Post US withdrawal from Afghanistan

Part – 1

 

Asif Haroon Raja

 

“The aim of human happiness and solidarity is not violence, wars and aggression. All wars perpetuate violence, fear, and vindictiveness and are aimed at the destruction of civilizations and dehumanization of succeeding generations”. Bruce Gambrill Foster, “The Scourge of War: The Shameless Marketing of Violence”

 

Optimism dampened

 

The US had made Pakistan its coalition partner and a frontline state to fight the war on terror but throughout the two-decade war, its attitude towards Pakistan was highly discriminatory. It never hid its dislike against Pakistan and fondness for India and its two puppet regimes in Kabul. Pakistan was optimistic that after the withdrawal of foreign troops and removal of the anti-Pakistan Kabul regime and elimination of perverse influence of India, Afghanistan and its western border would become peaceful and would open up vistas for a better future.

 

Pakistan was also hopeful that after doing so much for the double-dealing USA in the 20-year war on terror, the US would bring a change in its acrimonious behavior and become more empathetic and affable but there is no change. The US frostiness towards both Afghanistan and Pakistan coupled with fluid and uncertain conditions in Afghanistan have dampened Pakistan’s optimism.

 

Apart from unfriendly outlook of the US, and lukewarm response of the regional countries towards the plight of war-torn Afghanistan, Islamic State-Khurasan (IS-K) is making Afghanistan insecure by its acts of terror. In addition to the attack in Kabul, two deadly suicide attacks occurred in the Imam-bargahs of Kunduz and Kandahar during the prayers on two successive Fridays resulting in heavy human losses. The victims were mostly Shias who form 10% of the population.

 

Foreign supported TTP and BLA as well as IS-K have carried out a series of attacks in Waziristan and Baluchistan in the last 2-3 months. The Taliban recently busted one of the dens of BLA in Nimroz, captured several of its militants and recovered a heavy cache of arms. The BLA has also been operating from Sistan in Iran.

 

After the Taliban recaptured power, anti-Pakistan Hamid Karzai started giving friendly signals to Pakistan in the hope of getting a seat in the Taliban cabinet. But on prompting of his masters, he again changed colors like a chameleon and is threatening Pakistan not to meddle in Afghan affairs.  

 

With over 11 million Afghans living below poverty lines, the resource constraint Taliban regime is finding it extremely difficult to feed the hungry, provide salaries to the workers and daily wages to the laborers. Humanitarian crisis similar to Yemen is being deliberately created by the spoilers of peace eager to deter Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran from filling the power vacuum in Afghanistan and to discredit the new regime. The IMF has predicted that if $ 9.50 billion of the Afghan Central Bank confiscated by the US is not released and no foreign aid is provided, the Afghan economy may shrink by 30%.  

 

The sense of elation felt by the Taliban after achieving great victory is dampening as a result of bleak economic and security conditions and non-cooperative attitude of the international community.

 

Reasons behind the US estrangement with Pakistan

 

The US after achieving all its objectives from the Afghan Jihad, dropped its most allied ally of South Asia Pakistan from its plate like a hot potato in 1990 and hugged India which had consistently pursued anti-American policies. Since then Pakistan has been taken out of the American security calculus and put in the hit list of Washington. India was made a strategic partner due to converging security interests. Under the changed perceptions, the US has striven to make Pakistan a compliant State and India the policeman of the Indo-Pacific region.

 

Driven by its wish to make India fight their war with China, the US signed high profile security pacts like civil nuclear deal, LEMOA, COMCASA, and ISA. The US hasn’t given up this wish even after China’s PLA soundly thrashed Indian soldiers with fists and spiked clubs in unarmed combat in Eastern Ladakh.   

 

Major reasons of the USA’s estrangement with Pakistan were that it is a Muslim country with high pitched Islamic ideological fervor and strong armed forces, it has weapon grade nuclear program and variety of sophisticated guided missiles, enjoys strong friendship with China and refuses to accept Indian hegemony. Later on CPEC, and Pakistan’s intimacy with the new Taliban regime have been added to the list which give it bellyaches.

 

Slight change which came in the US attitude after 9/11 was because of geo-political compulsions. Pakistan was taken on board because of its usefulness in Afghanistan. It was first used for the occupation of Afghanistan in 2001. Next it was used to defeat Al-Qaeda. It was then needed to extend the war to fight and defeat the Taliban, which was not possible without the two supply routes provided by Pakistan.

