The Cold War between 1947 and 1991 was fought on ideological grounds. The imperial West sought to establish its dominance in world affairs to the defeat of the Soviet Union and its allies. In the aftermath of WWII, communist ideology had gained unprecedented popularity and was spreading across Europe. The US and Britain were terrified of the consequence of the spread of communism on the global political and economic landscape. At that time, Germany was learning towards communism and was going through post-war economic convulsions. That the European economy to a large extent depended on Germany’s industrial base, the US tabled the Marshall Plan as an attempt to extend influence on the political and economic direction of Europe.
The famous speech “Restatement of Policy on Germany” by former US secretary of state James Byrnes in Stuttgart September 6 1946 set the Cold War into motion. In his speech Byrnes sold “peace” as the reason for Germany to reject communism. He also said: “We [the US] have learned that peace and well-being are indivisible and that our peace and well-being cannot be purchased at the price of peace or the well-being of any other country.” What followed was the systematic campaign by the US to de-legitimise and undermine communism with consistent regularity and zeal. The protection and promotion of Western interest was paramount.
The end of the Cold War, which was precipitated by the fall of the Soviet Union and the wave of anti-communist revolutions in Eastern Europe in 1991; somewhat coincided with the genesis of the military adventure of the West in the Arab world in 1990. Saddam Hussein’s armed forces had invaded Kuwait, which provoked “international” condemnation. The US led military efforts to prevent the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. During the Cold War, Iraq had been an ally of the Soviet Union and Saddam Hussein’s support of anti-Israel groups was a source of discontent and disgust by the US. The Gulf War was not waged out of interest for the security of the people of Kuwait but for protection of interests of the West in the region and to safeguard the security of Israel.
The US had already fought a proxy war in the region, when it supported, financially and militarily, the mujahideen in Afghanistan who were fighting against the Soviet Union and the Marxist-Leninist government of Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden was part of the mujahideen who enjoyed support of the US during this war. He was useful for advancement of the US agenda against the communist onslaught at the time. The Afghan war with the Soviet Union was the rallying point for Islamic fundamentalists who deemed their cause a Jihad against invaders. The Afghan Jihad victory against the Soviet Union in 1988 led to the creation of al-Qaeda, a base movement that would lead the Jihad in future. The US must be proud to have contributed financially and militarily to the establishment of al-Qaeda.
It was this Gulf War of 1991 that established a fertile ground for the future “War on Terror” against al-Qaeda and its affiliate organisations. The US had sent its troops to Saudi Arabia and established military bases in that Muslim country in order to launch the war against Saddam Hussein’s armed forces. Post the Gulf War, US troops remained in Saudi Arabia, largely for the purpose of policing the region and protecting its own economic and political interests. The presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia provoked the same anger against the US among the mujahideen as was the case against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. A similar ideological battle between Western fundamentalism, which is rooted in principles of democracy and free-market system, and Islamic fundamentalism, premised on sharia, which rejects the free-market system.
It is now more apparent that the pretext for advancement of political and economic interests in the post-Cold War era is the invented “War on Terror”. A top military intelligence official in the UK, Major General Michael Laurie, told the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq invasion that: “We knew at the time that the purpose of the dossier was precisely to make a case for war, rather than setting out the available intelligence and that to make the best out of sparse and inconclusive intelligence.”
Further to this Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson, in an MSNBC interview said: “You can be very cynical and say he [George W Bush] didn’t want to get him [Bin Laden] because once he got him the war was over and that left all the political advantage gone.”
The “War on Terror” is the war against the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the propagation of Islamophobia, which has nothing to do with combating terrorism. The spread of terrorism is rooted on the expansion of the US and its allies in the Arab world. Islamic fundamentalism has been painted as the key driver for terrorism; that the establishment of Islamic states would be the precursor to the collapse of international peace and security. Unsurprisingly, a weak Islamic state of Afghanistan, under the Taliban, was swiftly overthrown and a puppet regime under Hamid Karzai installed.
The rise of Jewish fundamentalism (Zionism) and the pursuit of Jewish self-determination is seen as a force for good, as it closely aligns with the agenda of the West; whereas the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the pursuit of Muslim self-determination is seen as a force for evil. Jewish fundamentalism embraces the fundamental precepts of free-market system. Between the West and Israel, there exists a coalition of political and economic aggressors. Jewish fundamentalists respond with great vengeance against anyone who dares challenge Israel. A Jewish Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Tony Kushner, had been stripped of his honorary degree by a New York University because he committed the cardinal sin of criticising the apartheid state of Israel. Kushner is now portrayed by Jewish fundamentalists as the symbol of those closet “anti-Semites” or “self-hating Jews” who continuously bash apartheid Israel.
Organisations like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are seen as terrorist movements because of their unapologetic pursuit of Muslim self-determination. Hamas advocates for the establishment of an Islamic state in Palestine, resulting in them being deemed a “terrorist organisation”. Iran, which became an Islamic state after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, is “the state sponsor of terrorism”.
Al-Qaeda and the Taliban embrace the fundamentals of Islam and advocate for establishment of Islamic states in the Arab world. Ordinarily, the two Islamic fundamentalist organisations would become the enemy against the imperial forces of the West, regardless of whether their means to an end is killing civilians or not. The West used “human rights” and “democracy” to discredit the spread of communism and a similar tactic is employed towards Islamic fundamentalism. The West, ironically, commits greater crimes against humanity than those so-called terrorist organisations. The world has become largely unsafe, precisely because of the actions of the West. The “War on Terror” could end tomorrow, if the murderous US and its allies pull their troops from occupied Arab states and mind their business.
When the phoney “War on Terror” ends, the West will find another reason to crush that which stands in the way of their imperialist interests. Unfortunately, international institutions such as the UN Security Council have become the instruments used to grant legitimacy to the perpetration of international crimes.
Let Islamic fundamentalists have their own Islamic states as Jewish fundamentalists have their Zionist state!