Is it really war on terror?

| by Prof. Ali Sukhanver

( May 09, 2012, Islamabad, Sri Lanka Guardian) What if I hand over a loaded gun to a hungry teenager? The answer to this question is naturally very simple; he would turn that gun on me and run away with all that I have in my pockets. This is what is happening there in Afghanistan and in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan. While commenting upon the ever-increasing flames of violence, mistakenly called terrorism, we find it very easy to shift the whole blame on to the ‘hungry boy’: no one blames the hands that hand over the gun to him instead of taking care of his hunger. The situation in Afghanistan regarding the blazing fire of terrorism is never going to change unless the hands are cuffed which mock at the helplessness of Afghan people. You ransack a house, enslave the residents, deprive them of all their liberty and human rights, shatter their dreams and then expect from them the finest values and traditions of peace and tranquility; it is nothing but stupidity and foolishness.
The matter of fact is that through a very well mechanized blame game the US planners are simply trying to make the world realize that there is still a lot to be done in the war against terrorism.
I remember once I had a meeting with Hamza Khan, an old Afghan refugee, residing somewhere in a refugee camp in Peshawar. He told me that he had been in Pakistan for the last twenty years. His son Shahzeb Gul was ten years old when the family had to migrate to Pakistan; now that ten years boy is a grown up man of thirty with a family of four children and their mother. From Hamza Khan to Shahzeb Gul and to the next generation, no one ever tried to go back to Afghanistan though they always have a strong desire of doing so. I asked Hamza Khan, “Why didn’t you ever try to go back to your land?” He replied me in a gloomy depressing tone, “My land is no more mine. I have left there nothing but my memories and just for the sake of my memories, I cannot put the lives of my children in danger.” I could see the flames of indignation and revenge in the eyes of Hamza Khan.
It is something ironically strange that in the name of the Global War on Terror the UN type of organizations, which claim to be the caretaker of human rights violations throughout the world, are shielding, protecting and sheltering the cruelties and brutalities of NATO forces in Afghanistan; no protest no resentment. Iraq war veteran Phil Aliff comments the situation of Afghanistan in one of his recent articles, ‘The mission is the atrocity’. He says, “Days of violent protests against the U.S. military followed the burning of Korans at a military base in late February, leaving scores dead and injured. Then, 38-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales left his outpost before dawn on March 11 and murdered 17 Afghan civilians. The news of this tragedy evoked memories of incidents such as the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and raised new questions for Americans about whether the war in Afghanistan can really still be called the good war.” Phil Aliff further says, “Since the massacre, the U.S. military has struggled to contain what it considers a public relations nightmare by focusing the blame on this individual soldier who suddenly snapped as if the problem of overstressed soldiers is limited to a few bad apples. This is the military’s common refrain in previous instances in which soldiers have committed atrocities as part of the war on terror.” The cruel and meaningful silence of UN authorities over the situation is doing nothing but adding more to the distrust and disbelief on the part of UNO. It is the sheer responsibility of the UNO to condemn the brutalities of the US led NATO troops and take serious action otherwise it would be ranked as a tool in the hands of the USA. The NATO forces are simply engaged in Afghan genocide. According to a recent report, more than 5.0 million Afghans and Pashtuns have been deprived of their lives since 2001 and more than six million have been compelled to live their lives in refugee camps in the neighbouring countries particularly in Pakistan.
Some of the analysts might be happy over the news that the US led NATO troops are going to say good-bye to the Afghan lands in near future; though their optimism must be strongly appreciated but we must pray that their hopes may not remain a dream. The NATO forces would surely get off the Afghan lands but only in papers not in reality. Just to refrain from the already announced program of leaving the Afghan lands, the US planners are searching for lame excuses. A few days back on 15th of this April in different provinces of Afghanistan including the Capital Kabul, several sensitive locations were targeted during a series of coordinated rebel attacks. At the same day, a few hours before these attacks in Kabul, dozens of Taliban stormed a prison in a Pakistani border city Bannu and freed nearly 400 inmates. Some of the western analysts were of the opinion that the prisoners freed from the Bannu jail, were involved in Kabul attacks. On the other hand, as per routine and all time tradition, after these incidents the US authorities also started blaming Pakistan for designing these attacks in Kabul and other provinces of Afghanistan. After the attacks, the US ambassador to Kabul, Ryan Crocker said talking to media, “We know where their leadership lives and we know where these plans are made. They’re not made in Afghanistan. They’re made in Miranshah, which is in North Waziristan, which is in Pakistan.” In spite of Islamabad’s denial of any support for Haqqani activities, former US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen also remained most insistent upon describing the network a “veritable arm” of the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
The matter of fact is that through a very well mechanized blame game the US planners are simply trying to make the world realize that there is still a lot to be done in the war against terrorism. They are struggling to convince the world that US’ withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan would give a free hand to the terrorists and all efforts yet done in this regard would go futile in case of such withdrawal. In short they are doing all possible to prolong their presence in Afghanistan. This situation must be an eye opener to all the Muslim countries in the region including Pakistan, Iran and Bangladesh. The Muslim countries need to strengthen their ties with one another by forming a new strategic block. This fact must always be kept in mind, if today it is Afghanistan or Pakistan, tomorrow it could be Iran or Bangladesh also. The global war on terror is nothing but a global war against Islamic countries. If it were only a war against terrorism, the battlefield must have been somewhere in Non-Muslim countries other than Sri Lanka and Nepal also. It would be in the larger interest of all Muslim countries to begin with a new war against terror of their own; that is the only way to change the battle field.

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Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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