 

Warmth in relations cooled down when Pakistan refused to fight the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network (HN). Pakistan’s bold act of flushing out HN from North Waziristan in 2015 didn’t satisfy the US and the Kabul regime since the duo wanted Pak security forces to deal with the Afghan Taliban the same way. Pakistan’s refusal to fight someone else’s war annoyed the US. Pakistan’s services were again required to make the Doha peace talks with the Taliban successful, and lastly to carry out safe exit of troops from Afghanistan.

 

After the departure of all the foreign troops from Afghanistan which obviated the danger of body bags, the US doesn’t need Pakistan and will view its future relations through the Afghanistan lens only. This can be gauged from the unfriendly statement made by the US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in India, “We don’t see ourselves building a broad relationship with Pakistan”. 

 

The US-India nexus desire unstable Afghanistan

 

The US as well as India were never interested in the stability and development of Afghanistan. Prolongation of war suited their geo-economic and geo-strategic interests. 

 

Peace talks were a ruse to divide the Taliban and to keep the Afghanistan-Pakistan region unstable.

 

The US is eager to fail the new regime in Kabul and pave the way for the return of the Northern Alliance led by ex-Vice President Amrullah Saleh.

 

The US desire for an airbase

 

Currently, the US sole interest in Pakistan is to acquire an air base, or air passage to conduct counterterrorism operations against IS-K and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s services are needed to maximize pressure on the Taliban to make them submissive.

 

Washington had wanted an airbase in Uzbekistan or in Tajikistan on a temporary basis which was not accepted by Russia. Its request for deploying an Intel apparatus in Central Asia to monitor Afghanistan was also flatly declined by Moscow.

 

The US wants to renew air war to be able to gun down the Taliban and HN senior leaders, particularly those who are blacklisted and are in hiding.

 

The US media splashed news on Oct 23 that Islamabad has agreed to provide air base facility to Pakistan which was refuted by the latter.

 

Taliban and Pakistan in firing line

 

The US spent $ 8 trillion for the achievement of its geo-economic objectives through the deceitful and bloody war on terror. In spite of spending colossal amounts of dollars, using massive military force, waging the longest war, and suffering heavy fatalities, injuries, trauma and bearing the taunts of the world, the end result for the US was catastrophic. It soiled its reputation as the invincible sole super power and has become a descending power. The time and money it spent to hand back Kabul to the Taliban could have been used to help the struggling Americans.

Instead of carrying out self-examination and post mortem as to why it lost the war, why it couldn’t denuclearize Pakistan, failed to contain China and Russia, and couldn’t tame Iran, the US civil and military leadership started to look for sacrificial lambs to pin the blame of their humiliation upon them. There is no regret or feelings of remorse among the ones in power in Washington that the response to 9/11 attacks lacked sagaciousness, and was a reckless misadventure.

US War Crimes in Afghanistan

There is no talk of war crimes and war trials of those who legitimized brutality, indulged in massive human rights violations, used excessive force, and earned profits from the war. None is talking of rebuilding the destroyed country and providing compensations to the next of kin of the victims of war.      

Data published in May by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), a London-based charity, showed that 3,977 casualties were caused by US-led airstrikes between 2016 and 2020. Among them, 1,598 were children. https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202109/1235240.shtml

U.S. personnel to be investigated for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan

The International Criminal Court will also look into possible crimes by Taliban militants and Afghan government forces.
Image: International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.Peter Dejong / AP file

 

The Taliban are blamed for defeating and disgracefully pushing out the US-NATO forces, and allegedly failing to abide by the terms of Doha agreement. Pakistan is held responsible for allegedly assisting the Taliban in achieving victory. They are burning in the inferno of rage, humiliation and revenge, and are hatching plans on how to settle scores with the Taliban and Pakistan. 

 

Both the narratives are as cockeyed as the ones conceived after 9/11 and amounts to passing the buck on to someone else and ignoring own glaring blunders.

 

Biden is being blamed by the US Generals and the Republicans for the chaotic withdrawal and Trump is exploiting it to gain political mileage. 

 

The writer is retired Brig Gen, war veteran, defence & security analyst, international columnist, author of five books, Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, & Member CWC PESS & Veterans Think Tank. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

, , ,

No Comments

Global Leadership, Peace and Conflict Resolutions beyond the Lens of Rationality by Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja 

Global Leadership, Peace and Conflict Resolutions beyond the Lens of Rationality

 

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja 

 

 

“And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” 

(Howard Zinn, late American historian and distinguished scholar of peace, justice and humanity).

