Al Qaeda or
Roots of Global Terror
By Ram Puniyani
23 July, 2005
gentlemen are the moral equivalents of America's founding fathers."
(Ronald Regan while introducing the Mujahideen leaders to media on
the White house lawns. (1985)
are asking: why do they hate us? They hate our freedoms-our freedom
of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble
and disagree with each other." George W. Bush, in his speech
in US Congress in the aftermath of 9/11. (2001)
two statements reflect the so-called transition of freedom fighters
of which US administration was proud to the same one's being called
enemies of US. When Tony Blair in the aftermath of 7/7 uttered his feelings
that our resolve to uphold our values is stronger than their resolve
to break it, he was referring to the people with same ideology and politics
whom Regan praised to the sky and about whom GW Bush had the totally
What has changed during last one and a half decade, have 'they' changed?
Or is it that US needs have undergone a rapid transition during this
decade? The reference to the ghastly acts of terrorism of 9/11 and 7/7
does send the shivers down one's spine. Not only the killings of innocents,
non combatants in 9/11 and 7/7 is extremely heinous and cowardly, but
also the aftermath of such actions is something one needs to mull over.
The ongoing terrorism and 'war on terror' both are affecting the societies
in a painful manner. While on one hand killings of innocents is a matter
of deep anguish the post terror polarization of communities on religious
ground and the demonization of Islam are the consequences, which have
deeper impact on the lives of people world over.
To begin with, the question is, who did it? Surprisingly after 9/11
the investigation has not been very definitive. It was presumed, Osama
bin Laden, Al Qaeda are the ones' behind the tragic event. Afghanistan
was invaded on the pretext of catching hold of Osama, nearly sixty thousand
people were killed by the US attack, but could not be caught hold of.
Incidentally it was bin Osama who was projected to be the primary culprit
against whom the war is being waged. US did 'succeed' in installing
its puppet Govt. in Afghanistan and also in taking control of the huge
oil reserves around Afghanistan.
On the ground that
Iraq is a threat to US security, and also that it is harboring Al Qaeda,
it was invaded, thousands of Iraqis have since than perished and hundreds
of US armed personnel have been killed.
The sexual torture of Abu Ghraib prison might have been just a tip of
the iceberg hiding more, which we will never come to know. There are
also doubts about the real culprit of 9/11 so to say, as conclusive
evidence has not been produced by the US. Tony Blair did not loose even
minutes to hint that 'same' culprits are involved. Some reports pointed
out that it is the act of Secret Organization Group of Al-Qaeda, which
in its temporarily put up web site, claimed, ".We continue to the
warn the Governments of Denmark and Italy and all Crusader Governments,
that they will be punished in the same way if they do not withdraw their
troops from Iraq and Afghanistan."
Even in the aftermath
of 9/11 there were serious doubts raised about the perpetrator of the
event, whether it was Al Qaeda or was it some other agency. Any way,
a pretext to attack Afghanistan could be cooked up with ease. Even now
doubts are being raised that since there is a pressure on the UK Govt.
to withdraw the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and this incident will
ensure that troops continue to be in Iraq. On one hand we have Al Qaeda
and the like, who in the name of Jihad are committing havoc. These actions
in the name of Jihad, are the worst enemies of Muslims as a community.
These create hatred against this community and the demonization process
against Muslims and Islam gets a boost after every such event. The targeting
of average Muslims as terrorists and criminals gets biggest justification
from such acts. These actions are the ones', which have laid the foundation
of the ideology guiding many western powers and also other countries.
The other factor
is the policy of Western powers, which so far has been steadfastly supporting
Israel's violation of the rights of Palestinian people and its blatant
vandalism in the neighboring region. The Jihadi terrorism as such was
consciously brought up and promoted not by any Muslim country. It was
the handiwork of US, CIA in its goal to contain the influence of Communism
during the era of cold war. During that period many a countries strived
for nationalism to get rid of the clutches of colonial powers. Most
such endeavors were opposed by Western powers with US in the lead. With
the success of communists coming to power in Afghanistan, US administration
started promoting the opponents of communist regime. Communists tried
to bring in land reforms, curtail the opium cultivation, and this hurt
the interests of the feudal and orthodox elements.
to communist regime, the elite, were right wing Islamists. It was from
this Muslim right wing that Al Qaeda was formed with the direct patronage
of U.S. Billions of dollars of aid and armaments, including stringer
missiles were given to Al Qaeda by U.S. Al Qaeda grouped together with
the help of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. With the defeat of communist
forces US became more assertive and started interfering in the region
with vehemence, the attack on Iraq in 1993 was the first manifestation
of the same. The Right wing Islamists felt the threat of US presence
and the rest is too fresh in our memories to be recounted. Anti Islamism
now came to substitute Anti Communism as the 'other' of imperialist
powers. Lured by the oil wealth of the region US-UK axis has violated
every possible international law and have removed all roadblocks to
its pursuits for profit (Fayda). This axis also attacked Afghanistan
and Iraq telling the World that this is the only way to make their countries
safer for themselves.
Can such blatant
violation of human and international norms make the world safer? And
pray tell me, which is the bigger curse of the World today: Al Qaeda
or Al Fayda?