MAKING SENSE OF WAR ON TERROR By K. H Zia

Last month, the Washington based Physicians for Social Responsibility (PRS) released a study on the death toll from the on-going “War on Terror”. The total ‘deaths from Western interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan since the 1990s – from direct killings and the longer-term impact of war-imposed deprivation likely constitute around 4 million (2 million in Iraq from 1991-2003, plus 2 million from the “war on terror”), and could be as high as 6-8 million people when accounting for higher avoidable death estimates in Afghanistan’.
Scores of millions of people have been forced to flee their homes by the wars waged by the West against Islamic countries (The Return of History: Conflict, Migration, and Geopolitics in the Twenty-First Century, by Jennifer Welsh, House of Anansi Press, 2017). It stands to reason that these atrocities will give rise to anger and radicalization among some, if not many.
 
We claim ISIS and al-Qaida are the enemies who are responsible for terror in the world. No less a person than foreign Secretary Robin Cook wrote that al-Qaida was actually the name of the CIA file containing details of all the Arab fighters that it had recruited to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. Hillary Clinton said that ISIS was created by Saudi Arabia and Qatar who are our allies.
 
We say we are at war against ISIS and al-Qaida. So are Iran and Russia but they are our enemies while Saudi Arabia and Qatar who created and fund ISIS are our allies. Each ISIS fighter is trained, equipped, transported and paid $ 600 a month. Where does the money come from and why can’t its source be traced? Any of them that is injured is treated in Israel which is our ally. Israel also bombs Syrian army and its affiliates that fight against ISIS on a regular basis but never ISIS or al-Qaida (Robert Fisk in The Independent, 23rd. May 2017).
 
And if this is not confusing enough, both al-Qaida and ISIS fought against Kaddafi in Libya and are now trying to get rid of Asad in Syria. So are we, which technically makes us allies. But we insist this is not so because the terrorists follow an evil ideology. If two sets of people have the same aim, how can only one of them be evil and the other not?
 
We claim Islamic fundamentalism and extremism give rise to terrorism. The countries that have been targeted —- Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Syria have constituted essentially moderate, tolerant and progressive societies. It is our allies, Saudi Arabia and Gulf Sheikhdoms who enforce rigid, retrogressive and extreme form of Islam.

According to reports US President Donald Trump last week accepted personal gifts alone worth $1.2 billion from Prince Salman of Saudi Arabia from where fifteen of the 9/11’s alleged attackers originated. One heavy sword made of pure gold and studded with diamond stones weighing 25 kilograms alone was worth $200 million. Then, there is this 125 meter long yacht, which is apparently the world’s tallest personal yacht, with 80 rooms with 20 royal suites.

What could be more Orwellian?
31ST May 2017

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