 

 

 

Leaders Speak Words Written by Specialists But See No Irony in their own Actions

The UNO was evolved to act as a tangible force for change and future-making to ensure the systematic safeguard of humanity from the “scourge of wars”, global peace, human security and a sustainable future for all on this planet. Not so, you watched the leaders speaking from the UN General Assembly podium uttering third-party written words of wisdom and forbearance with overweening pride and prejudice in their own agenda. More often when they claim honor and achievements, they dip into crass materialism, ignorance, violations of basic human rights, disregard of peace and security of mankind, inherent economic greed and perpetuated violence against the vulnerable and innocent habitants of this earth.

Our contemporary acclaimed political morality if there is any to a critical perceptive eye leans toward degeneration of the humanity and leadership claims and counter claims sound irrational and deceptive in pursuit of unbridled egoism and political power to deny reason and logic for transformation of much needed change and a peaceful future. We, the People of the globe must realize the truth and urgency at a time of challenging transformation and our sensual abilities for survival under circumstances of extreme geo-political problems – continuous wars, COVID -19 Pandemic, climate change and violations of human rights and dangers of insane cruelty in policies and practices to endanger our own future on this planet. The global institutions do not operate on human morality and intellect. The disclosure of ‘Pandora Papers’ reflect that reality.

The current global systems of political governance and leadership are overwhelmingly elite-class oriented and all global institutions are operated by pre-screened elite leaders who are disconnected to any relationship to ‘the people, by the people and for the people’ norm. In a rational sense, We, the People of the Planet have become lifeless digits, numbers and seamless legal entities to be used when needed at the ballot box and nothing else. What has changed from the authoritarianism of Hitler, Mussolini and the European engineered Two WW killing millions and millions for their own ideas and ideas of political governance? One wonders, if the advanced and secretive space weapons will be the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in a next overdue war or would it be the much possessed nuclear arsenals to extinguish life from this Plant? It appears contentious to predict scientifically and technologically based criterion to illustrate a logical definition of the end game between the conventional age of life and the beginning of an unknown new age of something beyond human imagination and history.

Contemporary Global Affairs under Rational Lens and Beyond

Looking at the contemporary world of acclaimed democracies, peace and national security of the states, almost everywhere frustration, cynicism and political endemic persists across the board. Political reasoning enforced by unilateral elite judgments view humanity just in a passing phrase for noble ideals of democracy and systems of governance devoid of legitimacy and public interest. Global leaders speak loud as actors at the UNO General Assembly but lack knowledge and wisdom to understand the pains and anguish of the victimized humanity. George Floyd continues to echo his voice across the US mainstream political activism: “I cannot breathe… I cannot breathe.” George Floyd is not dead; he is living in the living conscience and soul of the masses all over the world. You know that “Black Life Matters” is not a poltical slogan but a reality and demand of human conscience all over the planet. Imagine, how 10 million people of Kashmir must be breathing under locked up forcible occupation by Indian occupying force.  You won’t hear their desperate voices because of continuous lockdowns under the guise of democracy, security and bogus terrorism. Pakistanis watch them as spectators without any moral leadership. Syria, Yemen and Iraq are bombed and masses are crushed every day – what happened to the UNO Peace and Conflict Management responsibility? The new Arab Pharaohs kept in bondage by the American-European alliances offer no hope of freedom and peace to the masses. Palestinians are flogged mentally and physically by Israeli security strategies to disrupt their freedom and national identity. They are without any proactive or intelligent leadership to escape out of the box of inhumanity. Almost one million Rohinga refugees ask patiently why they were evicted forcibly from their homes in Myanmar. Do the world leaders care about the real human sufferings?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is awful and a tragedy of conscience to be speaking of politics when mankind urgently needs an effective cure for the Covid-19 pandemic. We are One Humanity – natural disasters and fatalities know not any borders, flags and nationalities but surge like wildfire as being witnessed in the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. Not so, American and the EU still buried in the past would not consider Russian Covid-19 vaccine already prepared and administered or Chinese vaccine because they are manufactured by the politically opposing sides. Again political absolutism heightens animosity and hatred rather than human understanding and cooperation for a precious cause of saving the lives on Earth. To save life of one human being is to safeguard the whole of humanity. We are all born equal One Humanity:- the Divine Message of Al-Qur’an clarifies the truth:

“Proclaim in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created,                                                                                                                    Created man (human being) out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood,                                                                                                    Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,  He Who taught (the use of)  the Pen,                                                                                    Taught man (human being) that which he knew not.”

Leaders at the annual UN Assembly compete for fame and honor but share no creative or practical ideas and workable ideals to protect the rights of humanity. Are we living and witnessing another world of global redundancy and foolishness where survival of the fittest is granted but masses are denied the reasoned and legitimate proposition of a sustainable future?  Were these not the historic factors leading to the Two World Wars?

Are We Witnessing a Decadent Culture of Human Morality and Intelligence?

We, the People, must be conscientious and attentive to a moral and intellectual compass of global political governance. We are moral human beings- a Creation of God created for a purpose in human life, enriched with intellect and wisdom much different than other animals moving on this earth. Our life, our rights, our dignity, our peace and security, our planet and our future cannot be traded-in at the UNO Forum. It is obvious that facts and truths vary in time and space, human destiny and casualty but human consciousness is waking up to the challenges of the 21st century defining the world of destiny and pulsation and the world of global conflicts and tensions- the world as we see it history linking us all into the nature of things of which we are an essential part; We, the People at the Heart of the God-given Universe, must seek our unity in changing fortunes of time and space or we could be destroyed by our obsessed ignorance and arrogance governing the global politics and human affairs. Leaders failed to lead us to any viable destiny for future-making. We must use an inward moral, intellectual and spiritual eye as being the Chief Creation of God to articulate an new culture of human communication to resolve problems across all the people and lands and to accord equal rights, peace and security to all, not the few arbitrarily conducting the UNO speaking forums.

Recall during the Two World Wars across Europe, millions and millions innocent civilians had perished in aerial bombings, political tyranny and forcible displacements. History is living not dead.  We the 21st century conscientious and informed citizens must realize to eliminate insanity, tyranny of destruction, violations of human rights, ethnic conflicts and religious bigotry.  Moses, Jesus and Mohammad preached the unity of mankind, respect and tolerance in adversity. None of the Messengers of God taught evil, intolerance and disrespect against the people. If we are witnessing it in the 21st century liberal democracies and immature leadership, it cannot flattened the moral, intellectual and political landscape as “No Man’s land” of any super powers or elsewhere. Violence, killings and maltreatment of the citizens cannot be transformed into virtue of democracy or clash of fanaticism disguised in any political ideals of the individuals, political agendas or so called leaders.

Late Professor Howard Zinn envisaged the future of mankind in the following words of wisdom:

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.”

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in international affairs-global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: One Humanity and the Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution. Lambert Academic Publications, Germany, 12/2019.

, , ,

No Comments

Stimulated instability in Af-Pak region Part-3 Asif Haroon Raja

Stimulated instability in Af-Pak region

Part-3

Asif Haroon Raja

The steep decline in America’s image and standing after 9/11 is a direct reflection of global distaste for the instruments of American hard power: the Iraq invasion, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, torture, rendition, and Blackwater’s killings of Iraqi civilians. – Shashi Tharoor

Unforgiving attitude of the losers

The Taliban’s meteoric victory has dejected the USA, Europe, India, Israel, Iran, liberals and seculars all over the world but has pleased the Islamists. Countries governed by parliamentary democracy and dictatorship are also upset.

The victorious Taliban after giving general amnesty to the collaborators, have neither carried out any retributions, nor demanded trials of those who had indulged in massive war crimes as was the case with the victors of the 2nd world war carrying out Nuremberg trials of the Germans, or sought war compensations.

The losing US-NATO are however, in black mood, and seem to be primed to avenge their defeat through means other than the military to teach a lesson to the Taliban as well as the convenient scapegoat Pakistan, which was first held responsible for the instability in Afghanistan and now for the victory of the Taliban, and for supporting the new regime.

Ironically the losers are trying to dictate terms to the victors and no one is asking them as to who has given them this right.

Governed by Islamophobia, Islamic Emirate is unacceptable to the prejudiced West, and is therefore finding faults in every good or bad act taken by the new regime in Kabul and is trying to unsettle them. They want them to fulfill their promises immediately. It is like asking a one-month old baby to start running.

The US controlled UN has not fulfilled its commitments given to the Palestinians and Kashmiris 74 years ago. Did the Kabul regime, the Afghan Army and India live up to the expectations of the US, or did the US fulfill its promises made to the Afghans in their 20-year rule?

The US after forcibly occupying Afghanistan chose to keep the heavy majority Afghan Pashtuns out of power and handed over the reins of power to the minority ethnic communities. Idea of an inclusive regime never occurred to the occupiers. The two puppet regimes were responsible for fomenting subversion in the region, deepening cleavages within the Afghan society and for creating a big mess. And yet the US tolerated the puppets and richly rewarded them simply because they governed the country as a so-called Islamic Republic under the US tailored constitution.   

Ill-intended demand of inclusive regime

The interim set-up in Kabul has not pleased the US, its strategic allies, and the neighbors of Afghanistan. All are insisting on an inclusive regime not realizing that how can revolutionary Taliban accommodate collaborators who aided and abetted foreign occupation, undertook mass killings and inflicted cruelties upon them. Traditionally, the revolutionaries undertook mass killings of their opponents. 

The Northern Alliance elements are though Muslims, but have a secular bent of mind and are predisposed to the western civilization and not to Pashtunwali code. They had extended their loyalties to the invading Soviet forces and also to the western forces and served them loyally. They showed no mercy to the oppressed Afghan Taliban.

Interestingly, none has insisted on selecting honest, upright and capable persons from various ethnic communities on merit.

There is no room for liberal political philosophy in Islam which had given birth to pro-rich and anti-poor deceitful modern democracy. 

Continuation of hostile policy

Yes, war is hell. It is awful. It involves human beings killing other human beings, sometimes innocent civilians. That is why we despise war. – John O. Brennan

The US is angry with Pakistan on account of refusing to provide a military base for counter terrorism purposes, its new policy of defiance and Imran Khan’s brashness to show mirror to the West. The US has got addicted to the pliant leaders and cannot tolerate defiant leaders.  

 

 

 

 

 

While Daesh-K has been activated to carry out acts of terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan, other hostile measures undertaken so far are freezing of Afghanistan’s $9.5 billion in the US banks, suspension of financial assistance by the World Bank and the IMF, and pushing the Taliban regime to grant more freedom to the women and to induct bigger number of women in the parliament.

Hybrid war has been intensified to vilify Pakistan and to disconcert the new regime in Kabul.

The US know that since the Taliban cannot be browbeaten, purchased, tricked, or humbled, the only way to have a toehold in Afghanistan is to include the lackeys from Northern Alliance in the interim as well as in permanent set-up who can be easily manipulated to act as fifth columnists and to help in sabotaging peace and stability.    

To punish Pakistan, the TTP, BLA and Daesh-K have been brought under one umbrella to accelerate terrorism in former FATA and Baluchistan, sword of FATF hasn’t been removed, and cricket teams of New Zealand and UK have cancelled their tours on account of invented insecurity. Australian and West Indies teams are likely to follow suit. Indian hand in the cricket racket has been traced and proof sent to ICC.

Political polarization and terrorism have been further intensified by the detractors to project Pakistan as politically unstable and an insecure country in order to block foreign investment.

Instability in Afghanistan as well as in Pakistan suits the spoilers since it will impede the progress of CPEC and will also prevent Afghanistan getting connected with it for which the Taliban have expressed their readiness.

Taliban’s amiability

Much to the chagrin of the spoilers, the Taliban are giving right signals to elicit support of the international community. They want to expand trade ties with other countries and have expressed willingness to induct more Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras and also women in the cabinet. After operationalizing the badly damaged Kabul airport, they are seeking restoration of international flights. Their amiability will however be not at the cost of making compromises on Sharia laws.

The Taliban have forgiven their internal and external enemies, but have not forgotten their treachery. They have agreed to cooperate, but not at the cost of losing Islamic identity, Islamic culture and values. They have no intention of falling into their honeycombed trap promising moon and are taking measured steps sensibly. 

Pakistan’s stance

Since problems of Afghanistan and Pakistan are interlinked, the latter is keen to restore stability in Afghanistan at the earliest. It is right in saying that the Afghans having gone through four decades of turmoil need healing. Apart from dispatching humanitarian assistance, trading in local currency and lowering tariffs on import of fruits and vegetables, Pakistan is lobbying hard to convince the international community to send all possible assistance to stabilize the new regime.

In its view neglecting the Taliban would be disastrous for the region in particular and the world in general due to financial, food and health crises and rising poverty in Afghanistan.

Pakistan is making strenuous efforts to bring all the six neighbors of Afghanistan in one loop to tackle Afghanistan’s socio-economic issues regionally and has made good progress.

Terrorism major worry of Pakistan

Apart from economic woes, Pakistan’s major worry is continuing acts of terrorism. Reportedly, bulk of the TTP elements and its affiliated groups have moved into Pakistan and are regrouping in Loralai and Zhob. The TTP leader Noor Wali Mehsud is dreaming of bringing back former FATA under his sway and to make it an Islamic Emirate. To win over the locals, the TTP is targeting law enforcement agencies only.

The Baloch groups led by BLA have teamed up with Dr. Allah Nazar’s Lashkar Baluchistan group. They are targeting security personnel and Chinese in Quetta, Awaran, Kharan, Turbat, Gwadar, Mastung, Sibi, Mach, and Bolan. BLA-Daesh-K terrorists are operating jointly from Nago hills in Mastung and are in contact with dacoit gangs in interior Sindh. A cell of Baloch rebels is functional at Sheerzan (Chahbahar) led by Rasool Bux. With the closure of Spin Boldak main supply route, the terrorists are receiving funds and weapons from India via Sindh, Mekran coast and Sistan.  

Several intelligence based operations have been conducted in Waziristan and Baluchistan, and good results achieved. Several militant leaders were gunned down and large caches of arms recovered. Speedy completion of fencing of southwestern border along with improved border management has become necessary.      

China’s role

China is keen to fill the power vacuum in Afghanistan and has developed good understanding with the Taliban. Its flagship project of CPEC cannot perform optimally without stable Afghanistan and getting connected with CPEC through Peshawar-Kabul Highway. It has extended 200 million Yuan aid to Kabul, which includes 3 million corona vaccines. China’s foreign minister told his counterpart in Washington that it was unethical to freeze accounts of war-torn countries and advised him to unfreeze Kabul’s cash assets and to extend humanitarian assistance.

The writer is a retired Brig Gen, war veteran, defence & security analyst, international columnist, author of five books, Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, and Member CWC PESS & Think Tank. asifharoonraja@gmail.com    

To be concluded

ReplyReply allForward

, , , , ,

No Comments

Stimulated instability in Af-Pak region Part-2 Brig.Gen(Retd)Asif Haroon Raja

Stimulated instability in Af-Pak region

Part-2

Asif Haroon Raja

Situation in Afghanistan

 

 

The seven Mujahideen groups duly supported by Pakistan had fought, defeated and ousted the occupying Soviet forces in Feb 1989 after a 10-year bloody war. Left in a lurch by the USA, they got embroiled in a power struggle which led to a civil war in 1992. Tehreek-Taliban-Movement (TTA) under Mullah Omar originated in Kandahar in 1994 as a consequence of the highly disturbed security situation in Afghanistan. Mullah Ghani Baradar was Omar’s trusted deputy. The Taliban were able to capture over 90% territory less Panjshir enclave in northeastern Badakhshan province.

 

 

 

After taking over power in Oct 1996, Mullah Omar established Islamic Emirate and in no time restored normalcy. Only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and UAE recognized the Taliban regime. Sharia laws helped the inexperienced rulers to make the society crimes and vices free. However, war with the Northern Alliance under Ahmed Shah Masoud duly supported by Russia, Iran and the West continued unabated in the Panjshir.       

When 9/11 happened, Afghanistan was a peaceful country. In spite of the US/UN sanctions the Taliban regime had managed to run the state affairs fairly well. Al-Qaeda was blamed for the attacks and the Taliban blamed for not handing over Osama bin Laden. These two reasons were played up to ignite the emotions of the Americans and to justify the invasion of Afghanistan in Oct 2001 and deposition of Taliban regime.    

After getting regrouped in FATA, the TTA resorted to guerrilla warfare to confront many times bigger and stronger enemies. Their strengths were religious ideology, valor, faith, will to die, suicide attacks and IEDs. All the Taliban leaders including Mullah Omar remained in hiding and couldn’t be traced by the CIA-FBI in spite of big head money announced for each wanted leader. Omar died in 2013 but his death was kept secret. His successor Mullah Mansour Akhtar operating as the de facto commander from 2013 onwards was elected the Ameer in end July 2015 after Omar’s death was revealed. He cultivated relations with Iran in order to procure arms.     

Once the tide swung in favor of the Taliban after the withdrawal of bulk of 140,000 foreign troops by Dec 2014 in accordance with Obama’s drawdown program, and it was established that the Taliban couldn’t be defeated on the battleground or divided, use of airpower and drones was maximized, peace talks with the Taliban through their political office at Doha stimulated, not to make the war-torn country peaceful, but to divide the TTA.

Map Courtesy

 

 

The Afghan national army was trained by the US, British and Indian instructors. Emphasis was on making them self-reliant to be able to fight the Taliban independently.

The CIA and RAW established Daesh-Khorasan (K) at Nangarhar in 2015 and was married up with Jamaat-al-Ahrar led by Khalid Khurasani, a breakaway faction of TTP. 

Elections were held in March 2016 in which only 10% voters from urban centres and Afghan refugees in Pakistan voted, and a unity regime formed in Sept that year in which Ashraf Ghani was appointed President and Dr. Abdullah CEO/PM. The two leaders remained locked in a power tussle which further weakened the governance and institutions, and the writ of the government got confined to Kabul only.

Corruption among the ruling regime scaled new heights and drug business kept flourishing making the country the biggest narcotic producing country of the world. Flow of dollars from the US modernized the major capital cities particularly Kabul, but also decayed the morality and values of the liberals and seculars. The downtrodden became poorer and they preferred to get recruited in TTA.  

The ANDSF also got corrupted and soldiers and policemen became addicted to drugs and other social vices including selling of weapons to the Taliban and becoming their informers. Officers minted money by recruiting ghost soldiers. Warlords and drug mafias kept filling their coffers and so did the US security and defence contractors. Raising and equipping ANA helped the US Military Industrial Complex to fatten the purses of the fat cats. The ANA on which $ 1.3 trillion was spent couldn’t win a single battle against the Taliban and in each confrontation they were rescued by NATO air support. The phenomenon of green-over-blue attacks and suicides propped up and suicide cases among occupational troops suffering from home sickness and post trauma stress disorder jumped up.

The Taliban managed their war expenditures through drug profits, seizure of NATO containers and levying tax on each passing container, or on development projects in areas under their influence. They earned $ 500 million annually from the US kitty.

These negative developments enabled India to further consolidate its influence in Afghanistan, keep the Kabul regime on a warpath with Islamabad, poison the ears of the Afghans against Pakistan, and to further bolster its clandestine operations in Pakistan.

Inequities and fault lines of the ruling regime made it unpopular, thereby giving reasons to the Taliban to dub it as illegitimate, and to refuse holding talks with it. ANA’s lack of will to fight allowed the Taliban to gain more and more space in all parts of the country.

The US government kept bestowing favors to India to enable it to achieve its ominous objectives against Pakistan. It kept pouring American taxpayers money in the kitty of Afghanistan to reinforce failure, while adopting a tight fisted and discriminatory policy against Pakistan.        

The US Alternative plans

Once the occupiers realized that stalemate on the battlefield favored the Taliban, and it was no longer possible to reverse the tide, the US made alternative plans so as not to lose Afghanistan. These were:-

  • The force level of the ANDSF was gradually raised to 352,000 (Army, commandos, air force and police) and was equipped with sophisticated weaponry. They were trained to fight the Taliban independently from mid-2013 onwards by handing over frontline security to them.
  • Divide Afghanistan on ethnic lines and hand over Eastern, Southern and parts of Western Afghanistan to the Taliban where they had a definite superiority. Retain Northern Afghanistan and integrate Central and Western parts including Kabul and Herat and continue fighting the Taliban. Major drawback in this option was the loss of the main supply route to Kabul via Torkham, and dependence upon the northern network which was dicey due to the unpredictability of Russia.
  • Instead of the whole of Northern Afghanistan, retain Mazar-e-Sharif, Kunduz, Badakhshan and Bagram airbase.
  • In the backdrop of Panjshir Valley under Ahmad Shah Masoud having remained unconquered during the rule of the Taliban in the 1990s, it was considered as an option to give last ditch battle duly backed by Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India’s air force was to supplement the US drone attacks from Farkhor air base in Tajikistan.
  • Another plan envisaged making use of Daesh-K stationed at Nangarhar in 2015, coupled with 20,000 Blackwater elements based in Bagram base to help the ANA in retaining control over the cities. This force structure guided by CIA, RAW and NDS was considered sufficient to fill the power vacuum after the departure of US-NATO troops.
  • Regroup TTP and Baloch rebel groups, bolster Daesh-K and bring them on one platform to continue destabilizing Pakistan.  
  • Return power to the Taliban peacefully through a peace deal under a policy of give-and-take, so as to retain influence in Afghanistan. The Doha agreement was signed after 18-month long negotiations with this intent in mind. For the accomplishment of this plan, Pakistan was to be pressured to convince the Taliban to share power with Ashraf Ghani regime and to keep political Islam at bay.    

New narratives after plans misfired

Once all the plans misfired and the Taliban abruptly seized power on Aug 15, the baffled occupiers had to undertake ill-planned and disorderly withdrawal. To hide their mortification, the spoilers led by the US came out with new themes and narratives to discredit the Taliban and Pakistan.

To start with, the Indo-US-Western-Israeli media blared fake news that the monsters helped by Pak Army are on the verge of snatching power and soon there will be chaos, bloodshed, civil war and refugee exodus and the Afghan women would again be shackled. This narrative remained in play till July when 90% of territory and majority of provinces including provincial capital cities had fallen and no case of human rights violation had taken place.

Taliban’s master stroke  

Learning lesson from their first takeover of power in 1996 in which about 8% of Panjshir Valley couldn’t be captured, and it had provided an opportunity to Russia, Iran, India and the West to support the Northern Alliance, this time the Taliban changed their strategy and focused more on capturing almost the whole of Northern Afghanistan including provinces of Badakshan and Kunduz as well as the palaces of Rashid Dostum, and then homing towards Kabul. Strategy of encirclement and choking of cities was adopted. After the fall of a provincial capital city, (34 in numbers), the Taliban prisoners were released who beefed up the combat strength.

All trade points with the six neighbors and inter-provincial toll plazas were captured and kept functional to earn income. 

Wherever the ANA soldiers didn’t put up a fight and surrendered, the Taliban forgave them. This led to a chain reaction and surrender became a norm thereby providing fillip to the conquests of the Taliban.

Unlike the Bolsheviks, the French and American revolutionaries, the Saudis, the Iranians and many others who butchered their fallen foes and raped their women, the Taliban announced general amnesty, which was unique. 

By treating the captured or surrendering Afghan Army soldiers humanely irrespective of their ethnic background, the Taliban neutralized them, thereby making their task of capturing major capital cities easier.

The other notable thing was that no incident of killing, theft, and rape took place in all the captured areas. Normal routine was not disrupted, and educational institutes, offices and businesses were not closed. Their benevolence won the hearts of the people and shattered the demonizing myths. Urban dwellers welcomed them and chanted pro-Taliban slogans which further shattered the morale of Afghan soldiers. Consequently, when the Taliban knocked at the gates of Kabul on Aug 14, they encountered no resistance.         

After dominating all the roads leading to Kabul and surrounding and choking the capital city, the Taliban succeeded in entering Kabul and capturing it without firing a bullet.

After the botched drama staged at Kabul airport, the mountainous Panjshir under son of Ahmad Shah Masoud and Amrullah Saleh was played up which had been stocked with huge dumps of armaments. The Taliban managed to capture it on Sept 6 and the two leaders fled to Tajikistan.

Divine intervention 

Notwithstanding willful efforts of the US led western world to economically incapacitate the newly formed interim Taliban regime on Sept 11, the latter today has huge caches of sophisticated armaments left behind by the foreign forces which include tanks, APCs, Humvis, artillery guns, rockets, small arms, jets, gunship helicopters, night vision goggles, radars, super computers etc. Damaged equipment is repairable. According to some estimates the equipment is worth $ 85 billion, sufficient to raise several corps and air force.

They have also been gifted well-developed infrastructure, eight high-tech military bases, schools, colleges and universities, airports, dry ports, modernized provincial capital cities particularly Kabul studded with large numbers of high quality shopping malls, plazas, hotels, restaurants, gaming clubs, parks, sports grounds, water filtration plants, sewerage system, hospitals, gas and electricity projects.

India gifted parliament building, two dams, Zaranj-Dilaram Highway, several educational institutes, healthcare in rural areas, and structured RAAM and NDS intelligence outfits.

The fleeing Afghan elites have also left behind plenty of foreign currency recovered from their palatial houses.

Afghanistan has trillions of dollars’ worth untapped mineral resources which the US couldn’t extract due to insecurity.

To be continued

The writer is retired Brig Gen, war veteran, defence & security analyst, international columnist, author of five books, Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, Member CWC PESS & Think Tank. asifharoonraja@gmail.com    

 

, , , , ,

No Comments